Trip Start Jan 07, 2011
Trip End Mar 18, 2011

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Where I stayed
Hotel Weltervreden

Flag of Sri Lanka  , South West,
Friday, January 14, 2011

Up at 4am to catch the 5am train from Anuradhapura to Galle via Colombo (8 hours). 2nd class gives you a comfy seat and an opening window, all the better to watch the world go by. There was plenty of commotion when a Polish couple sitting by the door had a bag snatched as the train was pulling out of a rural station. The thief skipped across the tracks with his hands full of Polish currency and mobile phone leaving it's owner distraught and hysterical. We offered to help with money but they were OK and the local people helped by phoning the police. Lesson, don't sit by a door, and keep hold of your valuables.

At last it's sunny. The old fort walls survive with green walkways all the way around. Lovely views of the coast & lighthouse. The streets within the fort area are full of old Dutch villas & English churches. We stayed at Hotel Weltevreden run by an elderly Sri Lankan man. The basic but comfy rooms come off a pretty courtyard garden. Choices of eateries are limited to rip off tourist places within the fort area. You have to go out into the real bit of town for cheap food, although we did find a new little business called Eatmore Restaurant run by three young lads who were turning out great local food and reasonable prices.

There is a cricket stadium on the edge of the fort and the England under 19s were there as rain had stopped play in Dambulla. Great for us as we get to see a day's play and the following day getting off the bus from Unawatuna beach we catch the end of the game over a cup of tea on the terrace, very civilised. The game was a draw but we were there cheering our lads on.
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