Trip Start Jul 02, 2008
60Trip End Jun 19, 2009
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I am sooooo glad to be in Sri Lanka. It is so much cleaner than India, but that's not saying much, and the people are super friendly. So far I have not seen any public urination, no spitting, and no farting/burping/picking of the nose in public, all of which you see/smell/hear about 30 times a day in India. The people in Sri Lanka look similar, dress similar, and have similar religious beliefs to those in India, but this is a completely different world...and I love it!
The first day was mostly a tiring travel day. I took an auto-rickshaw to the Chennai airport at 5:30 in the morning just to find out the 1 hour 10 minute flight was delayed about two and a half hours. From the airport in Colombo, Sri Lanka I took a taxi to the main bus station where I hopped on a bus to Hikkaduwa, which is about 2 hours south. I checked into a lovely guesthouse/bungalow right on the beach then walked to the dive shop to get sorted for diving the next day. Unfortunately the ocean has been too rough and no dive boats have been going out the last week or so. Oh I was so upset. I decided that since Hikkaduwa is so close to Colombo, I would just come back at the end of my trip to dive.
So in the morning I took the bus to Galle, about 30 minutes down the coast. Much of Galle, the old part that is, lies inside the Galle Fort which was built by the Dutch in 1663. There are about 400 houses inside the fort, many businesses, administrative offices, courts, etc. It's like it's own little community. The owner of my guesthouse said they rarely have to leave the fort, everything they need is here.
I decided to walk around the perimeter of the fort, which is probably two miles total. For most of the walk you can actually walk on the fort wall. Here are some pics from the walk.
Just a random pic from outside the fort walls.
The next day I took the bus back past Hikkaduwa to an area that was severly damaged by the tsunami. Supposedly at kilometer 95 on the main road there's a memorial for a train that was taken adrift by the flooding and about 1500 passengers died. I heard you can see the train cars still in the same spot where they were found after the tsunami, but they were nowhere to be found. After asking some people, it's believed that the train cars were taken to Colombo, maybe put in a museum? However, there was a different memorial for this same train incident that I found down the road a bit.
In the same area there was a giant Buddha Statue given by a Japanese organization as a another memorial to all of the victims of the tsunami.
Tomorrow I think I'll be leaving for Unawatuna, another small beach town about 10 minutes away!
I hope you are well.
Where I stayed