Two weary, bleary-eyed travelers arrived in Colombo, Sri Lanka in the wee hours of the morning and promptly took a train from the Maradana train station headed to Galle, three-and-a-half hours away.
The train was right out of the 1950’s and looked like this one. Our second class compartment had individual seating and fans to circulate the air from the open windows.
It was a bumpy ride with stark views of poverty-stricken shanty towns interspersed with great vistas of the Indian Ocean.
Once in Galle, we took our first ride in a Tuk Tuk, a tiny, three-wheeled vehicle that is ubiquitous in Southeast Asia. Zoom in on the sideview mirror and you’ll see that John and I actually do fit inside.
The Tuk Tuk brought us to Galle Fort and our accommodations at the Pedlar Guesthouse where we showered and crashed for a few hours.
After a nice nap, we were ready for some sightseeing. Galle Fort, located in the Bay of Galle on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka, didn’t disappoint.
The fort was first built by the Portuguese in 1588, then extensively fortified by the Dutch in the 17th century, after which the British took over until Sri Lanka gained its independence in 1948.
We strolled through a shady, little park…
to take a look at Galle Lighthouse which was built in 1938.
At the southernmost end of the Fort is Flag Rock, so named because flags were used to warn ships away from the treacherous rocks in the bay. Today, it’s a tourist spot where local dare devils solicit tourists to pay to watch them dive off the rock into the water below.
We declined, preferring to enjoy the beautiful views from Flag Rock and along the ramparts of Galle.