So as our driver kept telling us yesterday, Nugegoda “is not Colombo.”
True. But it does have Breeze of Paradise, one of the best guest houses we’ve stayed in since we’ve got here, and is a short enough tuk tuk ride that it doesn’t make a huge difference. Most comfortable non hiking-related sleep of the trip!
Suresh, the owner of the place, arranged a tuk tuk for the day so we could shop and sightsee. We started at Kovil to see a Hindu prayer ceremony, complete with horns, flaming coconuts, flower petals being thrown, and a crowd of worship pets giving offerings. A short drive later, Daina got his first “lay down” picture at Independence Square. Nice pavilion surround by lion statues.
Gangaramaya temple was next, with it’s almost hoarder-like assortment of Buddhist statues, tusks, old printing presses, cars and books. There’s a certain order to everything there, and the cascade of buddha statues near the back is particularly impressive. In other parts, it almost looks like a storehouse for Sri Lankan statue merch.
We said a fast goodbye to the ocean at Galle Face Green, where families were out flying kites as waves crashed against the shore. Drove past parliament, but not Big Ben, on the way to the Dutch Hospital in Fort
Formerly serving as a hospital for the Dutch in the 17th century, Dutch Hospital is now home to some sick shopping and eats (RIMSHOT!). We tried to grab a bite at Ministry of Crab, only to find out they were out of crab (no rimshot), so I had my last traditional Sri Lankan dish of lamprais (chicken and veg cooked in a banana leaf, while Daina, who is over Sri Lanka good, scored a shrimp burrito.
We walked around the district for a bit, looked at some stores, took in the various types of colonial architecture before our driver took us to a couple of other stores for a final shot at retail. Back to Breezes, showers, off to the airport through the SLOW Colombo traffic.
I’m sure we only scratched the surface of Colombo (no museum or Pettah market, for instance), but it seems like a nice enough place. Maybe we’ll spend more time here next time we move through Lanka.