Explore Galle Fort at the Galle Face Hotel in Sri Lanka
Out of the wild and onto Galle Fort. As we met back up with our guide, we chatted happily about our leopard sightings. Conor took a nice long nap as we drove from Yala to Galle. We had a lovely lunch stop with a beautiful ocean view at 3 Sisters. The green bean curry was absolutely delicious. Checking in Taru Villa at Rampart Street, the smell of the salty sea air greeted us. It felt good to be by the ocean. It was quiet and quaint, and just perfect for us. We overlooked the ocean, and while the streets were bustling outside, our room was an oasis. I just adored this hotel: it was so soothing to soak in the huge clawfoot tub in our room.
Throughout this trip, we experienced different microclimates. The dry areas, the wet zones and now the coast. Stepping out to explore the fort, it was hot! The ocean breeze was a treat as we walked around this historic landmark. The original Portuguese structure was built out of earth and clay with no fortifications along the sea. When the fort came under the control of the Dutch, a sea wall was added in 1729. The Dutch also encircled the entire peninsula with thick walls and granite bastions to improve the fort’s overall defensive capabilities. There are also many restaurants and shops within the fort. I could have easily spent another day, shopping, eating, and watching the sunset in Galle.
Off to our final location, where it all started, Colombo. We pulled up to the magnificent Galle Face Hotel. This was the largest hotel we stayed in while traveling through Sri Lanka. Originally built in 1864, it is filled to the brim with history. I enjoyed wandering around the lobby and reading about all the history and changes the hotel has seen.
Our final night and the much-anticipated Khiri Insider’s tour with Rashan. We started from the veranda of the hotel, where Rashan ordered us all a glass of Arrack. He explained how people climb coconut trees, and tap them for the sap which eventually is turned into liquor. As we sipped our drinks, we listened to the music of the bagpipe player as we watched the Sri Lankan flag be lowered for the night. The Galle Face Green stretches out right across from the hotel. Rashan explained that the Green was once used for horse racing, but now is a popular park to hang out. While getting some street food, Conor ran around and flew a kite. Danny once again got to try his hand in the kitchen: this time at a food stall. The smell was delicious as he worked vigorously to make Kottu Rotti.
The Galle Face Green was lively and full of energy, definitely a happening place. Next up, we took a short tuk-tuk ride to the inner roads of Slave Island. Rashan showed us all the hidden gems, and shared his vast knowledge of the area. His warmth and way of including everyone in the conversation made us feel like we’ve been friends for years. It wasn’t so much a tour as just hanging out with a friend.
It couldn’t have worked out any better, as the night ended in true Danny and Mariah style, we had Conor on my lap, at the pub sharing stories and laughing with new friends.
As parents we tested ourselves, and learned that we can do it: traveling internationally with a toddler is definitely worth it. The planning, packing, and all the ‘extra’ things needed for a toddler are 100% worth it. Conor met so many new, wonderful people. If you ask him what an elephant says – he’ll give you his best trumpet. He’s less shy than before we left, and willing to try new foods now. I loved experiencing Sri Lanka through his eyes. Traveling as a family gives you a whole new perspective on things. Also, plane rides with him are now a piece of cake!
Sri Lanka, you have a special place in our hearts. So many wonderful memories were made, and grand adventures were had. Ayubowan and Seiradewa to the ‘Land of Serendipity.’
If you have any questions about family travel to Sri Lanka, contact us at Khiri Travel Sri Lanka.