Day 79. Arriving Colombo, Sri Lanka at noon. 84, partly cloudy, seas calm.
Last night they cleared the pool deck and threw a 7 Seas Society cocktail Party, complete with our production cast singers entertaining us
Day 80. Colombo, Sri Lanka, Partly Cloudy, 90.
Colombo is the 16th worlds largest artificial port, and they are expanding to twice the size! Our tour today was called "Colombo Contrasts" and was an extensive tour of the Downtown area. We saw lots of Colonial buildings juxtaposed with new all glass skyscrapers and cranes, cranes, cranes everywhere! Sound familiar? How this part of the world is growing. It's kind of scary. Anyway on tour, we had several photo op stops and three major stops. The first was at the National Museum, which tells the tale of the history of Sri Lanka, mostly through artifacts, some dating back thousands and thousands of years, found at archeological digs throughout the country. It was quite interesting, but the museum was not air conditioned, so it was kind of warm. Our second stop was at a 5 Star hotel, where we were served a drink and light snack at their rooftop restaurant. Quite pleasant and scenic. Our final stop was for a tour of a Buddhist temple, again quite beautiful
Day 81. Cochin, India, 98 degrees, 90% humidity, partly cloudy.
We sailed in, arriving before 9:00 AM. Everyone on the ship had to go through a face to face immigration inspection, so immigration officials boarded and set up in our theatre, and we all proceeded through. About 1/4 of the guests are getting off here, flying to the Taj Mahal for 4 days and reboarding in Mumbai, so they went first. By the time they got to us, we were delayed on our tour by 1 1/2 hours, so perhaps we were not in a good mood to start with. So now we are touring at noon in the midday heat. We did have a terrific tour guide, but the bottom line to us was that the filth, trash, raw sewage, smells and sights, sort of overpowered our ability to appreciate the history and culture. Our first stop was to an area where there were these unusual Chinese fishing nets. The locals ( no longer Chinese) have been using this method of fishing with huge nets raised and lowered by balances and counterbalances for some 700 years. A very smelly outdoor fish market was on the shore behind these fishermen's nets. There was also a Christian church, originally built in 1552 in this area, as well as several large colonial homes, now converted to hotels. Next we drove to an area with a "palace" which had beautiful Hindu frescos on the walls, which had been painted, again in the 16th century. Next to the palace was "Jew Town", as the area is labeled by the locals, with some 70 shops with aggressive owners, as well as a Jewish temple. According to our guide there are 38 Jews in India, out of a population of 1.2 Billion people. After our tour of this area we boarded a boat for a tour of the harbor. The water was teeming with such stuff that the thought of describing it ...I can't even go there! We returned to our ship around 4:00 and ( after a few beers ) ran for the shower. The good news is that this really makes us appreciate even more the beautiful place were we live and also the good fortune we have had in our lives.
2 Days in Colombo, Sri Lanka, and Kochi, India
Sunday, March 26, 2017
Kochi, Kerala, India