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A Concise History of Sri Lanka »

Ayubowan, Sri Lanka!

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Sri Lanka, the pendant-shaped jewel hanging off the earlobe of India, has had a number of names throughout its long history. Under British rule, the island was known as Ceylon. Arabs called it Serendib, the origin of the word serendipity, which hints at its beauty. And for a span of three months, Jürgen and I would be referring to it as “home”.

Colombo

Our flight from New York City left on the evening of January 31st, but we didn’t touch down in Sri Lanka until the morning of February 2nd. The time difference is ten and a half hours, and the distance about 9000 miles. Stinking, half-conscious sweat-zombies, we collapsed into a waiting taxi and embarked on a noisy 90-minute drive from Negombo to Colombo, the island’s capital.

Though it’s only about the size of West Virginia, Sri Lanka is home to over 22 million souls. Sinhalese Buddhists, Hindu Tamils, Christians and Muslims share the land in an unsteady peace: a twenty-six year civil war waged between the Sinhalese-majority government and the Tamil Tigers (LTTE) of the north only ended in May, 2009. The ethnic diversity is reflected in the island’s nature. Flat lowlands surround a mountainous center, and the nation boasts rain forests, pristine beaches, ancient temples and a richly diverse wildlife. A little piece of paradise in the Indian Ocean.

In order to do justice to Sri Lanka, we decided to roam about the island instead of dedicating all 91 days to a specific city. Though we were viciously jet-lagged on arriving, we wasted no time and went out to explore Colombo the very same morning… sleeping could wait; there was a whole new country waiting to be discovered!

Make sure to follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and subscribe to our RSS feed or newsletter. We love hearing from readers, so please get in touch with us via comments, our contact form or email. And if you’re from Sri Lanka, or know the island well, we’re always on the lookout for great tips and advice. Don’t hesitate to write!

Chucky, 2001-2012
French Bulldog

Before arriving, we spent a difficult couple weeks in the USA. We had to say goodbye to our ten-year-old French Bulldog Chucky, who had developed cancer. Our little co-adventurer, Chucky had been around the world with us, from Europe to North and South America. I’m not certain she really “loved” travel like we do… in fact, I’m rather sure she didn’t. But she was a trooper until the end, and we miss her terribly. So it’s up to Sri Lanka to distract us, and get our minds on happier things.

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February 6, 2012 at 5:52 am
19 comments »
  • February 6, 2012 at 8:04 amgaetano lo nigro

    Good picture folks, please update constantly your lovely blog, I think Sri Lanka has a lots of thing to see(never been there but hopefully one day).

    • February 12, 2012 at 10:59 amJuergen

      Thank you .. and I think in the 3 month here we will experience many different incredible things.

  • February 6, 2012 at 8:55 amza za

    Welcome to Sri Lanka… Awesome Post!

    • February 12, 2012 at 10:58 amJuergen

      Thank you!!! We are having a blast!

  • February 6, 2012 at 10:00 pmDaryle

    I look forward to reading about this new destination. I’ve been reading since your time in Oviedo, and have learned a ton and enjoyed your photos. Thanks for the great blog!

    • February 12, 2012 at 10:57 amJuergen

      So cool to hear that you have been a long time readers. How did you find out about us? Thank for reading!!!

  • February 7, 2012 at 10:15 amTiffany

    Sounds fascinating!  I love the pictures so far, and look forward to being updated 🙂  Oh, found you guys via http://www.neverendingvoyage.com/Is this your first visit to this part of the world?  We’re headed to SE Asia soon and are still doing research on what to see and do.  I’d love to know if you’ve been to Bali!Happy travels!

    • February 12, 2012 at 10:56 amJuergen

      Thank you for stopping by. We have been to Hong Kong, Macau, Shenzhen and Bejing before but not as part of our travel blog. We considered Bali but chose Sri Lanka instead.

  • February 7, 2012 at 12:31 pmelpariente

    I was anxious to start this new travel to Sri Lanka I was there 35 years ago and it will be a very different world To follow your pages is a great way to travel Thank you !!!!

    • February 12, 2012 at 10:55 amJuergen

      Wow …35 years ago! The island must have changed a lot during that time. What is your favorite memory of your visit?

  • February 12, 2012 at 6:52 amrandeer

    Ayubowan ! Welcome to srilanka 🙂 enjoy !!!

    • February 12, 2012 at 10:53 amJuergen

      Thank you … ! We are having an incredible time here. Please share some tips or contacts if you like. We will be here until the end of April.

  • April 23, 2013 at 12:46 amGen Roney

    Awesome Pictures!  Loved perusing through your travels, as I am from Colombo, SL. St. Lucias Cathedral was my parish church in Kotahena.  Currently residing in the US. (MI) Can’t wait to go back there again!!! Welcome to Sri Lanka! Enjoy your stay and post many more.

  • June 10, 2013 at 3:19 amLyn

    Hi there. Where are you guys now. I found your website while looking for blogs for Sri LankaWe are off there in seven weeks time, and I would love to see more of what you experienced. But the blog seems to finish in 2012.  Can you direct me to the write up of your trip. Thanks

    • June 10, 2013 at 5:30 amMike Powell

      Yeah, we only stay in each place for 91 days. Sri Lanka was from February to May, 2012. We just finished our stay in Istanbul (http://istanbul.for91days.com) and are soon moving on to Iceland.

  • February 2, 2014 at 7:57 amVindya

    Beautiful pictures!I was wondering where the picture of the spiral staircase with no railings was taken. I am an architecture student and I recognise most of these locations. Great camera work!Thanks

  • June 16, 2015 at 3:40 amNicolaas

    Hey guysI am considering taking a hostel job in Colombo for a few months and I was wondering if you guys have some tips for me? Do you guys feel it is worth it to go and live there for a few months? Is there enough to do or to experience? I was just wondering about the daily life in general there.

    • June 16, 2015 at 2:41 pmMike Powell

      Sure, we can recommend Sri Lanka for a few months! It’s definitely worth it… especially if you’ll have some time to explore the rest of the island. It’s a paradise 🙂


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Ayubowan, Sri Lanka! Sri Lanka, the pendant-shaped jewel hanging off the earlobe of India, has had a number of names throughout its long history. Under British rule, the island was known as Ceylon. Arabs called it Serendib, the origin of the word serendipity, which hints at its beauty. And for a span of three months, Jrgen and I would be referring to it as "home".
For 91 Days