Sri Lanka is a little isle steeped in its history and known for its million and one contrasts. One of which is the centuries old Galle town, and its famous Bastion fortress built by the Portuguese and Dutch people. Can you just imagine in those long ago days, maybe there would have been horses and carriages clip clopping along the cobblestone? Seen much quieter and serene days, than what it is now.
It was built around the years 1567-1657 during their governance on this island. The fort is a massive fortification surrounded with moats and look out posts on to the seas beyond. Today it is a heritage site and protected and maintained by the government of Sri Lanka.
If you are holidaying in Sri Lanka, you can take a bus, vehicle or train, from the city of Colombo. If you are staying in one of the hotels, you can of course, get your hotel to do all the bookings and get you a vehicle. However if you are in the Galle town, staying in one of the hotels, or guest houses, then it is only a hop skip and jump for you, to explore the town and beach, and the many other attraction in the vicinity.
When you take the train, you will get to see and view the gorgeous scenery of down south like you have never seen before. Besides getting a vantage point sitting on the step of the train you will be able to get your first glimpse of the beach and sea with its beautiful palm and coconut trees swaying in the cool breeze, fanning your tired face and giving you much respite from the midday heat.
Once you get to Galle, or if you are already in sunny Galle, then you can leisurely walk down the cobblestone roads. Walk past, quaint and charming little houses and boutiques, hotels, and guesthouses reminicising of times gone by. But, still they kept intact, of those long lost days of European culture. Walk along the promenade dotted with houses shops and pavement hawkers trying to sell their ware. It is a very happy full of laughter and fun on the side of the promenade where children run in and out trying to fly their colorful kites in assorted designs. Take your pick among the street shops that sell souvenirs, and pick a bargain among the shops selling trinkets to much bigger stuff like clothing items, hammocks, shirts, batiks, ornaments, skate boards, whatever that takes your fancy you get it all here.
Mingle about the wayside food haunts, you get them galore whether you just want to munch on something like a juicy kebab, or sausages and pineapple, on barbecue sticks, or roasted nuts, hot from the charcoal grills. If it is some seafood you are looking for, then try out some fried fish, baked with pepper and salt and a dash of lemon and chips… crab curry dish or have an enormous lobster cooked and garnished in Sri Lankan style, the choice is yours.
Feel like visiting a luxury hotel for a grand meal, lunch or dinner, or afternoon tea, you can expect to get some good stuff along with any beverage of your choice, which will be much costlier than the street food sold along the promenade and way side streets, but a much tastier sample as its on the streets, and very much cheaper.
Walk you way along the old ramparts of the Galle fort or bastion of yesteryear. It is a long walk inside this great fortress. Look over the ramparts and imagine yourself watching for the enemy come from seas yonder. Let your imagination run riot. Built around the years of 1588-1649 this is a must see for every history lover. This was a port of call for many a foreign trader shipping in and out with cinnamon and cardamom and other spices, the lovely aromas which emanated from every nook and corner and wafted toward sea port in Galle Fort.
There it is, proudly stands, tall inland. It was built a long time ago. Somewhere down the line of 1848. This was a beacon of light, for every passing ship. One wonders what did happen during those days and how the lighthouse would give out its light to guide ships to the inland shore away from treacherous rocks. The original lighthouse was destroyed and again rebuilt somewhere in 1938. Its height was a whopping 80 ft tall tower, but later after it was destroyed by a fire and rebuilt at a much taller height of 87ft.
You can see this light house from far, and can get a closer look at it, however, no one is allowed to go in, which I think is a great pity! I for one would have loved climbing up the iron spiral stairway, and getting on to the balcony and seeing the panoramic 360 views in the region of the ocean, how magnificent would that be? In the Galle Lighthouse.
After you cruise around the fortress, you can, may be ramble down to the beach. There are many beaches that you can get to in Galle. You can also visit the Dutch Hospital, Maritime Museum, The Dutch Reform Church etc.
On the beach if you are with the kids, buy a kite and fly it or you can play a game of cricket, or beach badminton. If you feel like a fishing trip then maybe you can hire a boat and go on a ride when the sea is calm. Go snorkeling or under water fishing, or better still, why not ride the waves on your surf board which can easily be hired from one of the beach centers. Or perhaps, you would like to just hire a bicycle and go for a ride around the fortress and town and get to know your bearings better, explore and be adventurous on your ride on the Galle Fort Beach.
The next day wake up, to a nice and refreshed start of your 2nd leg of the excursion. After a scrumptious breakfast of coconut rotti, and spicy sambol and a cup of steaming hot Ceylon tea. Get ready to walk explore more sites of the city and its stunning aquamarine blue waters. You can go and see the flag rock. This is a place where people love to take a dive from the rock to down below the sea. If you are feeling a bit adventurous, then try it out. The street food is also good, nice hot and spicy, and so many to chose from.
Visit the Dutch Reformed Church built in 1640. This is a historical place to visit. The security guard will regale you, of the most exciting tales of the past in Galle Sri Lanka Attractions.