December 4, 2009

Our Trip to Sri Lanka

Spurred by the comments of some Sri Lankan colleagues and friends about the beauty and cultural richness of their country we decided to spend the Eid Holidays this year in Sri Lanka – the pearl of the Indian Ocean. Now that the 30 year civil war that raged throughout the country has ended, we did not have much to worry about the safety aspect. Yes, the inconvenience of travelling with a 4 month old was a big concern, but at the end we decided to take the leap after thorough planning. We also told ourselves that if we were able to stick to the schedule by atleast 70% we could consider the trip a success. We decided to be flexible and to be led by Appu and Aarush.

We boarded our Air Arabia flight from Sharjah at 9.45 pm on 27th November. The weather conditions were very turbulent apparently and the flight was not smooth for half the trip. However, Appu slept within minutes and Aarush was very easily manageable. We landed at Bandaranaike International Airport in the wee hours of 28th November. The airport was a small sleepy one with a lot of hoardings of the telecom provider Dialog, People’s Bank etc. We were met at the airport by Mr. Gamini Fernando, our guide and chauffeur for the tour. Upon coming out of the airport, we were awe struck by the striking resemblance with Kerala. The humid atmosphere, the smells of the petrol / diesel engines, the morning noises of the early birds chirping, the tall and the not so tall coconut trees around, the people especially men with dark skins and thick moustaches – everything reminded us of home and for a moment we were all filled with a strong wave of longing to be in Kerala. Mr. Fernando got his 9 seater Nissan Caravan out from the parking and drove us out of the airport premises. The airport was about 36 kms far from the hotel that we would be staying at while in Colombo – Cinnamon Grand Hotel.

Sri Lanka – here we come!!

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