Oh My Galle! - Old World Heritage in Sri Lanka
August 28-30, 2012
After acclimatizing myself to Sri Lanka with Negombo and Colombo (stories for which shall remain un-blogged for now), I was prepared to be enthralled by one of Sri Lanka’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Galle.
Being a sucker for decomposing structures complete with peeling paint, worn-out wood (see Battambang and Luang Prabang), and cobblestone streets, it was not unlikely for me to fall in love with the look and feel of Galle in the southern coast of Sri Lanka.
[The Fort, which I imagine would be even more spectacular with an un-cloudy sunset]
[The Galle coastline]
[Me demonstrating how to pose like a tourist: Scenery, check! Sunglasses, check! Smile, check! :D]
I shan’t bore you with tedium of Galle’s colonial history in the hands of the Portuguese, Dutch and British (see how I still tried to inject some educational tidbits there? :P), but Galle is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites that is an actual functioning community, unlike the ancient cities up north that have been abandoned and left functioning only for the tourists.
Needless to say, Galle is also largely touristy, and expect to pay more tourist prices for food and accommodations, and well, tuk-tuks to other nearby “places to go”. (Though there is one place to get dirt cheap rotti and tea *wink*)
[View from my guesthouse’s rooftop]
On my second night, I also found out that it was the 17th birthday of Ishara, the daughter of the owner of the guesthouse I stayed at. I didn’t have much with me to give, but I’ve been carrying around my Punchdrunk Panda ring, waiting to give it to some local / traveler, and thought she would be the right candidate for this. :)
I believe she was pleasantly surprised by the gesture, and I was really pleased by her reaction as well. Especially since it afforded me some birthday cake. :)
Apart from being a popular destination for tourists exploring southern Sri Lanka, it is also, unsurprisingly, a popular wedding destination for Sri Lankans, and I probably saw 3-4 different couples for the duration of my 2-night weekday stay.
With old world charm of rundown structures, epic sunrises and sunsets, a beach, locals who decide to get married here warrant no questioning.
[Cliffside wedding photography at sunrise]
[The lighthouse before the sun came up]