1st - 5th February

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Where I stayed
Seagreen Guesthouse

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Tuesday, February 1, 2011

We arrived in Colombo and as we were exhausted from a very early morning flight, negotiated the price for a taxi to take us south to Galle. Four and a half hours later, we arrived in Fort Galle, the old city of Galle contained within the original fort walls, built and added on to over time by the Portuguese, the Dutch and the British and within the old town there is evidence of the colonial rule of these three nations.  After all of our busy-ness and non-stop tourism in northern India, we have taken the more relaxed attitude of just wandering and enjoying soaking up the atmosphere of places, none less so than in Fort Galle.  It's a small community with arty little cafés and shops and wonderful old churches, government buildings, temples and mosques.  But one is continually drawn to walking along the ramparts watching the sea bash against the rocks far below and the spectacle of the sun setting each evening.  The small streets are lined with frangipani trees whose sweet fragrance lends an additional romanticism to the town.  I could not get my fill of the aroma of the frangipani, something ethereal and delicious, which you wanted to breathe in forever!

Whilst in Fort Galle, we easily fell into the village life:  we’d watch the local school girls in their pristine white uniforms, their long black hair in neat plaits with red ribbons, playing schoolyard games; local school boys in the school’s band marching through the streets as they practised for the Independence Day festivities on the 4th of February; families picnicking on the slopes of the ramparts, while fathers, brothers, uncles, nephews and cousins all played round after round of cricket; children flying kites from the ramparts; monks standing watching the cricket from the temple steps with their shaved heads and saffron orange robes; groups of Muslim students clothed all in white with white turbans making their way from the mosque across the street to the madressa; sitting in cafés drinking lime sodas while browsing through the local books; exploring the Dutch Reformed church’s small cemetery, which also served as a British Anglican church and had a fascinating mix of old 17th-18th century gravestones, as well as 19th century British gravestones. 

Fort Galle is a splendid small town where we both felt at ease and where we agreed we could easily live for awhile, not least as the Sri Lankans are so welcoming and friendly, always with an easy smile.  A big change from the surliness of the north Indians.
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Comments

michael sloan on

Alright you've convinced me I want to go to Sri Lanka. I've heard good reports but none as inspiring as yours. thanks for all the beautiful photos

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