Of Wrecks & Tea & Curry

Entrance to a beach bar in Mount Lavinia, Colombo
Entrance to a beach bar in Mount Lavinia, Colombo

Our fourth visit to Sri Lanka might already be enough indication that we really love the place. It never ceases to amaze  me how much you can pack in just a few days travelling on this beautiful island. While there is a lot of change (gosh we didn't recognise Colombo's skyline anymore) the good things are still good and we spent a few days in the capital to export the ship wrecks of Colombo's coast before pampering ourselves with a stay in an old bungalow in the highlands consuming too much food, tea (and the odd G&T to prevent malaria, you know the drill). 

I am not a good food photographer and we are usually too hungry to spend a lot of time snapping photos but if you like food ... Sri Lanka might be a place for you. How can you not be happy with a dish called "String Hoppers" or "Egg Hoppers" for breakfast and not drool over Sri Lankan curries!

Diving in Sri Lanka, especially around Colombo might not be on everyone's list. But if you are interested in wreck diving then it is highly recommended. You get virtually dozens of different wrecks from WW2 warships to merchant vessels of the 1990's. We stayed shallow and explored only five of the better known wrecks but we are already hungry for more. Let the photos below speak for themselves. 

We also spent an afternoon in Colombo and wile not all new things were great for us (think more skyscrapers, hotels and malls) they hopefully bring development and good for many. Well, there's still my favourite religious building,  the Jami Ul-Alfar Mosque. It's read and white brick walls, the little turrets and alcoves always remind for some reasons of castles I imagined when reading Alice in Wonderland (might not be perfectly appropriate to describe a mosque like that, though). It is a thoroughly stunning building and I was able to tag along with an Uber Eats driver to climb the stairs and have a look inside. 

About fours back we had a splendid experience with the so called tea trails - a group of former tea plantation bungalows connected by walking trails through the highlands. It's a luxurious environment at a price but well worth every cent if you really want to pamper yourself for a few days. And you get to hike in the tea lands with stunning views of the misty mountains in Sri Lanka's central highlands.

This year I also managed to climb Adam's peak, a 2,243 meter high mountain about an hour away from our bungalow. It has a rock formation on the summit called Sri Pada, the 'sacred footprint' of Buddha, Shiva or Adam - depending on what religion you follow. For the average tourist it is a gruelling sometimes near vertical climb from about 1,100m over about 5,500 steps. A perfect morning exercise starting a 1am for me to be able to reach the peak before sunrise. Not the best sunrise I have seen on a very busy and very cold summit but a rewarding experience to share the ascent and descent with hundreds of worshippers.

 

There's still so much to see on this island. When are we going again?