We arrived in Galle yesterday afternoon after another long, winding trip along the coast. The road is a series of S and C curves, tight ones, and a lot of stopping and starting, slowing and passing. It's been a great many years since I've been carsick, but that trip did it to me in both directions. It is a beautiful drive otherwise, through a series of small villages and urban cities, like Matara. As you drive along the ocean, it's quite common to see this:
|it's an ingenious way to fish in the surf -- stilts as far as you can see|
in both directions (this one isn't my picture -- we were driving too fast!)
Galle is quite a beautiful city, and one in which the Dutch colonial period is visible everywhere. The fort was built by the Dutch, beginning in 1663, and it occupies most of the promontory that forms the older part of Galle. The fort a World Heritage Site and it's really quite beautiful and lived in and on. After we checked into our room -- SO different from our hotel in Tangalle, this is just a room in a guesthouse -- we headed to the wall to watch the sunset, and to watch the people.
While we did see some western tourists, the place seemed full of people who live here, playing cricket and walking along the wall to do what we were doing, to enjoy the sunset. As we sat on the wall, several pairs of young people sat down next to us, and they seemed to be enjoying being there together. The young man and woman right next to me kept taking photos of each other, and then they'd each form half a heart with their hands and put them together, and take a photo of the sunset through the heart of their hands. They were just so beautiful, so sweet with each other. There were women wearing gorgeous and bright colored saris, a group of elderly women walking together, families out for the late afternoon, and what was notable to us was that the tourists were unfriendly, unsmiling, but the Sri Lankan people smiled at us. Really strange.
But the setting was so beautiful.
|the sound of the cricket bat is so specific|
|part of the wall|
|a crumbling old building|
|the white Galle lighthouse|
|sunset, so beautiful|
|sunset, so very beautiful|
|gorgeously colored tuk-tuks|
|incredibly beautiful, this place|
|an orange-robed Buddhist monk at the temple|
Today we'll poke around Galle, wind our way through the streets, see what there is to see, and have a low-key day here. Tomorrow we're taking a tuk-tuk back along the winding road to nearby Mirissa, where we'll go out on a boat to see blue whales and sperm whales....if we're lucky. I think if I were to see either or both, I might just die of happiness right on the spot. Fingers crossed.