Up at a reasonable hour and headed off for the Galle Fort. Originally constructed by the Portuguese, the fort was completed by the Dutch in 1669 before being taken over by the British forces. Much of the building works are very colonial and reminded us of Luang Prabang in Laos and Malacca in Malaysia. Very stately and built along narrow thoroughfares.The walls of the fort are high and very thick, with many large pieces of coral used in its construction. Almost all of the fort area was spared the damage of the 2004 tsunami due to the construction of the thick, high walls, this cannot be said for the area along the beach where the damage to buildings is palpable and many businesses are yet to re-establish.
During the afternoon we headed for the town centre where we were accosted by a ‘film-flammer’ posing as a chef at our hotel. His scam was to get us to a shop that sold a variety of souvenirs, presumably for a kick back.
Our afternoon ended on a very surprising and delightful note. We had booked a tuk tuk driver through reception who made himself available to us, so we were able to get a bag repaired and photos copied all within half an hour. He had explained to us earlier that the reason he especially likes Australians is because a wonderful couple that he ferried around after the tsunami supported he and his wife by purchasing land for him and also the money towards a house following the devastation by the tsunami. His feeling of gratitude was obvious and when he offered to show us his house we could hardly refuse. Dilip is so proud of his home and family and was happy to share his good fortune and family and wedding photos.
Tomorrow we away to Kandy.