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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Lankan tour Writeup: Day 2 of 2

Before reading this bit,do read Day 1 Part1 and Part 2

bank-of-ceylonDay 2 started with some of us getting up early and going for a walk around the hotel. Beach was just 100 meters from the hotel and was very typical and normal beach. Nothing special in it. There was a church nearby and Sunday morning mass (religious ceremony) was in progress. Back in hotel, I learnt that hotel rents out cycles at LKR 150 per day. We decided to rent two, but realized that cycles were in very bad shape, without locks and eventually had to drop the idea.

Morning hours were spent in exploring Negombo town- read this post to know m ore and see pics.
By about 11 am we were in train heading to Colombo

Negombo to Colombo was a single track system and trains had to wait at station to let trains coming in opposite direction pass. At a station near airport, the train even drove back few kms to change track (since railway platform was only on one side, train moved back and changed track to let other train pass). rly station outside airport was heavily guarded- a more safer option would be to shift the station away from airport, for better peace of mind, than parking the train loaded with passengers in front of the station for 20 minutes. The 40 kms journey appeared to be never ending and took close to 2 hours. Ticket cost was LKR 40 and compartments were similar to Indian ones from outside, and seating arrangement was similar to metro compartments. Scenery outside was similar to what one would find in India.

Some Srilankan train pictures below
srilankan-traininside-negombo-colombo-trainlocal-train-enginevendortracks-FOBsecurity-near-airport

Do not form negative impression of SLR (Srilankan Railway by the above pics). Faster trains are glimpse-of-a-faster-trainavailable between Colombo-Kandy and other such major towns. We didn’t travel in them, but got a glance:

We got down at Colombo port station and bought 2 newspapers (read more about Srilankan newspapers on Sunday)

Once outside, we took a bus to Colombo Museum, where next few hours were spent. Museum related details will be covered in a separate post. Most of the buses were from Tata or Ashok Leyland. (Local subsidiary called Lanka Ashok Leyland) From the bus we saw the town hall building, popularly known as Colombo White House!
Whitehouse-Colombo
Another view of the White House buildingColombo-Whitehouse-view2
Had lunch at Museum canteen and we were good to go. Praveen’s friend joined us here and we headed to Colombo port area [View Colombo Port area pics] After roaming around the deserted streets, some refreshments and visit to a shop, next stop was at Twin towers. A small photo shoot in front of the giant towers and then we walked all the way to Colombo beach, passing through Hilton Colombo and few other major establishments.
inside-srilankan-busbus-in-srilanka
To keep this post short, beach area details will be covered in a separate post.You’ll probably curse me for making separate post for almost everything, but I felt that is necessary to cover certain topics in greater details, while this post gives top level idea of what happened.

Back from beach, was walked past Colombo port railway station again, spent some time in a cloth store, had food and headed towards Colombo bus stand. I picked up a street cat for a minute and almost got separated from the team. Eventually we got into a nice minibus which took us back to Negombo. Compared to 2 hour train journey in the morning, return journey by bus took about 45 minutes. Ticket fare was LKR 75 (for normal buses its LKR 40, I’m told)

A short auto ride and we were back in Hotel. Informed the hotel owner about our midnight checkout, settled expenses, booked cab to drop us airport, went into our rooms, took bath. We thought we’ll take a small nap, then getup and go for one final walk in the beach before bidding adieu to Srilanka. We went for deep sleep and got up only at 0030 hours when Sandeep came n woke us up!
Ride back to airport did cost us LKR 1500 and return flight was online (ahead of time actually) and back in Chennai by the time daylight broke. Back home, ahead of scheduled time. Hot dosas and vada onboard and I instantly forgave spicejet for bad food during onward flight. Fully utilized 48 hours. Office and the life cycle continues, leaving behind memories of first international trip.

Chennai Colombo return fares have dropped to under INR 3000 now, if you book 6 months in advance…

Already published posts related to SL trip: Srilanka Travelogue: Part 1 * Part 2 * Frequently asked questions * Ramboda Waterfalls Hotel * Srilankan newspapers on Sunday * Brett Lee in Colombo * Colombo Port area pics * Negombo town- places and pictures * Hotel Silversands Negombo- Review

I’m still not done, standby for another 4-5 posts on Srilanka trip… :) Thanks for your support as always.

4 comments:

Nisha said...

return fares have dropped to under INR 3000 now, if you book 6 months in advance....
And how many days do you think would be sufficient for visiting Sri lanka? One week will suffice?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Yes, One week should be more than adequate.

With a tightly packed and well planned itinerary, even 5 days should be adequate

Arti said...

The white house building looks magnificent!

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Thanks Arti

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