June 13, 2010

Tear Drop on the Sea

My travels took me to Ceylon a couple of times over the last few months and I have fallen in love with Colombo. It comes as no big surprise given my ability to fall in love with cities. If cities were humans I would have been Casanova reincarnated. But what is not, is not.

Colombo is a beautiful city. Surrounded by the sea, the weather is always pleasant, the beaches are always close by and often you wonder if you would love to spend your life in here.

The city has so much to offer that you need to give it a fair amount of time. But if you are on whirlwind trip you must visit the following. The first on the list is Mount Levinia Hotel. A beautiful colonial house on the beach, famed to be the setting of a Love Story between a British Governor and a local dancer, the hotel has the most peaceful beach with a lovely sea food restaurant. Also the open air restaurant can entice you with its breathtaking view. From the hotel you must head to Odel to do some serious shopping for yourself. Maybe it’s a reincarnation of any Western Mall but you might find it worthwhile to check this out.

However, if you are on the lookout for bargains House of Fashion might just be the place you would love to go though I am yet to figure out if the brands are authentic. Once you are tierd of shopping you must visit the theme restaurant of Cinnamon Grand. Sri Lankan cuisine is bound to blow you away with its rich curries and spicy gravies.

On your way back to the airport you must also visit the Gangaram Temple. One of the most revered Buddhist temples in Sri Lanka, the Gangaram Temple at the heart of a lake is an abode of peace. Like most Buddhist shrines it’s open to everyone every moment of the Night or the Day and whether you believe in God or not, you’ll be able to listen to the silence of your heart once you stand alone inside the temple complex.

With streets lined with trees, the city roads might very well remind you of Bangalore but just be careful while using your credit cards. It is considered one of the highest risk countries amongst the world and if you use your card in Sri Lanka your bank might request you to cancel your card and issue a fresh one.

But such a small glitch apart, you’ll love to go back. Because you know what, you haven’t even started seeing Sri Lanka in all her beauty. I know I will.