Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Mount Lavinia Getaway

After nearly three days of being cooped up in the apartment because of my food poisoning, Chris thought it would be a good idea if we got out of the apartment and out of the city. Destination, Mount Lavinia, about 20 minutes south of here. We can literally see Mount Lavinia from our apartment.

It's home to the old Mount Lavinia Hotel that used to be the Governor's palace at one time. It was also used the hospital scene in the movie 'Bridge on the River Kwai'.

We packed up and I thought we would take a taxi there. I called and asked that they pick us up in about an hour.

Now, I have to back track a little. In Montevideo (Uruguay) I dialed a 3 digit number, an automated system gave your address and asked if you wanted a taxi dispatched to that address, press 1. In a few seconds it would tell you which taxi was on it's way and give it's time as 2 to 3 minutes. Within that time I could look out the window as see the taxi pull up or ask the portero (Doorman) to call me when it arrived, but usually they are so quick I would just go downstairs and there they were.

Fast forward to Colombo. I asked for taxi at 1:00pm, we went out front of the building at 12;55, I was surprised I received a text message indicating that a taxi had been dispatched, the color and license plate of the car. 1:00pm, comes and goes. 1:10 comes and goes, 1:15, comes and goes. At 1:20 I text the cab company to cancel the cab and we take a trishaw.

Now Chris had seen some specials on for the hotel on their web site but we decided to go through the company travel agent as there was a company discount. I called the travel agent and he made reservations and said they would try to upgrade us upon arrival.

The trip there wasn't so bad, heavy traffic getting out of Colombo but that was expected.

We arrived at the hotel and checked in and was brought to our room, major disappointment. A regular room in the old wing. One wing has been refurbished the other is still outdated. Well, it was just for a night so no problem.

We changed into beach wear and went down to the beach, or what was left of it. The waves were huge and crashing one after the other. The beach was about half the size we remembered it from our last visit. It was also very windy. There was absolutely no way I was going in the water and even though there was plenty of vacant beach cabana's Chris wasn't going to hang out there, off to the pool.

Lots of European tourists at the hotel and quite a few Sri Lankan (Because of a local holiday). Really don't understand why anybody would vacation in Mount Lavinia, there is nothing to do.

Went to the pool and had the pool attendant move some lounge chairs to a nice spot on the pool deck and bring us some towels. So far so good, until I heard Chris scream along with everyone else at the pool. A crow left her a "present" on her leg, yech, fortunately a waiter was quick with some napkins. I told her it was good luck!

Next came lunch, I ordered a burger which surprisingly wasn't that bad, Chris had a panini. All the while the crows were forming a small army waiting for a chance to grab a french fry.

The staff was beginning to get ready for dinner service but placing table clothes on the pool side tables and the sun was just beginning to set, we decided to go back to the room.

Then came dinner. The nice thing about the restaurant is that you can eat outside at the pool deck, under the veranda and get kind of the best of both worlds or more formal inside the dining room, we opted for the veranda.

I was excited to try out the Vietnamese soup and the Korean beef and kim chi. I was surprised to see it on the menu.

The soup was not what I expected at all, it might be Vietnamese somewhere in Vietnam, but I doubt it. The Korean meal was even worse. First the cucumber "kimchi" was just chunks of cucumbers with goat cheese, what! And the "Korean beef" was some horrible stuff on skewers, Korean's don't serve meat on skewers. I called the waiter over and complained who called the manager over. I explained why I was not happy, still not sure he understood. They deducted it my bill. For whatever reason I ordered strawberry's and cream, they were half ripe at best, I was tired of complaining and ate them.

All the while Chris ate from the buffet, I wanted to stay away from the buffet, but now regretted that decision.

The next morning Chris felt sick, I went to breakfast by myself. It was okay, I've had much better.

We checked out early and grabbed a trishaw home.

Opened the apartment door and see a broken vase on the floor. One of our cats, "Feral", that likes to munch on plant leaves apparently knocked it down, fortunately not a big mess.

Overall good intention but bad choice of getaway.

(Note about the picture: You can see how windy it is. This is looking towards Colombo. We can just barely make out our apartment from the hotel).

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