Saturday, June 15, 2013

Getting to Sri Lanka

Yep, another 3 day holiday weekend in Abu Dhabi, which means the Stolls were off on another adventure - this time to Sri Lanka. For those geographically challenged as we were, Sri Lanka is a large island off the southeast coast of India and about a 4.5 hour flight from Abu Dhabi. It is heavily influenced by Indian culture and the majority of the population (70%) are Buddhist, however, our Sri Lankan driver was quick to point out that while much is influenced by other culture, the Sri Lankans always improve on it and make it better. We got a good dose of Sri Lankan pride, which was not only interesting, but really great to see. More on that as I share our adventures.

This time, we had confirmed business class seats so no worries about getting bumped off the flight (whew!) The only downside was that the flight leaves Abu Dhabi at 9:30pm and arrives in Colombo, Sri Lanka at 3:30am - not ideal travel times. Another interesting bit: Sri Lanka timezone was 1.5 hours ahead. I didn't know time zones differed by 30 minute increments.

We had arranged a transport service for the 2.5 hour drive from the airport to our hotel and slept as much as we could on the plane and then in the car.

Our first impressions were ... GREEN. It was monsoon season so very wet and very green - perfect as things are just starting to heat up here in Abu Dhabi for the summer. We arrived at our hotel around 6am and were greeted with the following view from the hotel bar area.

Not too shabby for a long weekend getaway.

We had made arrangements with our driver to come back at 10:30 for a day tour of the area. That gave us almost 4 hours to catch a little sleep, a shower, and some breakfast so that's exactly what we did.

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