Jehan the host

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Jehan is our host in Colombo, Sri Lanka.  He attended Wooster University in Ohio which is where he met Julie. Apparently Julie promised to visit him one day and although it took nearly 25 years, Julie is here to visit her old college buddy.  I am along for the ride which has been already unbelievable midway through day two.

imageJehan had a wonderful butler/house manager in Raja who is pictured opening the front door.  His personal cook Yamana is equally wonderful and not only prepares great coffee, but a unique and delicious shredded coconut side dish mixed with chilli powder, green chilies, onion, salt and pepper.  You can eat it with bread or do what I did this morning; sprinkle it on my eggs.  Finally, Jehan has a fabulous driver in Gammagay….I have endured a lot of different traffic patterns in many parts of the world and the driving here in Colombo is by Farr the most insane that I have experienced!

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What time change???

imageSpent a day drinking and eating authentic German food during 8.5 hour layover in Frankfurt. Our flight to Sri Lanka was delayed a few hours which made it challenging to stay up.

imageOnce we boarded the flight from Frankfurt to Colombo, it was 10 pm in Frankfurt and necessary to sleep as much as possible during the 9.5 hour flight to Colombo. Sleep came pretty easily and we arrived at the Sri Lanka airport just before noon. Jehan and his driver picked us up and we went to his beautiful home for a much needed shower. Afterwards we had an authentic Sri Lankan lunch and Jehan had to keep us awake.  So to accomplish that, we went to visit his rugby club and then for a wonderful dinner of cuttlefish (squid) and garlic prawns at a place where we could soak our feet in the Indian Ocean.

I would like to order a Frankfurt please…

frankfurtMidway through the travel days to Sri Lanka finds me in Frankfurt, Germany for an eight-hour or so  layover.  The 8.5 hour flight from Washington D.C. brings us to Frankfurt at 11:40 am; since it is 826-03890533critical to stay awake prior to the 7:50 pm departure to Colombo, Sri Lanka (9 hour, 20 minute flight), a quick cab ride puts us in downtown Frankfurt to experience the Christmas lights. Oh yeah, and they have beer, lots of it.  Who needs Ambien for the last leg of travel when you can experience Deutschland via liquid lunch/dinner?  Prost und Gute Nacht!!!!

Change in planes, change in plans…

Those of you who have subscribed to this blog may be really confused with a premature blog post that went out at around 3:30 am this morning.  Well, it was 3:30 am, I was supposed to be in Chicago, and I was supposed to publish the blog post once I was physically at O’Hare.  Obviously, while still half asleep, I accidentally hit PUBLISH at 0’dark thirty this morning.  Anyways, travel plans can change at any time and they did this morning.

A text from Julie at 3:15 am indicated a change in our itinerary, with a bonus day in St. Louis.  My trip will actually start at 5:50 pm early this evening,  flying directly to Dulles Airport in Washington D.C. and catching another flight less than an hour later to Frankfurt, Germany.  No worries as the arrival to Frankfurt is around noon, landing way ahead of our originally scheduled flight to Colombo.  The scheduled flying time from Dulles to  Frankfurt remains a little over 8 hours which should still give Julie Rivinus plenty of time to finish beta testing her new App called “Eau De LAL” (Entertaining A.U. During Extreme Long-Ass Layover. You see, upon arrival to Deutschland at 11:40 am, there will still be eight hours to kill before our scheduled departure time of 7:50 pm to Colombo, Sri Lanka. Hmmm, how many times will I say “Kann ich noch ein Bier bitte?”

Colombo, Sri Lanka – My First Adventure in 2013

map-of-sri-lankaThis New Year’s Eve, I will be welcoming 2013 on the other side of the world in Sri Lanka, 12.5 hours ahead of my friends in St. Louis, MO. Sri Lanka is an island country in the northern Indian Ocean off the southern coast of India. Often referred to as the “tear drop of India” because of its shape and location, it is also known as the nation of smiling people.  The island consists mainly of flat-to-rolling coastal plains, with mountains rising in the south central part. Average daily temperature ranges from 82 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit.

asian-elephant_449_600x450Although the country is relatively small, it has the highest biodiversity per 10,000 square kilometers in Asia. Declared wildlife reserves are home to a wide range of native species including Asian elephants, leopards, the endangered wild boar, porcupines, anteaters, and the purple-faced langur. Sri Lanka is famous for its production and export of cinnamon and Ceylon tea, which remains a trademark national export.

ceylon-tea-trails-lThis travel opportunity came up via Julie Rivinus who expressed an interest to go to Sri Lanka to visit her college friend Jehan.  I immediately threw my hat in the ring only to have to go home to pull out my World Atlas to figure out the actual location of Sri Lanka.  My adventure starts December 28, 2012 with an approximately 2-day travel itinerary to Colombo, Sri Lanka via Toronto, Canada and Frankfurt, Germany. Looking forward to two weeks of what should be an amazing and exciting adventure!