Galle, setting our sights on History
"There were a few surprising detours on our way to Galle..."
To a moonstone mine, the only one in Sri Lanka. Here pearly white stones, sometimes very pale blue in colour, are quarried by hand at a depth of 20 metres in the earth.
To a silk weaving family using manual looms and thread from silk cocoons grown on site.
To a tea plantation (with tea plants that only grow at altitude). On land belonging to a Sri Lankan family, young white tea shoots are picked with gloves and cut with scissors. You can sip antioxidant-packed, gold medal tea too!
Galle is explored strolling along ramparts skirting the ocean. Down below, tourist life is contained within the small white lanes of the fort built by the Dutch East India Company at a time when cinnamon was the money-maker in Ceylon. Behind the white walls and porches along Church Street, and half-open doors on the street, you can catch glimpses of interiors with crisp wooden floors and dressers groaning with china.
As the day draws to a close, you visit the main market, a festival of colour. Return by minibus (possible dinner in Galle). Guests who love trains and want to mingle with locals can catch the 5pm train from Galle to the country railway station of Ahungalla. Last few kilometres in a minibus.