Thursday, 23 February 2012

Colombo - Sri Lanka

Tuesday February 21st - Day 48

Colombo is the largest city of Sri Lanka and is a busy and vibrant city with a mixture of modern and colonial buildings. Due to its large harbour and its strategic position along the east-west sea trade routes Colombo was known to  ancient traders over two thousand years ago.
Originally known as Ceylon it became famous for producing the world's finest teas. It is also known for its fragrant spices and sparkling sapphires. The interior is a land of jungles inhabited by leopards and elephants and ruins of the great civilisations of the past.

After three days at sea we decided to go for a long walk along the coast before turning inland to the main city area. There were some fabulous old building but the thing that struck us most was the terrible pavements - all broken and missing. We learnt later that they are restoring the inner structure of the city but are starting from the outside areas first.

The other thing that struck us was the number of tuk-tuks and it was only later that we found out that the blue tuk-tuks were government controlled whilst the red and yellow ones were freelance. One crew member told us he got in a red tuk-tuk having been told the fare would be $2 to take him to the market only to be told as they drove off that the fare would now be $20...he quickly got out!!
At 6:30pm there was a show of traditional Srilankan dancing up on deck. The dancers wore richly decorated and colourful costumes and some had face masks. The energy of the male dancers was amazing with them spinning and performing acrobatics to enthral us guests.

Surf 'n Turf in The Colonnade tonight and it was really busy. The chef was really accommodating as I ordered a shrimp and avocado cocktail - without the shrimp and heavy on the avocado please! - and then my Surf 'n Turf main course was requested to be without the surf. Seabourn service at its best.
The show in the Grand Salon tonight was with Siobhan Phillips, a comedienne and unique vocal artist from Wakefield in Yorkshire, UK. It was also John, our cruise directors birthday and the audience gave him a rousing 'Happy Birthday to you....'

After the show Siobhan joined us for drinks in the club and two of the ship's other performers, Luis and Taylor, also joined us for a funny and entertaining hour before we were off to bed because the clocks go forward another hour tonight...zzzzzzz

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