he weather had been a little towards the gloomy side over the penultimate week of my work assignment in Gothenburg; and I was extremely relieved when I woke up on a beautiful sunny Sunday morning. I had planned to make the trip to Marstrand the week before because the colleagues at office assured me that it would be a worthwhile experience. I quickly checked the train schedule and prepared for the day ahead of me!
Despite being a tiny drop in the Indian Ocean; Sri Lanka is an amazingly diverse country. This diversity has many flavors from life styles to culture to weather and history. Amidst the array of destinations there are certain places that literally make you feel like a tourist. Todays’ piece is on one such location – Negombo.
Fondly referred to as “The Little Rome”, Negombo is sprinkled with decidedly ornate Roman Catholic churches that were built during the Portuguese-era. The Katuwapitiya Church and the Grand Street Church are the two biggest parishes in Negombo, a predominantly Christian area. Located about 37 kilometers North of Colombo, the Negombo town is positioned at the mouth of the Negombo lagoon. A traditional fishing town situated a mere 7 kilometers away from the Bandaranayke International Airport in Katunayaka, the economy in this areas is of course based on fisheries and tourism.
As kids we never really had an opportunity to experience foreign food, especially food that originates from Europe. I still remember the time when going to Pizza Hut was somewhat of a luxury reserved for special occasions like my parent’s wedding anniversary and the ONE time I won a prize at the school prize giving. Nowadays, we have many foreign franchises established in Sri Lanka; home cooks have easy access to a variety of scrumptious recipes from across the world. But, in my experience, to experience the real authenticity of food you must have the ingredients and spices from where the recipe originates.
The Doha City Tour is a complementary tour package provided to all passengers who fly with Qatar Airways and have a transit of 8 hours or more at the Hamad International Airport. The tour is free and you don’t need to have visa to enter Qatar. Bear in mind that the tour departure times are fixed; this means that even though you have a transit time of 8 hours, eligibility for the tour depends on the departure time of your next flight.
|Tour name||Your start time||Your onward flight departure must be|
|Tour 1||08:00||After 13:00|
|Tour 2||10:00||After 15:00|
|Tour 3||12:00||After 17:00|
|Tour 4||15:00||After 20:00|
|Tour 5||18:00||After 23:00|
|Tour 6||20:00||After 01:00|
18th January 2015 was a hot and humid Sunday. I was home alone killing time watching movies and reruns of the past weeks TV series. It was around 11:30 am when I made a decision to get out of the house and just go somewhere, anywhere!!
Living in Maharagama, the first thing that came to mind was to take the highway bus to Galle. I’ve never taken the highway bus before, so I had a quick shower and a change of clothes, packed my camera and was on my way. The mid day sun was screaming down and I could feel my skin burn. Jumping on the Galle bound Air Conditioned bus was such a relief. It’s said that the time taken to travel from the Kottawa Highway Entrance to the Galle Exit is about 1 hour. And it takes about 10-20 minutes to get from Maharagama to Kottawa in light traffic. When the bus entered the high way and the ride became much smoother, I decided to pass the time by catching up on some reading. The bus finally stopped just passed the entrance to the Galle Fort and so began the adventure.