Archive for the ‘Sri Lanka’ Category

Bikelele establishes Colombo office

24 September 2015

From now on, when in Colombo, all Bikelele strategic, secretarial and administrative functions will be carried out from our office located in the Galle Face Hotel. We began work early this morning with a breakfast meeting, then took a break for tourism before returning for several more hours of concentrated business.

Today was a public holiday in celebration of the Muslim Eid al-Adha (Feast of Sacrifice) so city traffic was slightly diminished. We checked out a few colonial features around the Fort, but the most impressive sight of the day was the Jami-ul-Alfar Mosque, resplendent in red and white.

Jami-ul-Alfar Mosque

After completing all office work, we toured around past the Colombo Public Library (closed today), Town Hall (small sized copy of the White House), Lipton Circus and ended with a tour of the home of architect Geoffrey Bawa, an interesting conversion of a row of small bungalows into house, office and guest room.

No 11, 33rd Lane – Bawa house

An extended torrential downpour occurred as we left so we sheltered in a crockery shop, raising and then dashing the hopes of the sales assistants. Peak hour traffic was still peaky despite the holiday and we just made it back to our guest house before dark. Then followed the 2nd worst meal of the trip – the local food offerings around here are dismal!

That’s all for now

25 September 2015

We rode through Colombo, stopping in at the office on the way for another breakfast meeting. We were served, among other things, wood apple smoothie which tasted surprisingly delicious. Wood apples are loved by Sri Lankans and are on sale everywhere from roadside stalls and shops. They are pale and mottled with a very hard outer shell and brownish flesh that looks and smells unenticing. It’s all a matter of the correct presentation!

A potholed and bumpy road took us north out of the city, then on to a smooth concrete road along the coast between the sea and the Negombo Lagoon.

We are now back where we started in Negombo. Tomorrow the bikes will go back into the bags and we will be heading home.

Our holiday in Sri Lanka has been wonderful. See you all soon!

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Our route:

Viking Line

4 August 2018

Stockholm to Turku, Finland by ferry

A slightly cool breeze blew as we boarded the Viking Line ferry, Grace, this morning.

Our long (11 hours) ferry ride was impressive in many ways. The scenery was amazing as we passed thousands of rocky islands of all sizes, some with little room to spare on either side of the boat. Any that are large enough are inhabited.

The ferry provides for everyone. You can begin on your first beer just after boarding at 7.45am! There are several levels of cabins and reserved seating which we did not use. There are bars, cafes and an all you can eat buffet where patrons are requested to avoid food waste and ‘eat as much as you desire but only fill up your plate with what you bare (sic) to eat’. There is also a casino, pokies, night club with live band (open during the daytime), bingo, children’s entertainment, on deck pedal car track and Twister game and duty free shopping.

The ferry called in at Mariehamn (nicely executed 3 point turn to back in to the ramp) and that was when we found out that Åland is in Finland, not Sweden. On board we observed several Finnish Roma, indentifiable by their distinctive clothing – the women wear long velvet skirts with a kind of hoop just below waist level that give them an unusal line!

We arrived in Turku at 7pm and found a lively riverside beer and food festival in progress.

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