I thought I could narrow it down to share my favorites in a single post but we packed a lot into our time in Sri Lanka so there will be another to come. This beautiful, interesting country is a relatively small but quite densely populated island southeast of India. When you think about it being 1/10th the size of Saskatchewan with 23,000,000 people that is so different than we are used to in our spacious country! You can imagine the bumper to bumper traffic in the cities! It shows their wonderful and friendly personalities as they are very considerate, patient drivers. There is a lot of natural beauty and diverse landscapes from the pristine coastline to the lush hill country and national parks. There is Indian influence as well as Portuguese, Dutch and English from time spent under those country’s control. As they say it is an island of magical proportions, the Pearl of the Indian Ocean, it has much to entice and captivate!!
We spent this first part of our trip travelling with my parents and an uncle so we were in good company and it’s fun to share these memories with them!
We started off in Colombo after 30 hours of travel at an elegant, historic hotel that is seafront. The Galle Face Hotel was built in 1864 and is a beautiful colonial hotel. It’s in a great location to walk along the Galle Face Greens and explore the city.
The intricate details inside a Buddhist temple.
The pineapple is particularly delicious, this is saying a lot being someone who would often pass it up!
Then we headed off south on the expressway past rice paddies, cinnamon plantations and tea estates to the south coast of the island to explore Galle and we stayed at Unawatuna Beach.
In all our travels we have not seen as many seemingly stray dogs as there were here.
We spent an afternoon walking around the Galle Fort, an UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the old city within these stone walls. Many of the buildings have been converted into shops, cafes, hotels and museums. It’s a very interesting area.
We caught a bit of the action of a cricket match.
Many restaurants along the coast have a fish + seafood market that you choose which fish you want, pay by weight and then they barbecue it.
On our way back towards Colombo we stayed a nite at Bentota. It was a cloudy afternoon to be at the beach but it has a long stretch of beautiful sandy beach. Then we hired a boat and went on a river safari which we were all really glad we did. It was neat to see life along the river’s edge, we went thru a mangrove forest and when heading back enjoyed the stunning sunset – and watched as bats circled overhead!
We rented this lovely villa for the nite before heading back to Colombo.