Colombo with its national museum at Sri Lanka
We left Kandy with its sacred festival to Colombo by train the day of the full moon. Hopefully, we bought our 2nd class tickets (280 rupees each - 1,70 euros) 2 days before because all morning trains were full, we got only free seats for the train of 16h55. This trip was cool because we could see the sunset into a splendid landscape of hills, fields and forests meanwhile the full moon was appearing little by little in the sky. At the end, we left the station at 17h10 to arrive at 20h05.
The first time we came here, we stayed in the Fort area, this time we chose to stay near to the Cinnamon Gardens area so we took a meter tuk-tuk, in 20 minutes we arrived to our Ivy Lane Hotel Colombo (538 galle
road - 47 euros per night) for 290 rupees. We got a very clean room like the bathroom with air conditioning and a good wifi.
Once we left our luggage in our room, we decided to go to eat to the restaurant of the hotel, it was the most convenient, I ate a good little spicy special chicken noodle for 450 rupees (2,80 euros). If you don’t like this kind of food, just at 1 minute walk, there is a Mc Donald.
The next day, we walked to the National Museum (sir marcus fernando mawatha) during about 40 minutes, it took us a little longer because we wanted to discover the shopping street called R A de mel mawatha. The museum is quite disappointing, currently in renovation, we paid the full price (600 rupees each – 3,70 euros) in spite that 50% of the collections were closed. Moreover, there are extra charges for using the camera (250 rupees), the video camera (2000 rupees) and no mobile phones allow.
Anyway, the most interesting section is the ancient art section where there are bronze statues, the golden chair of the King Sri Vikrama Rajasinha, etc. The worst of all is that there is no air conditioning in any sections, only some few fans to cool the hot air that don’t work at all (some security guys used it only for them).
The natural museum is located into another building nearby but before to go there, we went to take a break at Lavazza. In fact, there are 2 places, one without air conditioning where most of local people were there (cheaper), and the other with air conditioning where most of tourists were there. I don’t think that I need to tell you where is Lavazza.
So the natural museum, it is worse than the national one. We didn’t visit the whole collection since it was so hot inside, but not because of that, more because there is nothing interesting to discover, it seems that it has been conceived just because they need to make money.
At the end, what I like the most in the museum is what I found outside of the museum, taking the exit to the Viharamahadevi Park (near to the natural museum), there is an exhibition of paintings done by local artists, they exhibit their arts along the kollupitiya sri jayewardenepura road.
We found a very good place to eat a good beef burger called Bars Cafe (24 deal place) for 650 rupees including potato wedges. We found more eating places and
shops at the R A de mel mawatha road than the galle road. About malls, Majestic City (776 galle road) is better than Liberty Plaza (R A de mel mawatha road).
We started at Colombo on July 17 and we ended at the same city on August 19. During our 34 days in Sri Lanka, we visited Colombo -> Kandy -> Nuwara Eliya -> Ella -> Tissamaharama -> Udawalawa -> Mirissa -> Galle -> Polgahawela -> Anuradhapura -> Mihintale -> Jaffna -> Sigiriya -> Dambulla -> Polonnaruwa -> Kandy -> Colombo.
We hunted animals with our camera in national parks like Yala, Udawalawe and Minneriya. We hiked the Little Adam's Peak and we were close to reach the summit of Ella Rock if thunders and the mist didn’t appear. We paid tribute to the reclining Buddha of the Pidurangala temple before to testify the sunrise at the summit of the Pidurangala rock.
We wondered about the Parakrama Samudra lake created by the King Parakramabahu meanwhile enjoying a beautiful sunset. We travelled by train through the serpentine ways of the hills crossing huge tea fields. We walked under the heat to discover the ruins of the Ancient City and to be blessed by the spirit of Buddha.
We braved the rough waves of the Indian Ocean to watch the blue whales. We were marveled about the wonderful frescoes of the Buddha’s caves. We testified about the fervor of the people praying for Buddha in front of the Sacred Tree and the fervor of the performers for the Sacred Tooth Relic festival. We avoided the tricks of tuk-tuks who wanted to prevent us to take the correct bus in order to go with them for an expensive price. We used all our wisdom and patience waiting for our extension visa. We felt how strong is the Galle’s Fort protecting local people against the tsunami of 2004. We experienced the rituals to pay tribute to Hindu Gods into the impressive Nallur Kanthaswamy temple.
And many other things that steeped in our mind forever as the pictures and videos. If you plan to go there, check my next topic, it is about the preparations and tips for Sri Lanka.