Monday, March 4, 2024

‘The cobblestone streets in Galle were a lot of fun to stroll through’

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Actress Kritika Kamra, who recently travelled to Galle, gets candid with The Pioneer for our weekly segment of Travel Tales, sharing her travel diaries and more from the trip.
SHIKHA DUGGAL
Kritika Kamra recently travelled to Galle, a Portuguese town situated on the southwest coast of Sri Lanka. It doesn’t hide its past from view. Its colonial-era focal point is surrounded by windswept beaches and nodding palms, while the remainder of the city is lined with Dutch-style homes, eccentric stores, whitewashed mansions, and historical museums.
The Pioneer hears about her “rejuvenating” travel and trekking experiences, which allowed her to experience a breath of fresh air in this ancient city. For instance, the well-known Mitron fame divulges, “My vacation to Galle was the ideal escape. The cobblestone streets were a lot of fun to stroll through while taking in the culture and architecture. I was also quite impressed by Sri Lanka’s warmth.”
The Portuguese constructed the Galle Fort, which the Dutch subsequently strengthened, and it is now recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Archaeologically, historically, and architecturally, it is significant. The way the old and modern worlds converge in Galle is something she found really intriguing. Although its appearance could take you back in time, the people and culture there now are cutting-edge and dynamic.
“I also visited Ahangama, which is a beach popular among surfers south of Galle,” says the Bareilly girl, and she continues. “The beaches are lovely and well-kept. Gorgeous blue skies and seas, smooth beaches, with palm trees along the roadways. Sri Lanka has individuality and is naturally lovely. There are some great surfing locations in the south of the nation that are appropriate for both novice and expert surfers.”
She thinks local cuisine tells you a lot about a place. “A Sri Lankan thali or plate of regional cuisine can educate you about the geography and history of the area. An understanding of Sri Lanka’s colonial past can also be gained from the native ingredients, which include the spices for which the country is renowned, and the culinary methods, which combine traditional European methods with indigenous ones. A local chef taught me an extremely interesting and educational culinary class,” added the fashion graduate.
The Galle Fort is heavily influenced by its colonial past. Things from the past that have been preserved include the architecture, the marine museum, and even geographical names, such Ceylon, which was Sri Lanka’s previous name. You may stroll to two famous buildings: the lighthouse and the clock tower. Everything in the fort town is easily accessible by foot, which is its best feature. You can walk there in a matter of minutes, whether your goal is to have a gelato or a stroll along the beach, informed Tandav fame!
She continued, “India’s geography, history, and culture are all astounding. We have everything from beaches to mountains, rivers to deserts, rainforests to well-known landmarks. There are a plethora of languages, cuisines, and art forms to discover in our nation. Even if popular tourist destinations like Rajasthan, Goa, and Pondicherry exist, I have a special place in my heart for Kashmir. Kashmir is absolutely unlike any other location. While I have seen the Swiss Alps, nothing compares to Kashmir’s untainted beauty and unique character. An experience unlike any other can be had by taking a Shikara ride on the Dal Lake, going for a stroll through Nishat Bagh in Srinagar, lodging by the Lidder River, skiing in Gulmarg, and spending evenings by the Bukhari. Kashmir is the most enchanting and romantic location on earth.”
The experience stays and boutique hotels are her favorites. “I would rather stay in thoughtfully luxurious accommodations with a consistent buffet than generic five-star chain hotels. For me, the details are crucial. The features I search for in the ideal hotel include customizable itineraries, flexible scheduling, seclusion, food that is based on ingredients, lots of outdoor space, and an excellent pool,” the Bambai Meri Jaan fame gave her thoughts.
Goa due to its convenience and closeness to Mumbai, it has been ideal for a brief getaway or a change of scenery for her with just enough activities to keep one busy if desired, whether it’s for a weekend or a week off. She said, “The blend of urban and rural life is excellent. I can spend my days lounging on the beach, sipping coffee from a shack, selecting an excellent yoga class, receiving an ayurvedic massage, sipping negronis in a classy bar, and enjoying the best sushi for supper. I’m fond of the opportunities that Goa presents.”
She has never taken a solo trip. She admits openly it’s not for her. However, her best friend and she once thought they were being followed while on a girls’ trip. She recalled, “We were pretty scared, and it was in Paris. Our hotel was a little walk from the train station. That evening, we returned safely, but the following day, we misplaced our camera. In a restaurant, it was taken from our table. We received CCTV footage, went to the police, and nearly pursued the man, but we were unable to retrieve the camera. This was a long time ago. I now take great care of my goods and safety.”
She enjoyed trying a variety of local foods guilt-free, including curries, baked goods, and coconut sweets when in Galle. Despite the heat, they managed to locate a delicious gelato shop, where she enjoyed a scoop every day. The coconut water was quite delicious and fresh as well! To be precise, “I went surfing in Ahangama. Though I’m far from perfect, it was a start. I’m going back to do more of it. In order to see the views, I also climbed the Galle lighthouse. Climbing and descending the historic spiral staircase was a lot of fun. We took a lovely journey from Galle to the southern beaches, passing through little villages and seeing the scenery change every few minutes. Whale viewing was one thing I did not get to do on my vacation. When I visit Sri Lanka later, I intend to carry it out.”
She would adore taking a trip with Soha Ali Khan, Cyrus, Lara Dutta, Naseer Sahab, or Dino. They shot in Rajasthan for a new series, and it was almost like a holiday. They were all in one resort and in a bio-bubble because it was during the lockdown. They spent a lot of time together, lived there, and shot there. The whole group got along pretty well, and it was a lot of fun. She would adore doing it again. “One benefit of being an actor is getting to shoot in beautiful places. It’s honestly a very ideal situation to be able to do what I love you in a beautiful environment with the people I love,” the actress concluded.
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