I had my Remington 700 brushing my cheek and I could feel my breath getting heavier as I was about to squeeze the trigger. That's when I felt a thud on my left shoulder disturbing my aim …….
"Wake up, we are headed to the Fort for Breakfast"
That's when I realized that I had passed out on a beach bed the night before after a rather heavy night of debauchery, mayhem and madness. Living and working in Colombo can be a taxing affair, and this was my release. I was 23, and this is when my maturing whirlpool of a mind first connected with the Dutch Fort.
While the streets of Galle was rife with the sounds of revving Ashok Leyland bus engines and their loud characteristic horns, my head felt like it might explode and my body just ran away from the chaos. Once I entered the arch entrance of the Galle Fort though, my mind began to ease down. I lit a cigarette and leaned against the warm ramparts under the Clock Tower. I contemplated the genesis and age of these ramparts, what skill & technology would have gone into building such majestic walls to protect the Citadel.
Once I'd had my breakfast, I strolled the streets of the fort to understand why this Citadel within such a large city was so special. I didn't realize it then, that this would be the inception of stringing together an invigorating and inspiring idea that would breathe life 10 years down the line.
Skull and bone etchings inside a church, ramparts made out of corals, houses with art décor windows and verandahs, Sri Lankan Muslim families speaking English predominantly, two churches on the same street called Church Street, a road named lighthouse street with no lighthouse, a mosque with a European building, a 17th Century architectural opus that has withstood time and weathered the biggest natural disaster of our time, and let's not forget the smallest community of multicultural Sri Lankans in one place. All of the aforesaid perplexed me and piqued my curiosity further. I wanted to learn more about this UNESCO site which is a tourist hot spot in the South of Sri Lanka and an epicenter of wonder in the world.
10 years down the line, I've quit smoking, exited the world of media & communications, I've abstained from conventional city life and the colonial tie wearing culture. I've embraced my country's history and those aspects that are
natural and very real to every Sri Lankan. I've dived into a world of art & culture which educates me and keeps my creative juices flowing continuously and consistently. I've become an entrepreneur who doesn't have to work another day in his life.
This is what I do, this here is what I am and so let me show you my Galle Fort.
A Recent Review of this guide
A tour not of Colombo, but Galle which is a 2 hour drive to the south on a good motorway. As a wheelchair user access to some places proved impossible due to barriers to vehicles also preventing wheelchair access. Great family meal for lunch. Shanjei had a wonderful repertoire of historical tales and anecdotes. A pity time constraints meant we did not see the main sites of Colombo.
The tours that I do have gained international recognition in the following platforms;
If you are looking for a generic show and tell kind of tour - this is not for you!