Let's move on, lots more to see.
Trip Start Jan 08, 2014
36Trip End Apr 09, 2014
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What I did
Old Fort, Police Station, Lighthouse, Mosque.
I walked (rather briskly) past the old police barracks dated 1927and it was only later that I found out that it is in fact now the police training school which explains the immaculately turned out and very eager looking young police officers you see all over the place here. I must say that generally the police here are very well turned out and of a reasonable stature unlike some of the scruffy midgets I see disgracing the uniform of the London Metropolitan Police on a fairly regular basis.
After trying yet again to be arty by taking photos of a tree and failing fairly miserably, I came to the lighthouse.
"Whilst you are walking round the Fort area in Galle, you will certainly notice the lighthouse, it is certainly big enough at 26.5 metres. Unlike it's sister building in Colombo
this structure is still operational although it is nowhere near as old and, frankly, not quite as aesthetically pleasing. Nor is it anywhere near as old as the old Colombo light. Although an original structure wasbuilt on this site in 1848 it was destroyed by fire in 1934 and the
present light dates from 1939. I dread to think what might have happened to shipping in the intervening five years.
As it is still in commission, you cannot enter the building but it is still a notable landmark in the delightful World Heritage site of Galle Fort. Even if you cannot enter, it is certainly worth a photograph, which is just what I did.
Just across from the lighthouse is the local Mosque which actually doesn't look like one and more from my VT pages on this.
"It is not difficult to see that the Fort area in Galle is predominantly Muslim, particularly on Friday, the Islamic holy day when the citizens all seem to don traditional Islamic gear in order to go to Friday prayers. Even on other days of the week, the Islamic influence is very obvious and there are numerous buildings obviously associated with that faith. I even saw an Arabic College. I have sen these elsewhere and I am unsure as to to what their function might be, I suspect it may be for the teaching of the Arabic language, the better to facilitate reading of
Anyway, back to the Mosque. I knew from my guidebook that it was not open to non-believers and that is fair enough,I would never profane anyone else's religious beliefs but it did make me wonder why. I have been in mosques in other parts of the world and indeed been invited into them and treated with the utmost hospitality. I really am unsure if this is specific to this building, Sri Lanka in general or for some other reason but if I do discover the reason I shall
amend this tip accordingly. I am sure that Islamic travellers would be perfectly at liberty to enter for prayer or just to look around.
Beingof no religious faith I had to content myself with a photograph of whatis a fairly impressive building although t did strike me that architecturally it looked rather more like a European Christian church than a mosque. It is not of huge historical importance having only been built in 1904 on the site of the old structure dating to the mid 18th century but it is a pleasant building to look at and like the lighthouse (see separate tip) although inaccessible to me it was certainly worthy of a photograph before moving on."
As an added bonus, and at no extra charge dear reader, I shall throw in a photo of one of the lovely atrmospheric little streets that criss-cross the whole Fort area and that should suffice for this section but still lots more to see and do in the Fort including me indulging in my speciality of being seriously under-dressed. Again!