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A world away in 5 weeks - India to Sri Lanka and back

A world away in 5 weeks - India to Sri Lanka and back

Old May 13th, 2021, 12:56 AM
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Lovely photos Paule, as always.
Galle is certainly a place I’d like to revisit, despite the debilitating humidity.

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Old May 13th, 2021, 02:15 AM
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annhig, lovely and poignant story about meeting the owner in the tea shop in Galle. Making such a personal connection like that makes travel so rich. I love it when that happens. I wasn’t aware of the cricket grounds outside of Galle, but then again, we don’t follow cricket, so that’s my excuse! And no, I couldn’t imagine playing in that humidity!

sartoric, thank you! We enjoyed Galle, though that humidity did me in enough to (ahem) put a damper on our experience. 😁
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Old May 13th, 2021, 02:39 AM
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progol - this trip report is so great - I was in Sri Lanka only a few years ago - visited many of the same areas and stayed in some of the same hotels - most recently mentioned - 98 Acres and Mango House. Your photos are stunning and remind me of how much I loved visiting the country - looking forward to reading more.
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Old May 16th, 2021, 11:03 AM
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Greenhorn, I'm so glad you're enjoying this and interesting that we visited some of the same places. 98 Acres was one of my favorites because of those views, and Mango House was a small gem in Galle.

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Old May 16th, 2021, 11:37 AM
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Galle Fort, a world heritage site, reflects the history of the European powers that had occupied it during the last several centuries. Although first built by the Portuguese, it was extensively developed by the Dutch in the 18th Century, with the British coming in in the 19th C. In truth, it was a trading port for centuries, with its great location and protected harbor.

Galle's New Town was worth a little exploration and a reminder that it isn't simply a tourist destination. Fort Galle (the old town) is beautiful but it does get quite crowded with tourists and it was fun to see "real life" outside the walls. We stopped by the fish market and then walked through some of the streets. Yes, it was too hot for me, so after a little while, we returned, later relaxing at one of the local beaches.



Old Dutch Hospital, now a center for shops and restaurants


Dutch Reform Church


Ellies everywhere!


Coming and going through the ramparts


Coming and going through the ramparts




Fish market


Fishing boats


Fishing boats

The New Town


Fishing


Bathing at the local beach


Bathing at the local beach


Sultry night

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Old May 16th, 2021, 12:23 PM
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As ever your photos are wonderful, Progol - Bill went swimming on that beach! Show him a beach and he found it hard to resist. We also did a tuk tuk ride to a beach about 6 miles away where the hotel we stayed at [the Fort Printers] had a sister hotel where we could use the beach there, plus their pool etc. That was fun for a morning then on the way back we were dropped off in the town outside the Fort and walked back so we saw the boats, the fish market etc. When it got too hot we took refuge in the Maritime Museum which was interesting but also airconditioned. Bliss!
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Old May 16th, 2021, 04:49 PM
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So glad you’re enjoying this, annhig! Love the story about Bill swimming at the beach - we didn’t feel quite that adventurous!

Soon to come - a visit to Unawatuna Beach and an off-the-beaten track Buddhist temple.
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Old May 29th, 2021, 10:08 AM
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Unawatuna beach is just a short drive away from Galle, and a good respite from the heat. A pleasant beach, popular with tourists and locals alike, slightly honky-tonk in feeling with its small shops and restaurants along the road behind the beach. It was a good place to cool down and spend a few hours. At one end of the beach, there is a small hill leading to a big Buddha and a stupa, and lovely views over the water.












Stupa and Buddha temple seen from the beach


Big Buddha!


View from the hill

Last edited by progol; May 29th, 2021 at 10:17 AM.
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Old May 29th, 2021, 10:36 AM
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During the planning of our trip, I read about Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya , a small rock temple just a few miles inland from the beach. Surprisingly, few people visit it, yet it has a very serene atmosphere and a very active monk community. And not too many stairs to the top! This left a wonderful impression on us long after we visited.
























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Old May 29th, 2021, 11:13 AM
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And on to Colombo! I had purposely scheduled one night in Colombo to make sure we get to the famous Ministry of Crab restaurant, which gets high praises here and elsewhere. Sadly, I was more than a little ill by the time we left Galle, and the only thing I got to see was the inside of our hotel room for the rest of our visit. I was looking forward to dinner here so was very disappointed that I had to cancel - but there was no way I was going to enjoy a meal out that evening.

We stayed at Taru Villas Lake Lodge, a plain vanilla but luxury hotel in a cup-de-sac near an offshoot of Beira Lake. It gets rave reviews, and, at first, I disliked it, as it felt more like a concrete box than an inviting and relaxing place to stay. We ate dinner at the hotel, which turned out to be a surprisingly good meal. And the service was excellent, though I mostly slept or rested the day and evening away. No photos, though - I was not in the mood to take pix!

We arrived in Colombo a few days before the annual Perahera, an annual Buddhist pageant. If I had known about this beforehand, I would've tried to schedule a day here just to see this event! Elephants were brought in to the park just outside our hotel to get ready. The elephants were getting washed by their mahouts or sometimes, washing themselves! Michael got to explore the area and take photos to show me what I was missing.


















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Old May 29th, 2021, 11:21 AM
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Across the lake, we could see the Colombo Lotus Tower, It also reflects the symbolic landmark of Sri Lanka. As of 16 September 2019, the tower is currently the tallest self-supported structure in Sri Lanka, and built as transmission tower for radio and TV.


Just because I like palm tree shots....

Colombo Palm Trees

And I'm posting this for no reason, except I love this image, taken right outside the hotel!



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Old May 29th, 2021, 05:49 PM
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More cool pics.

Thanks for posting.

Sorry you became ill and missed that restaurant. That is disappointing but glad you are ok. .



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Old May 29th, 2021, 09:35 PM
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These photos are terrific, Progol!! Admittedly, I need loads more time to savor them but even a quick tour is wonderful and cheering.
Train ride Ella--the tea plantations, the mists---remind me of India! Good choice, given limited time, that you skipped Munnar duringthe So India part of the trip.
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Old May 30th, 2021, 02:38 AM
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Hi, jacketwatch! Thanks for the continued support! Yeah, I was really bummed for a while about missing the Big Meal, but now, after a year+ of the pandemic, it’s hard to imagine that I could get upset over missing a meal!

Hi, CaliNurse! Thanks for checking out this report - I imagine the first half should bring back many memories for you, too! I can’t believe. Funny, I can’t believe I started this 2 years ago! I will finish it!

And on to our last stop...Mumbai!
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Old May 31st, 2021, 06:48 AM
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You bet! Looking f/w to the next chapter. And hey you are way ahead of the Sagrada Familia.

Hi Becca.
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Old Jun 1st, 2021, 05:15 AM
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Your post about the Perahera in Colombo reminded me about the one we never got to see in Galle, Progol. The last night that we were there we were told that it was on and took ourselves off into the town to find a good spot to see it, eventually finding a table at a restaurant nicely overlooking the road where it was clearly due to come past due to all the people who were lining up. We had a nice dinner, chatted with some people at a nearby table, and eventually decided to vacate our position to let someone else sit down so walked along the road a bit hoping to meet the procession at some point. Well we walked, and we waited and we walked again, and then we started walking back the way we'd come as it was getting late and we had an early start. I suppose that we gave up at about 11pm and there was still no sign of any procession let alone any elephants. oh well, I have the pleasure of seeing yours!

So sorry you missed the Ministry of Crab - if it's any consolation we missed it too. Not because we were ill but because the final of the T20 cricket tournament being played on the last night we were there took priority. We only got to watch it on the big screen in the hotel garden but the dinner that we had there beforehand was pretty good so we were quite happy.

Hi Becca!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 08:02 AM
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Hi, jacketwatch and annhig! I promise, shortly! Almost done, but it's taking me far too long to sort through the photos! It's our last stop so maybe it's hard for me to say goodbye!

annhig, I think your reason for missing a meal at Ministry of Crab had a lot more pleasure than I had, at least! And we did end up having a delicious crab meal in Mumbai, so all was not lost!

Soon, soon!
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Old Jun 3rd, 2021, 09:06 AM
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Originally Posted by progol View Post
Hi, jacketwatch and annhig! I promise, shortly! Almost done, but it's taking me far too long to sort through the photos! It's our last stop so maybe it's hard for me to say goodbye!

annhig, I think your reason for missing a meal at Ministry of Crab had a lot more pleasure than I had, at least! And we did end up having a delicious crab meal in Mumbai, so all was not lost!

Soon, soon!
no worries. Looking f/w when U have time
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