After a little sleep in on the morning of our first full day, we met our driver, who was going to give us a guided tour of the capital city, Colombo. The sleep in wasn’t just an attempt to cure the grogginess that only long distance travel can cause though, we were advised it was sensible to start a bit later in order to avoid the worst of Colombo’s hectic traffic.
I wasn’t sure at first how necessary being driven around would be, but Colombo’s sites did seem to be pretty spread out and the air conditioned car made getting around them a breeze, plus our driver’s local knowledge and commentary was a real bonus, so no complaints there from me. That said, if you’re the type that prefers a more immersive experience, I might suggest trying a tuk tuk? But be warned (as we were by our driver) they aren’t shy about taking advantage of unwitting tourists.
Although it wasn’t a downside to me, I imagine the fact that we didn’t get to choose where we got out of the car might be to some. I’d still say we got to see the majority of the things we wanted to in sufficient detail though. We didn’t fancy any shopping, but our driver did offer to take us if we wanted to – if I’m honest I wasn’t really sure what shopping opportunities there were when he suggested it!
Our tour took a good 4 hours in all, if anything, maybe a touch longer (this includes time in and out of the car) and we saw more sites than I could dream of interestingly listing here – although there are pictures of some of my favourites below.
It might not have been the most photogenic site, but my favourite attraction was the National Museum, which was pretty sizeable and really interesting, on the most part. Just don’t touch the glass casings protecting the artefacts, I can tell you first hand that they don’t like that 😉.
That evening we had a couple of drinks at the Cloud Bar, which happened to be on the roof of our hotel (careful planning rather than luck), although you can drink there even if you’re not a guest. Not only did this mark the beginning of my holiday romance with the beautiful local beer, Lion, but we also got to enjoy another beautiful sunset from the roof terrace, which offers panoramic views of the beach and city.
Read the rest of my Sri Lanka Stories, here.