I started writing this post exactly a year ago. Decided to finish it now. All photos taken by me.
Sri Lanka? Ha? That was my expression when I first knew our team in the company is invited to a leisure trip in Sri Lanka. I have to admit I was ignorant about the country. It is a bit far away and it is not on my to-travel-to list. All I could remember was that it’s the tea country. With some google-ing, I came to know more about it and found out it is actually nice and beautiful. Praise to God I had the brilliant idea of extending a few days after the team’s return to Egypt.
The few weeks before the trip were unbelievable with the workload! I could breathlessly snatch a day in a weekend to make the necessary arrangements for my extended vacation. I dedicated a Friday to check hotels and make reservations including train tickets. Gladly, the hectic weeks ended and there we were on our way to Sri Lanka.
The idea of travelling itself thrills me. Even in my numerous trips to Sudan, I used to feel refreshed. Not that I am a big fan of adventures. On the contrary, I don’t like adventures! I plan everything in my trips; the trip schedule would usually list down the activities with the dates and what time of the day (morning, afternoon…etc.). Of course some changes happen on ground but they are not major. Luckily, the flight was a morning flight, so I enjoyed my sky as usual :) Transit was in Abu Dhabi. Spent a couple of hours there (working!) and then off to Colombo.
Travelling for approx ten hours is very weary. When we reached the green city, we had a refreshing breakfast in a modest restaurant on the beach. The view was beautiful, of course. The Indian Ocean!
Fruits were fresh and delicious. First time to taste papaya. Pineapple was very tasty. Some entertainment was arranged for us like this fire man…
We reached our hotel almost dead. Having to wait for around 45 minutes to get our room was a torture! And finally we got into our room. And as the usual practice, I ran to examine the view from the balcony… all I could think of: “A room with a view”..
It was very difficult to leave what I saw and go freshen up before getting some rest to meet the team by lunch time. But my exhaustion won over and there I fell asleep to the sound of the gentle ocean waves with a smile not believing the scene I just closed my eyes to :)
The following three days were really fun… for most people except me! I had to attend workshops from 9 am till 5 or 6 and then continue working on a report in the evening and checking emails as much as possible. I was upset in fact that I could not really get to know the city. My only pleasure these days was the insanely delicious salads and desserts the hotel served and the view from my room. I managed to do very little shopping, too.
Colombo is a nice city. Has natural beauty and lots of greenery. People there are friendly and helpful as they are used to tourists and their main income depends on tourism. Humidity and pollution are high, yet the latter is toned down by the refreshing ocean breeze.
Before leaving Colombo, I have to talk about their food. Indian food is spicy. Sri Lankan food is waaay spicier! I used to get just a spoon from the dishes that appealed to me and taste them on my table. Almost 90% of them would be very spicy. By the last day and after all the pain resulting from the spicy food, I decided to stop experimenting and depend only on salads and desserts. And ohhh for their dessert! I usually don’t eat creme burlee but thought of giving it a try. After devouring the two spoons I got, I wanted to lift the crème brulee bowl from the open buffet and kiss it but refrained from proceeding with this idea since I did not want to lose my job!
Now, work days are over. I gave my laptop to a colleague and informed my boss I will not be checking my emails for the coming 4 days. I already booked my train ticket from Colombo to Kandy a couple of weeks ago when I was still in Cairo. The night before, I agreed with a tuktuk driver to come pick me up from the hotel to drive me to the railway station. Although everything was arranged, but I was feeling restless still. Typical me!
With a lot of excitement, I packed and waited for my tuktuk.
To be continued…