We had the plan to travel, I wanted to see tea growing, but I wouldn’t be traveling alone, so we had to combine some of our travel wishes. So we asked ourselves, where to go to see tea growing? where to see wildlife? where can we be close to the coast and sea? can we travel on our own?
As we like to make our own plans.
Famous Ceylon tea
And then Sri Lanka popped up. Loving tea from Sri Lanka since ever, the mysterious name ‘Ceylon orange pekoe’ that I remembered from canisters and tea packs filled with loose leaf black tea. It made me long to go Ceylon, currently known as Sri Lanka. Everyone I knew who had been there, told me about the beauty of the island and of the atmosphere of tea being all around.
List of must-sees
New questions popped up, what to see in Sri Lanka? where to go in Sri Lanka? What are the must-sees in Sri Lanka? Can we see tea grow, be picked and processed? Where should we go to experience tea? How to travel in Sri Lanka? How to plan our route? Where to stay? And also, do we need to plan upfront for stays and travel in Sri Lanka?
We consulted the internet, bought some books and made a rough list to plan our ‘must-sees’ and ‘must-do’s’.
Ah, and I booked us flights to Colombo.
So off we went. Leaving from Dusseldorf airport. The magic of the landscape below while we flew higher and higher. The unrealistic feeling that we would land in Sri Lanka 12 hours later. Writing in the small notebook I always carry. It feels good to have a notebook at hand, to read, to draw, to write. The notebook captures wonderful everyday adventures.
Residence in Colombo
Should we make reservations in Sri Lanka? It was something we wondered. We decided to keep our schedule open and only planned our first night in Colombo, to be able to stay and we booked a driver from airport to our first hotel. So upon our arrival In Colombo, we were welcomed by our driver and brought to our residence. Easy going.
It appeared I had booked a fine place, in relatively Western oriented part of Colombo. This was a good choice for our first day. An easy way to adapt. We were welcomed with a drink, huge vases with beautiful flowers at the reception hall and a very colonial atmosphere with huge handmade dark wooden furniture, pictures and drawings at the walls. Obviously no Ikea stuff.
In our room we found ourselves a platter with delicious sweet bites, a good tea set with a tiny glass pot and good choice of Ceylon loose leaf tea. Great way to make us feel welcome.
We were so curious, of course, and could not wait to go out to explore our new Colombo neighbourhood. Shops, restaurants, supermarket, tuk-tuk’s, women dressed in traditional reddas, scents of spices and warmth in the air. We did some basic shoppings and saw tea all over, canisters, tins, all Ceylon loose leaf teas originating from the island.
We found ourselves a small restaurant to have diner. The owner of the place had so much fun, he served us a very spicy soup and kept watching how we managed to eat it. Probably disappointing, we ate it all.
Raise a glass
Back in the hotel we sat outdoors under a dark sky, with a delicious cocktail and we felt so lucky to be there and raised our glasses on the upcoming adventures on that wonderful island. Ready to make new memories!