After a very lazy yesterday which I have spend enjoying over the pool and rooftop bar I was ready to face Colombo. Batteries recharge, fresh after a proper night of sleep and some relaxing time at Cinnamon Lakeside Hotel I was excited to do a walking tour this afternoon.
I thought we gonna take ‘Old Colombo Walkabout’ tour by Trekurious. Start up company which offers the most experiential activities in Sri Lanka. Everything from carving your own Sir Lankan mask in Galle to watching sunset over Adam’s Peak from the plane!
You would have to see my smile when they said we gonna mix it with ‘The Dodgy Bar Tour’. First I’m Polish and I never say ‘no’ to alcohol, and second I love checking those kind of local weird places, which are so hard to find.
The tour started with great stories from Mark Forbes about Portuguese, Dutch and British colonial times that took me back in time. I could almost imagine all the streets filled with shoppers, cinnamon sellers and ox carts.
We started from the Dutch Hospital, which at the moment is a centre for fancy restaurants and sweet shops.
We walked through Chatman Street, where famous ‘Hungry Like The Woolf’ video was shot! I must admit that even for such a fan of Duran Duran like me it was something new! I had those words in my head for the rest of the day!
In touch with the ground
I’m on the hunt down I’m after you
Scent and a sound. I’m lost and I’m found
And I’m hungry like the wolf.
Than we walked through York Street to Cargills Building which is the oldest department store in Sri Lanka and Grand Oriental Hotel which is the oldest hotel in whole country.
The grandeur times of both of those buildings are long gone, but you get a feeling how splendid and fancy it was back in the nineteen century.
Dodgy Bar Tour of Colombo
We had first drinks at Tap Bar in Grand Oriental Hotel, but you can as well try old ‘Blue Leopard Bar’ now called B52 Night Club and Stallion Pub. The Tap Bar was a great place to start the dodgy bar tour exploration!
Encouraged after first few drinks we walked through Pettah to reach the oldest bar in town – The Colonial Bar. I know that it was your first guess ha ha ha
This place is a real institution of Colombo. We have been welcomed with very tasty arrack, served with my favourite drink EGB – Elephant House Ginger Beer! I got totally addicted from a very first sip! Some prefer old good Coca Cola but it is EGB for me, always and forever.
The Colonial bar is as well famous for its delicious and spicy fish cutlets, served with baked garlic which I couldn’t keep my hands away from! Yum!
Some people on out team were tired from arriving just few hours before so we headed back to the hotel via Fort Railway Station.
What stroke me was that all station signs had this weird ‘Fashion Hub” wording. I was super surprised that advertisement is allowed in such spaces, but been explained it means that the company in question sponsored the signs!
Nevertheless some kind of advertisement you would think :) I love those little quirky facts, maybe it will make to my ‘Things about Sri Lanka You didn’t Know’ post!
One thing I have learned on this tour, except all the great historical stories and anecdotes, is that Sri Lankan people really like to drink and go out. It seems like this island is very much my cup of tea! Ha ha ha Word play intended :)
Disclaimer: My stay in Cinnamon Lakeside was sponsored by Cinnamon Hotels. The walking tour by Trekurious was a part of organized activity for TBCAsia conference I’m attending. Having said that, all thoughts, opinions and observations are always my own.