Day 14 – One day trip to Galle

Galle is a lovely place to walk around with interesting sites, views, shops and many small cafes. Galle was one of the nicest cities we’ve seen in Sri Lanka, with quite a European feel. One day wasn’t enough to explore this lovely city and its surroundings.

Galle lighthouse

Galle lighthouse

Many hotels in Sri Lanka offered quite a limited breakfast selection (e.g. curry + toast!), whereas in Dunes Unawatuna Hotel we were pleased to be given some alternative and rather more appealing breakfast options. We had curd with palm honey, porridge, a platter of fruit, a pile of toast and jam, and a glass of fresh juice made from local fruit.

Galle graffiti

Galle graffiti

We set off for a day trip to Galle, an ancient city which unlike the northern ancient cities (Anuradhapura or Polonnaruwa) was not abandoned, and most buildings in the older part of the city are in continuous use. We wander around and are truly impressed by picturesque small streets, old buildings and the beautiful ocean view. One of the places we discover is a Historical Mansion – a very interesting combination of an Art Gallery and Museum with many exhibits and ‘traditional work demonstrations’ – local people producing things using traditional methods – in the same way as it had been produced in past centuries. A guide in the museum tells us interesting things about the history of Galle, including a tsunami in 2004 which devastated the city and also this museum. In fact we can still see on the walls the lines from the water that flooded into the building.

Historical Mansion in Galle - Sri Lankan woman weaving using traditional technique

Historical Mansion in Galle – Sri Lankan woman weaving using traditional technique

As we walk around, we have an opportunity to take some nice shots and stop for a lunch in one of the numerous cafes. We haven’t experienced such a wide selection of places offering food for a long time! Our meal is very delicious and we are served by an Irish girl who is living in Sri Lanka – she tells us a bit of her story of travelling and living in Asia.

Walking alongside the Fort’s walls

After refuelling our bodies we carry on exploring this beautiful city. We set off on a walk along the Fort’s walls which is very pleasant thanks to the cooling sea breeze. On the way we also visit couple of shops – everything seems to be really pricey but Aneta is doing her best when haggling to buy a skirt. At the end she ends up paying about $22 which isn’t going to hit our budget too much – but for Sri Lankan standards this is quite a lot.

Admiring the sea view from the Fort’s walls

As it’s getting late we get a tuk-tuk to drop us off by the turning from the main road to Unawatuna towards the Japanese Peace Pagoda and Jungle Beach – our last attractions for the day. It takes us about 20 minutes to walk up the steep hill to see the huge white Japanese Peace Pagoda and then another 5 minutes hike through the woods to get to the Jungle Beach. We are hoping to see a very beautiful and serene remote beach, but it turns out that there is a shop and bar and quite few people out there. The beach itself is pretty but spoiled somewhat by development.

By the Maritime Museum in Galle

Thanks to OpenCycleMap on our Android phone we manage to find the path from the Jungle Beach to Unawatuna beach. It’s a pleasant hike through a wooded area near the sea coast. It saves us from paying for another tuk-tuk and breathing in exhaust fumes. We get to the beach just on time to enjoy our last dinner at the sea front in Sri Lanka.

Jungle Beach – 3 km away from Unawatuna

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