We got off at the train station and headed to the Dutch Colony where we booked our accommodation. (If you're visiting Galle, stay in the Dutch Colony and take a stroll around the Colony and you are sure to get lost on your way back. It's worth it.)
The Dutch architecture astounds you. Every street, every house, every shop and every restaurant is built keeping symmetry as a key ingredient. The beauty of the architecture is in its simplicity. A tour around the Galle Fort gives you beautiful sights of the Ocean and drains your energy out. It gets a bit crowded in the evenings. Try visiting the place early morning.
A visit to Japanese Peace Pagoda and Jungle Beach is also a must. Jungle Beach has bluish-green waters. It is tucked in a tiny corner beyond the Japanese Peace Pagoda. The food is good and you'll love the view and mood with Sri Lankan music band playing in the vicinity.
While Galle and Colombo greet you with the tropical climate of the Coast, you could head to Mirissa which has Whale & Dolphin watching, with a cruise ride. It's also a surfer's paradise and has surfing schools.
Living in the Wild However, our itinerary included Yala National Park (known for Leopard-spotting). The tented accommodation was eco-friendly and it's something that teaches you to adjust without daily pleasures of hot water and other luxuries. We did the evening safari which lasted close to 4.5 hours. It was totally worth it as we camped the night in the National Park, amid shrill sounds in the wild. This was a magical evening as it was a full-moon night with campfire and candle-light dinner (BBQ).
We woke up to a beautiful morning with birds chirping and sounds of other creatures, had a good breakfast and left Yala where we met one of the best human beings in Sri Lanka, our tour guide, our driver and a good friend - Krishna ( His Facebook page).
Krishna - Our saviour in Sri Lanka My friend spotted Krishna while researching about transportation in Sri Lanka and spoke to him a couple of times. He found him as the best tour guide in Sri Lanka, as suggested by Trip Advisor. Little did we know that he will be our saviour there. Krishna provides transportation/ guide services through his company Tuk Tuk and Taxi Services.
Krishna brought Kumar, his friend and colleague along while ferrying us to Nuwara Eliya. A die-hard Sangakkara and A.R. Rahman fan, Krishna is sure to entertain you with his adrenaline-pumping music (if you too are a Rahman fan) and his love for Tamil movies. Not only does Krishna give you the right plan, he will also help you save a lot of money through right advice. He is also a great storyteller who gives you snippets about his life and keeps you entertained throughout the journey, provided you reciprocate.
One of his witty quotes: "I'm sometimes, Hindu. Because I have to be religious in front of my wife".
An excerpt from our conversation:
Me: You are God.
Krishna: Yes, I'm Krishna.
We loved every bit of the journey from Yala to Nuwara Eliya (hilly region), with Krishna. (During the journey from Yala, you're most likely to come across an Elephant on the road.) Like I said, our itinerary wasn't perfect. Krishna helped us re-work on it and took us to Ella which was on the way to Nuwara Eliya. According to our itinerary, Ella came after Nuwara Eliya. (so, now you know why we're thankful to Krishna).
Of Rama, Sita, Rawana Falls & Hanuman Footprint
Galle is the fourth largest city in Sri Lanka and an increasingly popular vacation destination. With a wide variety of landmarks, eateries and high class accommodation, Galle provides a tourist experience that you won’t soon forget. Temperatures remain at roughly 26 degrees Celsius (but can sometimes go high) and the city’s climate is tropical, with no regular dry season.
Galle is a district that lies in the southern coast of Sri Lanka. We took the train from Kandy via Colombo and came to Galle after an early morning commute. One sees some of the most beautiful sights from lush green hills and tea plantations to sea side towns as you arrive into Galle.
Galle is another small city in the Southern Province of Sri Lanka. It is primarily known for it's cricket and is also home to the Sri Lankan Navy's Southern Command. A fairly busy town, Galle, has quite a lot of history attached to it.
We checked out late from Mirissa and set for an overnight at Negombo as that's the closest to the airport (not Colombo as many would think). We stopped at "Galle" enroute for lunch and some photo ops. Tip - If you need a place close to the airport (or transit) I highly recommend "Neo Holiday Homes" as they are 1) close to the airport (10 mins) and 2) four star accommodation at 3 star prices.That brings me to the end of my trip. Sri Lanka is a must visit destination if you are a nature & beach lover. I was blown away by its beauty and people. I brought back with me some very fond memories and I am sure you will too.Happy travels!~Rochelle
Day 7 -Nuwara Eliya - Galle: This was the most unplanned but spontaneous bit of our journey , once we were rejuvenated and done with our winter wear after our stay in the idyllic upcountry we knew it was time to head to the shore We networked with the locals and managed to convince a young lad to take us to Galle and allow him to experience his country like never before . We were sure this 6 hour journey would take us much longer as we had decided to stop at every tempting village that we drove through.