Galle the Dutch fort and a world heritage site.

Trip Start Oct 03, 2009
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Trip End Feb 28, 2010


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Where I stayed
Hotel Weltevreden

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Sunday, January 17, 2010

This is pronounced 'gaul'. The old town is within the fort that has walls several feet thick. I was able to walk on them nearly all the way round. On the seaward side was a sheer drop and some lads were there who would leap into the water for some money. It looked very dangerous as there were rocks below and they had to pick the spot very carefully. I have no doubt that someono must have been injured at some time. A very dangerous way to make a living.  Unfortunately for them there were few tourists about and the locals were not interested so not a good day for them. 

A kindly tuk tuk driver took me on a little walking tour of the narrow strees. We passed shops that had been in the family for generations. Some were selling silver and precious stones for whcih Sri Lanka is famous. Jewellery making is a speciality and there were some very nice pieces but all outside my price range. After a while we arrived at a little stall in the back streets. I don't think that many tourists came to this part of the town. We passed a gym owned by his mother and on the other side of the road was a food stall belonging to his sister. I was tiny with only a couple of tables. They brought me a bowl to wash my hands, and when the curry and rice arrived I had to use my fingers to eat it as there was no cutlery. Everyone else did the same. I offered to buy my guide some food but he declined.

There were several very old buildings which in their time must have been very nice. Obviously the wealthy would have lived here. On the fort walls were several places where there were gun placements but I have no idea of the full history of this place.The Dutch were the original builders of the fort and there is a  Dutch church dating from 1754. I stayed in a former Dutch villa


By the former main gate is a clocktower which features in the photos of this town. From that part of the fortifications its possible to look down on the international cricket ground which is across the road. I can imagine that on match days the old walls would be packed with non paying spectators. I watched a match between 2 public schools and was impressed by the standard of cricket . No wonder Sri Lanka were world champions not so long ago.

From the old railway station I took a train north to the  ' cultural triangle ' of Sri Lanka. Anuradhapura is the former old capital which is only 300 kms away but it took the train all day to reach it. I got a 2nd class ticket but no seat allocation so it was a free for all when the train arrived.. The seats were hard and it was hot inside. The small ceiling fans  were largely ineffective. Every time we came to a station several a venders got on to entice us with their goods. One could eat very cheaply ( if you had the money ) and need not go hungry. r cW 

There is a lot to see in Anuradhapura and I will need a guide
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