On the road to Galle
Galle Travel Blog› entry 27 of 68 › view all entries
Galle is a city on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka which is home to another UNESCO world heritage site, the Dutch Fort. Built by the Dutch back in 1600s after they uprooted the Portuguese from the area and for that matter from the rest of the island. The road to Galle comes south from Colombo, which is a well travelled route along the western coast, and to Galle along the southern coast through Matara, Weligama and Mirissa. On this particular trip, we were returning from Udawalawe and Bundalla, so we took the southern route to Galle.
The southern coast when compared to the western coast, to me at least, seems less touristy (for now) and more beautiful.
As with any trip to different parts of Sri Lanka, we visit family along the way. In Matara, we visited one of my Dad’s cousins. Now usually I would sit like good son quietly and smile after my 2 minute family introduction/conversation was over, while everyone reminisces about the past, but lucky for me this time attached to the house was a Montessori. As soon as I got out of the van kids ran up to us with big smiles on their faces wanting to play. So I grabbed my camera and started taking tons of pictures of them.
After an hour or so at our relatives, we were off again on the road to Galle, on our way back home to Colombo.
Finally we arrived at the Dutch Fort in Galle. I always enjoy coming to visit here as it reminds me a bit of Europe within the fort. As I mentioned the Dutch built this fort in 1663 at the Port of Galle.
The fort itself juts out along Galle Harbour on a peninsula and is surrounded by ramparts that drop down to the sea. Within the walls of the Fort are many old Dutch building and churches, even the names of the streets still have their original Dutch names. People still live and work here as they did when the fort was built, but you do find many tourist and museums within. There are also many old churches here, one was especially interesting one, the Dutch Reformed Church, has remains of old Dutch and British colonizers buried beneath the floor of the church.
The Fort is also famous to local couples who come to walk along the fort walls and watch the sunset ;).
After Galle, we continued up the aptly named “Galle Road” back to Colombo. Of course we stopped a few times along the way back to visit family and to visit my mother’s ancestral home along the coast in Beruwela. Visiting there definitely had an impact on me, but I’ll save that story for another entry :)
I have to make note of how much the Tsunami affect the southern coast of Sri Lanka. Throughout the drive I was shown damaged buildings, knocked down tress and basically where things used to be.