Travel Reports



I had left Switzerland on March 10th with mixed feelings.  On February 22nd Sri Lanka had celebrated the fifth anniversary of the ceasefire (4,000 killed during the last 14 months) and both sides had made massive threats.

Plattfuss und Radwechsel


Michel was not able to accompany me and I met two dear friends in Frankfurt, who also suffer from the “Sri Lanka virus”.  We started our trip in Colombo.  While I stayed behind to visit our friends, they proceeded to their holiday destination.

There was not much change in Colombo since September:  high army presence;  hardly any tourists;  and very little traffic on the streets.

Victor my driver had advised to take the inland route to Hambantota and it was to become a very long journey.  It was very strange to drive on a road where on both sides every five hundred meters, heavily armed soldiers were standing guard;  and to have to pass several roadblocks.  I only had seen that in the north, right after the ceasefire had come into effect.

So far, there had been no visible effects of the war in the west and south of the country, especially not to tourists.  Also, there had never been any control for vehicles transporting tourists.

This visit my passport had been looked at from all angles and at the time, some 40 kilometers from the capital, the roadblocks had become less, as a tropical storm had started. 


Around 6 p.m. night falls in Sri Lanka.  It not only gets dark.  It gets black.  There are no streetlights and most houses in rural areas do not have electricity.

The improperly lit vehicles added to the difficulties of driving in the dark.  A small little light somewhere up in the air became the corner of a big truck when we were only 20 meters apart.  Some motorbikes turned into vehicles with only one working light.  And needless to say, we passed many bicycles without lights at all.

We arrived at the rest house in Hambantota completely exhausted, only to find out that they were fully booked!  I had not even considered this possibility as the number of tourists was even lower than right after the tsunami.

They had started with the construction of the deep water harbor and the rooms were occupied by local contractors.  After some back and forth, they were finally able to provide a room for me, but for one night only.

I had hesitated to accept Zariya`s invitation to her house.  Knowing that they would go far out of their way to host me and that I would turn their lives upside down had made me turn the generous offer down.

I felt extremely uncomfortable among all those men especially since they have strange ideas about women traveling on their own.  It was also not part of my nature to scamper along the walls with my eyes to the floor.

Michel`s “offer” by SMS to come and kill them all if they would bother me in any way was funny but not very reassuring.  I felt much better at the time I had moved an extremely heavy table in front of my door and had been able at the same time to get hold of a huge cockroach I had disturbed. 

Wasserfall im Süden des Landes

Palmen im Nebel

Kasten als Sicherheit vor der TürTürsicherung mit einem Seil










Welcher Schlüssel passt vielleicht ?


















The next morning the Manager told me that he would be able to provide me with a room in the other wing of the guesthouse, as a reservation had been canceled.

I moved to the new room to find that the door opened into the hallway and therefore would be much more difficult to secure during the night.  Well, first of all the door did not open at all.  Three (!) employees of the hotel were digging around the keyhole with a screwdriver and were choosing from a box with roughly two dozen keys the one that worked best.  The others were thrown back into the box………….


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