The guesthouse we stayed in Tissa offered a taxi service which was convenient for us. We said bye bye to the host and the father of the family drove us to Galle.
The road view wasn’t the same as the train view, there were mostly roads and houses on the side unlike the train which went through and around the mountains. We stopped at a few places which seemed to be really local areas. Due to the early start of the day, I was craving for some good coffee but it was hard to get once you are outside of the touristy areas.
We drove passed Mirissa around lunchtime where we discovered a really good roti shop. No. 1 Dewmini Roti Shop offered the best roti I had during our entire trip and it was very good value as well. However this roti shop was not easy to find, we followed our GPS on our phone and wound our way through a jungle of narrow alleyways eventually we found the shop right in the middle of a small residential area. It was very busy and I didn’t doubt it since the food was amazing.
After the lovely roti lunch we went off to the beachfront in Mirissa for a quick visit. Mirissa is one of the popular spots for most holidaymakers in Sri Lanka. There were plenty cafes on the beach and we wandered a little on the seafront briefly then continued our trip to Galle. Our guesthouse in Galle was located right inside of Galle fortress, known as old town of Galle.
A quick Wiki brief about Galle:
Galle is one of the major cities in Sri Lanka, situated on the southwestern tip. Galle was known as Gimhathiththa before the arrival of the Portuguese in the 16th century, when it was the main port on the island. During the Dutch colonial period Galle is the best example of a fortified city built by the Portuguese in South and Southeast Asia, showing the interaction between Portuguese architectural styles and native traditions. The city was extensively fortified by the Dutch during 17th century from 1649 onwards. The Galle fort is a world heritage site and is the largest remaining fortress in Asia built by European colonial powers.
Other prominent landmarks in Galle include the city’s natural harbour, the National Maritime Museum, St. Mary’s Cathedral founded by Jesuit priests, one of the main Shiva temples on the island, and Amangalla, the historic luxury hotel. Important natural geographical features in Galle include Rumassala in Unawatuna, a large mound-like hill that forms the eastern protective barrier to Galle Harbour.
I must admit that Galle is my second favourite town in Sri Lanka (of course, my town Ella will always be the winning town in the trip just because of the name!). Within Galle fortress it’s a walkable distance and just in an hour you can reach one end to the other, left to right. All buildings and architecture was maintained in excellent good condition making it an absolutely a picturesque town. I regretted that my itinerary in Galle wasn’t long enough. We decided to cancel our last night’s stay in Colombo and extended our stay in Galle a further night to then catch a taxi to Colombo airport directly from Galle. We wanted to go by train which runs ordinarily by the seafront to admire the ocean view. Unfortunately there was a train strike on the date we wanted to travel so we had no other choice but to get a taxi to the airport. Can’t believe train strike in Sri Lanka, just like at home!
There are plenty of good cafes and restaurants to enjoy your day. On our first day we hired a tuk tuk that took us to the nearby beaches. I was keen to see fisherman on the stilts, as it’s one of the major items for travellers to see when they arrive in the southern part of Sri Lanka. The tuk tuk drove us through a few towns towards Mirissa just tried to find a hidden spot where you can observe the fisherman on the stilts without being seen to avoid being charged for the photo. The reality was all fishermen in the region are just expecting travellers to turn up and they can ask for photo fee. Their attitude was very aggressive as if you are entering their private beach. As soon as you take out a phone or a camera, they would demand for payment even if you are just interested in the scenery. Our tuk tuk driver tried to coordinate with those fisherman for us but without much success. Anyway, I have seen photos on the internet so I wasn’t that bothered to see it in reality.
We continued our exploration in the region, stopping at the Sea Turtle Farm & Hatchery in Habaraduwa. I am not exactly sure about this farm but I have seen disabled turtles and overheard the volunteers speak to other visitors that the farm is to support and help those disabled turtles for some time until they can be released into the ocean. More information can be found here: https://www.seaturtlefarm.org/.
We hopped from one golden sandy beach to another, it was generally a very chilled day for us. Just enjoying the quiet seaside and the fresh coconut drinks.
On our last day we had a very quiet and lazy morning in Galle to appreciate the antique buildings from the colonial era and the remains of the fortress. Our taxi departed early afternoon straight to Colombo International Airport to catch our flight to the second part of our super relaxing holiday in Maldives.