Today we’re braving public transport once more and catching the bus up the coast to the colonial Portugease/Dutch fort in the town of Galle. We’ve heard good things about this place, so off we go and hop on a crazy bus for 25 rupees each, that’s 11p which makes our £4.80 West Midlands Travel day saver look a little expensive.
Half an hour later, we arrive in Galle, which on first glance looks remarkably like all other Sri Lankan towns we’ve passed through. Chaotic roads, lots of people, and a rather ramshackle collection of shops and market stalls. But look to our left and we can see the remains of the fort walls, after a short walk we’re inside, and it feels like we’re in a very different world. The streets are much more calm, with many Colonial style buildings, with their slightly unkept charm housing cafés, restaurants and shops. This area is definitely aimed at tourists, but is definitely more picturesque than the main town.
After a hot, but nice walk around the town, and a browse in some shops we head off for lunch at a place called Pasta Factory, for a small plate of fresh pasta and lots of water. After that we take a walk along the fort walls. A Unesco protected heritage site, Galle Fort is noted as one of the best preserved examples of European architecture and it’s impact on South Asian traditions, making it an important historical sight.
We met a rather poor looking street dog, which upset us a bit, poor little guy.
And then found the lighthouse, a picture on many Sri Lankan post cards, originally built by the British, the light house has views of all ships entering the Galle waters.
After spending the most part of the day meandering around (including a stop for ice cream) we head back to the main town to pick up some snacks for our onward journey tomorrow and to catch our bus back to Unawatuna. Rather than get on a bus at the station (like normal people), we decided to walk along the street and pick up a bus on it’s way back in the direction we were going. This was eventful, the buses slightly slow down and then shout out where they are going, we struggled to find one but eventually got lucky. Here you have to jump on without it stopping. There’s no time for waiting!
The bus fills up quite quickly, and soon there are no seats, Ryan offers his seat to an elderly man, he nods to thank Ryan and we can see that the locals are almost in disbelief of Ryan’s kindness as they look back and smile at him.
Back at our peaceful airbnb, there’s just time to enjoy our final sunset here, which was very beautiful over the waves.
Tonight we’re heading back for more Bao Buns and Dumplings as we enjoyed them so much yesterday, totally delicious, but not Sri Lankan in the slightest! Followed by a couple of drinks at a beach side bar. A lovely end to our time in Unawatuna.