Feb 16 - Columbo

Ekka and Batu picked the four of us and our bags up at 0630 and we bought tickets at the train station to go to Columbo. The second class seats were comfortable and the ride, the tracks parallel to the ocean heading north, took about 2.5 hours. Not knowing about metered taxis, we were ripped off by two tuk-tuk drivers, paying 600 rupees per couple for a ride we later found out should have cost 200 rupees. We're learning fast. Our hotel was right off the beach, and we dropped off our bags and went exploring. First stop was the Dutch Museum, which houses a little bit of history, a little bit of period furniture, and a hell of a lot of dust. In spite of the latter, it was pleasant enough, and prepared us for our next stop, the National Museum. The displays are very well labeled in English, and were very educational. The second floor was closed for renovation, which none of us objected to as we were near collapse just walking around the vast expanse of first floor treasures. By that time, it was about 3:45, so we returned to the hotel for a much needed shower and discussed dinner plans. For those who enjoy Indian food, we decided to go to the Mango Tree Restaurant, and it was an excellent choice. Prices were reasonable, and the food and service were first rate. A full day, well spent.
Pic: Colombo's busy Railway Station. We booked 1st class on the second leg of our trip. Since it was air conditioned we couldn't open the windows to take pictures. 2nd class is fine...the fans and open windows do a good job of keeping you cool.

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