We left Dubai at 10am and arrived in Colombo 4 ½ hours later. The airport is about an hour away from the main city and we’d arranged for the hotel to pick us up.
We had heard many things about Colombo, not many positive. Most advice centred on get out of their pretty sharpish. It isn’t a pretty city nor is there that much to do. However we opted to ignore all of that good advice and decided on staying two nights at the Metro City Hotel.
It should have been called the Metro City Prison. We arrived to a hostile, dark, concrete Custody desk and were assigned our cell. We were given our prison numbers and orange overalls to wear. We could gather our possessions when we checked out.
We entered the cell and immediately knew this wasn’t the place for Julie and I. We thought we were going on honeymoon. Surely there had been a mistake Officer? But no, there hadn’t.
We decided to get out for the night and grab a couple of drinks in the Galle Face Hotel, a Nilhan recommendation and iconic seafront colonial landmark.
We went into the pub, The In on the Green, drank Lion Lager, listened to La Bambalaya covers by a local band and did some classic agency networking with a senior exec from McCann India. You can take the boy out of media but can’t take media out of the boy.
Or so they say.
A few beers in, confidence high Julie announced there is no way we are staying there for more than one night and we should try and escape the next morning.
We had booked two nights, and we knew they would try and make us pay. But they didn’t bank on Julie. She put them right and as 7am ticked over we were on a tuk-tuk bound for Colombo Fort station and a train to Kandy.