GETTING TO KNOW ...
The island that was known as 'Serendip'
Caught out during Covid, and now a happy captive
I presently live on the lagoon in Negombo, having been caught out here since Covid began. Over the last 14 months I've moved around to live in 3 very diverse areas: Kalutara, a predominantly Buddhist area, the hills of Victoria dam in Digana, near Kandy, with a Tamil population (from tea-picking history), and since August, here on the lagoon in Negombo, a predominantly Catholic community.
The divisions based on faith refect the way Sri Lankan society tends to define itself - for better or worse - but each experience has afforded me insights into a country which I've really come to love.
Now that Sri Lanka has opened up to tourists, it's well on the way to finding even more fans, as people learn of it's travel-safe qualities and discover that there's so much more to this island than a 'lite' version of India - a phrase which does countries, and cultures, a great disservice.
I'm looking forward to sharing it with those who join me and British Artist and designer, Este Macleod, for our Serendipity Art Retreat starting November 29, 2021, to be held inthe marvellous UNESCO World Heritage site of the Old Fort of Galle. This will be followed with a 6-day Slow Travel tour to the tea country and ancient sites, creating a 14-day day escape to a tropical paradise - Serendip - as it was called by Persian traders a thousand years ago.
Galle Fort is the location of 'The Serendipity Retreat' an art and yoga retreat with acclaimed British designer and artist ESTE MACLEOD, to be held in Sri Lanka from 29 November - 7 December 2021.
Of Sri Lanka's six UNESCO sites, the Galle Fort, or 'The Old Town of Galle' as it's known on UNESCO's register, is one in which you can easily spend more than a few hours exploring. Not only is it a complete town preserved and restored from its earliest days, but its intact walls surround a vibrant community whose diverse ancestral roots reflect the history of Sri Lanka's heritage as a trading destination since Classical times, and a place of mythological mystery in medieval times, when it came to be known as 'Serendip'.
I'm moving to Galle Fort at the end of March, so this page will feature stories, profiles and postcards from Galle as I prepare to host Este's Serendipity Retreat ( you may like to subscribe to my newsletter), but meanwhile, here's some Sri Lankan stories, including one about Galle's Literary Festival.
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