Galle Sri Lanka

Trip Start Sep 19, 2010
Trip End Sep 19, 2011

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Thursday, February 3, 2011

11Th Jan
    We Arrived back in Kandy after driving back from Sigiria. We noticed straight away that Kandy had also suffered due to the weather. There were multiple landslides that had occurred around the city and several roads had been effected. The rain had really taken its toll on Sri Lanka. I'm pleased to say we have seen no more rain in our time here.
 We stayed once again at the Comfort hotel. We liked it here as it had a great balcony and free Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi is a very rare thing in this country. That is the reason for the long gaps between blogs. I would imagine it will be even harder to find it in Burma, but we shall see. As it happens I have worked out a way of writing blogs to Email and saving them to draft and in this way I can copy them over when I get the internet again. Meaning I can still write blogs, not only when I have the net. Clever eh ?
  Kandy was still overcast and we decided to head for the south coast the next day. Our destination of choice was a place called Galle. We wandered around Kandy and that evening and had a slap up Sri lankan rice and curry. Everywhere else in the world it is curry and rice but here it is rice and curry, most curious. We have had rice and curry most days and I must say they are very good. You usually get about three to four different curries mostly veggie with lashings of rice and of course plenty of Papadoms. I would kill for a steak pie right now though, ha ha.
  We got the 10:30 AM train to Colombo the next morning and settled into the 3 hour ride down to the Capital. From here we had a 2 hour wait for the train down the coast to Galle ( pronounced Gaul ). The train was packed and Cathy and I had to sit separate but at least we had seats!! This train literally hugs the coast most of the way down and we got our first glimpses of Sri Lanka's famed beaches. Even from the train you could tell they were stunning, and what's more how many there was. All of the west coast down from Colombo seemed to be beaches. So it made for a pleasant ride just looking out at the scenery.
    We arrived at sunset having not booked any accommodation in advance. As soon as we left the station we were approached as usual by a SHARK as I call them. These are people who befriend you, say they can help you and end up charging the earth for their  services. This last bit I call the STING. So we fobbed him off in no uncertain fashion. But he was very persistent and we had no idea where to go because we had no guide book yet for Sri Lanka. He promised us he would take us to a guesthouse in the fort for Rs 100. I said it would be only Rs 100 and that was final. He was as good as his word and delivered us to a nice little place right within the fort walls. We were charged Rs 3500 for our room, That's 20, so it was over budget really. With our change in circumstances and our need to return home with as much cash as possible, we would have to change our ways!! We would have to become Backpackers and not Flashpackers. We dumped our bags and headed out for some food, yes more rice and curry. We arranged another hotel for the next day at the price of Rs 3000, well it's a start! Then turned in for the night.
Bright and early the next morning and it was bright thank God!, we headed out to explore Galle fort in which we were staying. Galle fort was first built by the Portuguese and substantially enlarged by the Dutch in 1667 and a lot of the buildings within the walls are the original Dutch ones. The walls of the Fort were so well constructed that when the 2004 Tsunami struck, not one building in the fort was so much as even splashed. The town of Galle however was not so fortunate and was completely devastated. A waiter at a restaurant in the fort that night showed us pictures he took of Galle bus station straight after the Tsunami and the devastation it showed was mind boggling. I forget how many Sri Lankans perished in the Tsunami but it was up in the tens of thousands. In the weeks to come we would be visiting a lot of the areas worst effected by the massive Tsunami.
  We ended up walking the whole length of the battlements and it was a beautiful walk. Galle fort also has some wonderful eating places and we ate well while we were there. We headed into Galle town itself and found that there was really nothing worth seeing there. We enjoyed our time in Galle fort wandering around those old Colonial white washed Streets.
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