Today’s post is all about the day when we did a roadtrip along the coast of Sri Lanka. We spent an entire day (kind of 8-6) exploring Galle, Unawatuna and a few places in between Bentota and Unawatuna.
Bentota to Galle: 70 KMS approx.
Galle to Unawatuna: 6 KMS approx.
Road Condition: Wonderful
Route: Pretty straight forward. Bentota-Induruwa-Hikkadua-Galle-Unawatuna
It took us around an hour and a half to reach Galle Fort. Galle is a very beautiful town and the fort area is a place where you can spend hours exploring every nook and corner, or simply watch the world pass by. Standing at the Galle Fort, we witnessed the magical fortified town in its purest form. The Dutch and Colonial styled houses formed the other side of the road that ran between the fort and the town, while the fort made way for the majestic views of the Indian Ocean. The soft layer of grass cushioning along the fort made it extremely viable for me to walk barefoot for a long stretch.
“Galle Fort, in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, was built first in 1588 by the Portuguese, then extensively fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century from 1649 onwards. It is a historical, archaeological and architectural heritage monument, which even after more than 423 years maintains a polished appearance, due to extensive reconstruction work done by Archaeological Department of Sri Lanka.”-Wiki
The Galle Fort also gives a grand view of the Galle International Stadium (Cricket Stadium) where we could see the Zimbabwe team practicing for their upcoming match agaist Sri Lanka. As you can imagine, Prateek went a bit crazy at this part of the fort.
Galle Fort is a huge stretch, so do plan to visit this place for a couple of hours. There are several cafes and restaurants nearby where you can take a break from the fort tour and relax. We had our lunch at Pedlar’s Inn Café, a very popular cafe in the British-era post office, with a choice of street-terrace, rear-patio or interior seating. Good vibes and delicious sea-food, we had a great time here and we totally recommend this place.
Here are some pictures we shot at this place-
After spending 4-5 hours at Galle Fort, we headed out to Unawatuna Beach. We had to cross the busy street of Galle to reach the beach. In just a few minutes, we were standing at the beach, admiring the different hues of the water in front of us. It is a beautiful beach, but was way too crowded when we arrived. So we decided to walk along the beach and spend some time at Kingfisher beach side restaurant. This place gave us a great view of the area.
Though Unawatuna is beautiful, Galle had us hypnotized and we couldn’t help talking about Galle and going through the pictures we captured.
We decided to head back to our hotel at around 3 PM. We stopped at one of the super markets at Hikkadua and got a few things for the remaining days of our stay.
Tsunami Memorial, Hikkadua:
We also stopped at the Tsunami Memorial. There is a museum as well, but we did not go there. Instead, we stood by the wrecked houses, wondering what all memories those houses must hold-of happy days when laughter and the sound of kisses would make the walls smile and the cries and tears of the day when the world stood still! When we stood there, it was heartbreaking to think that such a disaster occurred in this beautiful place. Nearby, there were other ruined houses that were never repaired because it was believed that the entire family lost their lives. A feeling of sadness took over us as we walked past those houses with broken walls. This area is a reminder of the loss of lives in Sri Lanka and beyond. Though we offered our prayers, we knew we would be struggling for long to come to terms with our experience at this place.
We then quietly drove back to our hotel. It was a productive day but a day with a mixture of happiness, sadness and self-realization. Travelling changes something about you!