Colombo, day 1

This sign outside our hotel wasn’t the first thing that told us Sri Lanka is a country that is reeling from a significant trauma. The first sign was the armed guards at the airport. Then the extra wait time for a taxi, because every vehicle that approaches the airport has to be thoroughly searched. Then at our hotel, armed guards check every suitcase going in.

This is our hotel – it looks from the outside like the entire wing has been abandoned and left to rot. Our room is clean and comfortable, but a little shabby. And smells a little but like wee. But the staff are great, and it’s still fancier than most places we stay!

Kiddo left his watch at home, so I gave him a budget of 1000rp (about $10NZD) and he went looking for a replacement. Found a Gucci with diamonds for 450rp. And he didn’t even bargain.

Outside the national museum. Another recent addition.

Small boy with giant tree.

These shoes were made in two pieces to fit a Buddha statue (unknown) estimated to be around 3m tall.

Bobbin lace making. The paper pattern bears no relationship to the actual lace. I suppose I’m one of very few visitors who would know or care. And the “cotton gin” that was beside this in the cabinet had a description about how it was used to spin cotton. I had to walk away before I felt like writing a stern letter to management.

A cap woven from a type of ribbon. I couldn’t find any info about the technique, any insight appreciated. I took heaps more pics of the textiles, but that probably deserves its own post.

Colonialism is ever present. It’s easy to ignore until you come around a corner and see things like this.

Some weird bearded man photobombed our selfie 😂

Looking out to the street from inside the Gangaramaya temple grounds.

Incredible step up to the temple.

Lotus blossoms.

The first pagoda. Again, so many photos, so little bandwidth.

Looking out from the first pagoda into the courtyard.

Cocktail hour at the Galle Face Hotel.

Good morning Colombo

Yesterday was one of those days of travel where everything goes relatively smoothly, but it just sucks regardless.

From the kid deciding that 3:30am was morning (making my sleep total for the previous 48 hours an impressive 5 hours), to getting someone else’s urine on the back of my jeans after someone peed on the outside of the bowl (seriously men, we are so sick of your shit).

Had a lovely “grab” (Singapore Uber) driver who made a breakfast recommendation of kaya toast with butter – and it was amazing. Changi airport had enough amusements to keep most of us busy for a few days, let alone the rest of the city.

Finally made it to Colombo and got through the crash of porters and money changers and SIM card sellers and taxi drivers. Got some cash, got some sims, then made it to our hotel. It’s a little fancier than most places we stay, but the grandeur of it is a little faded. I wish the smell of pee in the bathroom would too. But it has a bath, and with enough time is should be able to get enough hot water for a bath, and that is a luxury that makes up for a lot.

So we are about to head out to explore, and looking forward to adventure!

PS. This is a type of preserved lime we discovered last night. It is amazing, and I look forward to getting to know it better.