Ever heard the phrase, visiting the same place twice doesn’t mean reliving the same experience? Or some phrasing that sounds more succinct with a ring with the same underlying message? For the most part, I think we have. So, where am I going with this rather deep-rooted, philosophical introduction? Hold your horses, it’s on its way.
There’s a blog post on my Galle adventures all the way back in December of last year (read it here!). I’m convinced I’ve visited the historic city before as well, even though my memory struggles to remember what I ate earlier today, so you can imagine my dilemma. Yet, my visit to the southern city this time around was a perspective change.
Maybe because we arrived around 8AM. The Fort was just waking up to the rays when we made our way around the city. We ventured down small streets discovering hidden inns, places to eat and pops of color adding an almost iridescent feel to the whole area. The city looked nothing if not a juxtapose to the busy streets of Colombo, and we couldn’t be happier. We sat by the Fort walls, overlooking the unforgiving waves and the scuttles of the camouflage crabs up on the slippery rocks.
In our attempt to find hidden gems in the area, we burned our fair share of calories, only to gain it all back, and then some at breakfast. We were the first patrons at the restaurant, A minute by TukTuk, so thank the higher powers we got our food before we wilted away. The restaurant has a beautiful ocean view, but like the warm-blooded human we are, we perspired, so we opted to sit inside. And when I say we perspired, we downright waterfall-ed that stuff right out of us. Whoever invented the A/C, we are forever indebted to you. We ordered a full Sri Lankan feast from fresh out of the sea prawn in a mouthwatering coconut curry, hot off the gril burger, and roti with dhal and brinjal curries. Let’s just say it was an understatement when I tell you I couldn’t almost move.
After a breakfast of champions (for very un-champion-like-people), we drove down to Unawatuna, about 20 minutes from the heart of Galle. We booked a room on the fly and dumped our stuff there and decided an afternoon nap (ish) was justified. After all, we had a heavy breakfast. We had to have the mandatory post-breakfast-lazy-human-nap. You get me, right? Yeah. I got me, too. A few hours into our stay, we decided to be proactive humans and go swim-cladded down the beach. Case in point, a human with two left feet will face a losing battle against waves. And ladies and gents, that was me. Wiped out a total of infinite times with a coral stuck up where the sun doesn’t shine. I gave a free show to a poor passer-by and got sand stuck in the unspeakables. All in the name of fun, right? Right.
Towards the latter part of the afternoon, we walked towards the beach as the sun started its decent into the crystal water (read: kind of slightly murky, but who cares). The scene was set that evening. We sat on gazebo-esque comfy lounge chaises as we waited for our batter-fried prawns and club sandwiches to arrive. We watched the sun set behind the historic walls of the Galle Fort, as we enjoyed the food and the company. We talked about everything and nothing, and it was such blissful contentment. No worries seemed to trespass that moment; as if the world around us ceased to exist. We were unconditionally happy as tourists and Sri Lankans alike walked by laughing or talking or shouting. The place was so lively then, but our presence lit up the whole world.
I don’t think visiting the same place twice means reliving the same experience. I was so at peace; it was almost as if I tasted a morsel of what nirvana might be all about. I wish we could have gone back to relive it all, but it wouldn’t be the same. It was much like a movie on repeat; every time you watch it, you find something you never saw, or you reached a moment of epiphany. Maybe sometime in the future, we could stay over to watch the day give in to night and the stars wash over the city with light. Until then, I’ll keep close to my heart the memories, from finding lock-hearts to falling butt first into a really rough sea. I don’t think visiting the same place twice means reliving the same experience, and I wouldn’t change these memories for the world.