Galle, Sri Lanka today

Two years after the devastation brought about by the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, the city of Galle, like the rest of Sri Lanka, is trying to slowly pick itself up from where it was before the deadly tidal wave washed away not only its shoreline but also all its wonderful dreams for its future. While the coast as the Sri Lankans know it will never be the same again, residents of the port city have not totally lost hope. Not all is lost after all for, strange as it may seem, when the deadly tidal wave ravaged the shoreline and wiped out the city, it spared some of the villages, leaving them completely untouched.

Since the deadly tidal wave, new efforts at restoration and reconstruction have taken place and most of the hotels that were damaged have been repaired, others even taking the opportunity to further improve their condition and do a complete makeover. Vegetation along the shorelines has slowly returned and the sea is as clear and beautiful as it was before the tragedy. The lovely coconut palms are again swaying to the gentle breeze. The lovely port city of Galle is slowly coming back to life and the residents are all eager to know and anxiously waiting to see if the tourists are also coming back.

This is not to say though that the deadly tsunami disaster of 2004 has been completely forgotten for definitely it has not been. Not by a long shot. Every now and then in the stretch of road leading to and from the city of Galle one sees little reminders of the tragedy that had struck the city in 2004 — makeshift shelters of people who have lost their homes, a tiny fishing boat sitting in an odd location by the roadside, many others. While most of Galle was devastated by the tidal wave, the Galle Fort remained pretty much protected probably by its granite walls. It is thus eagerly awaiting the arrival of its regular flow of tourists who may want a glimpse of the merging of traditions and history with the sophistication of modern hotels and guesthouses.

There is no doubt in the minds of the residents that Galle will bounce back. They just hope that it happens soon so they can start with the business of living and do what they most love to do which is entertain visitors to their magnificent port city.