Galle & Tangalle April 2010

Galle is a city in southwestern Sri Lanka and has been the main port of the island even before the arrival of the Portuguese.  Galle Fort of Galle, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was first built by the Portuguese in the 16th century and then fortified by the Dutch during the 17th century.   It is now a sleepy walled city seeped with the Dutch-colonial charm of a bygone era.  The Fort area is filled with small boutiques, cafes, and boutique hotels side by side with government offices, courts, and local residences.  After spending several days in Galle, we headed to Tangalle for more of a beach holiday.  Tangalle is known for its sandy beaches on the southeastern coast of Sri Lanka.  In both places we stayed at properties owned by the Amanresorts: Amangalla in Galle Fort and Amanwella in Tangalle.

Continue reading “Galle & Tangalle April 2010”

Salvador da Bahia Feb 2010

Salvador da Bahia or Salvador is the largest city on the northeast coast of Brazil and was founded in 1549 by the Portugese.  Salvador is one of the oldest colonial cities in the Americas and is also the first slave market on the continent with slaves arriving to work on the sugar plantations.  Hence, it is heavily influenced by African culture, cuisine, and music.  Salvador is divided into “Lower Town” with the port and neighborhoods along the bay and “Upper Town” which is the rest of the city.  These two parts of town are connected by an elevator, known as Elevador Lacerda since 1873.

Continue reading “Salvador da Bahia Feb 2010”

Rio de Janeiro Feb 2010

Rio de Janeiro is known for its laidback beaches, samba, and its annual carnival.  Unfortunately, it is also known for its violence and crime with the druglords and slums or favelas being very old social problems.  Other than the famous beaches like Copacabana and Ipanema, the statue of Christ the Redeemer atop Corcovado mountain, one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, and Sugarloaf Mountain are must sees.

Continue reading “Rio de Janeiro Feb 2010”