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Archive for the ‘Galle’ Category

Matara

Time to wrap up my time in Sri Lanka!  I did a ton of traveling in my last few months.  The new southern highway made it so much easier to go South, which meant that I was there more in my last four months in Sri Lanka than I was during the previous year and a half.  Win!

I became obsessed with passion fruit over the last few months.  This tasty concoction was at the Fortress.  I think it was iced tea, lemonade, and passion fruit juice.  Tasty, but very sweet.

Passionate Fruit Juice at the Fortress

One of my favorite spots–Dondra Lighthouse!

Sri Lankan coast from Dondra Lighthouse

These Buddhist monks at Pigeon Island Temple in Matara were wholly unimpressed that I spoke Sinhala, even after I told them that I learned from a fellow hamuduruwo.

Pigeon Island Temple in Matara

There’s not much left of the Matara Fort, but what is there is well-preserved.

Matara Fort

This mosque is right of off Galle Road.  It’s beautiful.

Matara Mosque

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Down South

The opening of the Colombo-Galle highway has revolutionized a trip down south in Sri Lanka.  But when you’re not pressed for time and can leave Colombo early in the morning, it’s still worth driving south on Galle Road so that you can stop at whatever catches your fancy.  Here’s the conclusion of our family adventure.

Sea turtles near Bentota are definitely worth a stop.  We chose the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project.  If you’re driving too fast you’ll miss it.  They have a few different varieties of turtles and they let you hold the baby ones for a hot second.  Too cute!

The Albino Turtle (I think?)

Near Amabalangoda, home of the famous/infamous Sri Lankan masks, we stumbled upon a Buddhist temple that had previously been a church–either Anglican or Dutch Reform, I believe–and I swear it looked like a Hindu temple, too.  But it’s all Buddhist now.

Just coming from church...errr, or temple.

One of our favorite parts of the trip was watching these guys pull the catch of the day in from the sea.  It’s a HUGE net.  I mean, really big.  And it can apparently take hours to pull the net in from the sea.  Supposedly everyone who helps can take one or two fish home for dinner.  Seems like a fair trade since this is hard work.

The long haul: pulling in the net.

Fresh Catch

The fam and I had a great trip in Sri Lanka.  I’m so happy they were able to visit and see what my life is like here.  And I’m proud of them for not going too crazy with the traffic and the hit or miss food at the hotels.  Chocolate mousse anyone?

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Dondra, Matara and Thereabouts

On the same trip, my friend and I stayed near Matara at Talalla Retreat.  It’s a lovely hotel and one I can’t wait to go back for a second time.

Fishing Boats

Climbing the Dondra Lighthouse has been one of my favorite Sri Lanka things.  I’m not sure why, but the amazing views from the top sure are impressive.  Dondra is the southern-most point in Sri Lanka.  Now I just have to get to the Northern-most point.

Dondra Lighthouse

View from Dondra Lighthouse

And then on our way back to Colombo we stumbled upon Sri Lanka’s famous fisherman on stilts.  I thought they only did this for the tourists, but we drove by them way too early for this to be for the tourists and no one was around trying to take our money.  Who knew?

Sri Lanka's Stilt Fishermen

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Galle Fort

My friend and I took a trip to Galle and Matara over the July 4th weekend.  I hadn’t walked around Galle Fort much before and it was fun to explore the small streets and visit the boutique shops, like Kahanda Kanda (more on my amazing stay at Kahanda Kanda in a later post).  The architecture in Galle Fort is also impressive, from the Dutch Reformed Churches to the Mosques to the British colonial buildings to the Portuguese wall built around the fort itself.

Portuguese Influence

More Portuguese influence…although I’m not sure this is really from their time.

Sri Lankan Influence at Pedlar’s Inn Cafe

Ice Tea at Galle Fort Boutique Hotel. All Sri Lanka, with a little bit of British thrown in there for good measure.

Edited to include this picture from Galle Fort, too!  Taken on another trip, but it fits here.  Amangalla is a beautiful hotel in Galle Fort.  The decor is amazing and I’m sure staying there is fantastic…if you can afford it!  I loved this piece there.  Simple, yet elegant.

Dutch Chest at Amangalla

 

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Unawatuna

Continuing to catch up.  These pictures are from late September when I attended a friend’s wedding in Unawatuna.  Una, as those in the know call it, is a popular get away spot for those of us in Colombo.  Just past Galle, it takes roughly three to four hours to drive there.

The beach is small, but lovely, with a mix of locals and tourists catching some rays and cooling off in the water.  There are plenty of places to stay and eat in Unawatuna.  I stayed at Thaproban Beach House, which has been recently renovated so I was a happy camper (yeah for being clean!).

The various colors of the beach.

Palm Tree Shadows

Clear Water

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Galle

I made my first trip to Galle this past week.  I’m sure it will be one of many.  Galle is only about 119 km from Colombo, but it usually takes at least 3-4 hours to drive because of the traffic.  But at least you have a very nice view for the majority of the drive.  Once you arrive, the views get even better.

The view throughout the drive to Galle.

The view from Galle.

Galle Fort. Built by the Portugese, taken over by the Dutch and then the Brits.

Blue Skies

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