So Close Yet Worlds Away
It was an early start from Marari in order to catch my 9:45am flight to Colombo. Upon arrival in Colombo airport, I was stunned at how quickly things moved along and especially how efficient the luggage delivery system was-by the time I got to baggage claim, my bags were already heading towards me on the belt. This is a far cry even from home where I've waited more than an hour for domestic luggage at Oakland airport!
Last Stop For Luxury
My home in Fort Galle is Amangalla, a luxury resort that retains the architectural beauty and furnishings of a bygone era and ups the ante when it comes to service. Each of the 28 rooms have butler service. Now before you jump to conclusions, let me clarify what butlers mean in today's world. This is not a stuffy overdressed individual hovering over you with condescending glares. Today's butler service is more of a personal concierge, readily available to assist you with any request and to make your stay as pleasurable as possible. Yes, in some instances (depending on the resort) they will unpack and pack your bags in your room and be available via a personal cell phone. In this case, Charith is my point person for everything from setting up excursions, ordering meals, and even being my guide for a walking tour of Galle Fort (water bottles and umbrella in hand of course). He is dressed in the traditional clothing of the Sinhalese people and has a very easy-going and charming personality.
Exploring Fort Galle
Charith is an incredibly knowledgeable guide, providing facts about historical buildings and their original purpose. I was absolutely in love with this quaint area. Within the fort, cobblestone streets meander past jewelry shops and restaurants. There are museums and libraries and Charith points out places he would recommend for a great local meal or the best souvenirs in the fort. I cannot take enough photos to do this place justice, there is something of interest at every turn.
We end up walking on top of the fort walls which provide stunning ocean views and circumnavigate the city within. As we reach the site of the old lighthouse, I grab my phone but realize it has shut itself off and needs to be charged. This was my trade off in trying to limit my luggage for this trip-I left my camera at home in hopes that I would be able to make do with my phone camera. ARRG! I'm missing some amazing photos from an incredible vantage point. I try to focus on what's before me and let the beauty soak in. I'll have to ensure that I'm better prepared for the remainder of the trip.