Acquaintance with Sri Lanka began at the airport of Colombo, where we landed at 7 am on 04 December 2017.
The visa was received on arrival, right at the airport, filling a small customs declaration and paying a visa fee at a bad rate, we had only euro.
We did not have a local currency, and we stayed there, all that was possible for two night flights, so we decided to go to the reserved hotel as usual. He was at the nearest town to the airport, Negombo.
The path was along a very busy road, there was dust, there was a smell of exhaust gases, it was very noisy and hot, everyone was buzzing, overtaking, passing drivers Tuk Tukov did not give passage, offered to give a ride. Everybody greeted each other. There were no pedestrian paths.
The day promised to be cheerful.
The weather really pleased. It was hot even to us, accustomed to living in warm countries. The path was not so close. In reality, the distance was a bit larger than it looked on the map. We had to bypass almost the entire airport, our hotel was on the other side.
After a couple of hours along the noisy highway, we turned into our small town Negombo.
We got to the Christian part, on the way saw the school and the church, the houses of local residents, who were very surprised by the Europeans, wandered to them to the outskirts. Everyone, absolutely everyone, greeted, waved, whether they were schoolchildren or passing, people passing by.
Find a hotel was not difficult, though with a GPS navigator. Besides him in the neighborhood there were a couple of small hotels, a family type.
We reached it in 4 hours, I think we are the only ones who did it on foot.
The family hotel was pretty nice and quite cheap, especially after Dubai. Even breakfast included in the price list. The room had its own shower and toilet. True, there was no electricity, they said work on the line, but after a couple of hours, electricity appeared.
After two night flights, we decided to rest and go in the evening to see the surroundings, the beach, the city.
In the evening, trying to find the way to the ocean, went straight, again along the roads, all unchanged, each Tuk Tuk strives to give a lift, each local to say hello.
Local, trendy disco.
Trying to get to the ocean, wandered into the territory, as it turned out to be a closed church.
Wandering along the small houses located on the shore, we tried to find an outlet to the ocean. Checking with the navigator, it became clear to the nearest good place, a normal beach, a couple more kilometers. In this place all exits to the ocean, as it is not sad, were littered with garbage. After wandering a little more around the town, we went back to the hotel.
In the morning, having breakfast, as it later turned out, dishes of national cuisine, these are local pancakes, on Tuk Tuk, went to the bus station. There we bought a ticket, very cheaply by the way, to Kandy. Buses on Sri Lanka are very exotic, inside many different posters, many deities are depicted.
The path took a couple of hours, there were a lot of people on the bus, the road was up and down, then to the right, to the left. We left at the bus station, immediately felt how polluted the city was, the fat of the Tuk Tuk are bustling around, cars, it’s difficult to breathe. Something else was expected from the city located on the top of the mountain, especially since this is a paradise island, Ceylon is a tea island, but this is a separate story.
Our hotel, again a family house, was on top of the mountain, the distance was small, only two kilometers. Checking the direction of the navigator, we went to his search. The road lay like a road serpentine, then they stopped to rest for a while, the heat, the total gas content, and may be discharged air.
Nevertheless, the city opened a very nice view.
After wandering along winding roads, a couple of times we got confused and found a hotel. A few nice houses that belonged to the same family, they turned them into a hotel. The view was beautiful.
After dinner, we went to see the city, its sights.
The next morning, we went by train to Colombo, the largest city in Sri Lanka. We took off on the train, it was not a good idea. There were a lot of people, people went even on the bandwagon, clinging to the windows. By the car, beggars went on and on and on, they sold endlessly some kind of food, betel leaves, soup in sachets. The road took 4 tiring hours.
Colombo, it seems, tries to produce the impression of a developing city, builds a lot, a new block on the coast, a communication tower, in a few years it will be quite a pretty city.
The central square and the embankment in the photo can be seen pouring into the ocean, a new quarter.
We had lunch, contrary to our habits, at McDonald’s.
We decided to check the choice of tea in local stores, nothing special was found, only Dilmah, took a pack, on trial. Surprisingly, the Sri Lankans themselves are not tea lovers, you will not find tea here almost anywhere, there is none in the cafe or in restaurants, very rarely, it can be brewed, but from the sachet …
Then we went to the city center, to see the sights that were found on the map.