A Dutch-Sri Lankan-Italian kinda day

Trip Start Mar 30, 2013
Trip End Oct 10, 2013

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Where I stayed
Thenu Rest Guest House Galle
Read my review - 5/5 stars

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Thursday, April 25, 2013

The heat of Sri Lanka's south coast drives us (or more accurately me, dragging Georgina) to get early starts for buses, sweating on a bus around midday isn't that fun.

We rocked up to Galle around 10.30am and got a taxi (a tuk tuk, but the name has mysteriously changed in Galle) into Galle Fort. It was a bit like stepping out of reality. The Dutch-colonial architecture, along with full fortifying walls was a far cry from the usual jumble of buildings in Sri Lankan towns. Furthermore, the place was deserted.

After some haggling by Georgina (she may suck at early starts, but excels at getting bargains) we got ourselves a nice room near the lighthouse.

Setting off for a wander, we found the place continued the feel of eerily European, we figured out why everything was closed and deserted: Poya day. Full moon marks the opportunity for yet another day off for Sri Lankans.

We wandered the empty streets, strolled along the town walls, took snaps of oddities. A quick trip to Galle new town revealed a more normal Sri Lankan hub of activity. Also home to the most crazy bus station we've encountered: a sight by itself, even on Poya Day, a mess of buses crammed into every space, 'taxis' lined up in ranks, pedestrians risking life and limb to cross the busy roads, and street vendors in every form hawked their goods.

Back in Galle Fort, the sleepy town had woken up some what. Many Sri Lankans were crowding the walls, walking, sitting, eating ice creams. A crowd of teens played cricket in an empty car park, a few stands had materialised selling fresh roti, wadi, peanuts and ice cream. It was a party like atmosphere, people just kicking back, enjoying the weather and the free time.

We shared a pizza for lunch and washed it down with some ice cream: a scoop of coconut and a scoop of passion fruit... yum! We'll go back to Sri Lankan food tomorrow, I promise! But it was nice for a change.

Clouds crept over the sun, offering some relief from the heat. Setting ourselves up on the battlements, we got front row seats for what we were told was a fantastic sunset. Below us, outside the walls, a fierce cricket match/rave was going on, a combination I'd never come across, but the Sri Lankans seemed to be pulling it off!

The sun set was pretty spectacular, the clouds texturing the sky, the sea turning orange in the wake of the sun. Small swifts swished and dived in the air, effortlessly flying through the cooling air. 

Picking up rice and curry (told you we'd go back to it!) at a really cool cafe: Serendipity Art Cafe, we stuffed ourselves silly.

On the walk back, lightning lit up the sky miles away, but there was no trace of wind or echo of thunder. Opposite our guest house, a large tree was full of raucous noise and rustling. Fruit bats! Gorging themselves and chattering in delight. Naturally at the sight of them, I was also chattering in delight!
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