06th December 2010, www.island.lk
Once upon a time, ancient travellers like Marco Polo, Sindbad the Sailor, the Portuguese Admiral Lorenzo de Almeida…… they all sailed to Ceylon’s southern port city Galle. Centuries later, thousands of others travel by road.
If you’re planning to be part of next January’s Galle Literary Festival 2011, you can take a completely new option. In fact a most exciting option would be to fly to Galle, much to the envy of others. Yes, transportation to and from the Galle Literary Festival takes on an excitingly new dimension with SriLankan Air Taxis ferrying writers and visitors to the southern capital city and back for Galle’s most talked about event.
Now in its fifth successful year, the Galle Literary Festival to be held from January 26th to 30th has taken top billing both in Sri Lanka’s and the international literary/cultural calendar, drawing writers and visitors from all parts of the world. This year too SriLankan Airlines as the festival carrier will fly in participants from all parts of the airline’s network covering 49 destinations 31 countries. The majority of participants from Europe will fly out from London while many others will fly from Delhi.
For a fare of Rs. 12,000 + taxes, you can hop on board a SriLankan Air Taxi from Colombo to Galle for the day. In fact FlySmiles members can redeem miles too on this sector. What’s more … you also get a complimentary Day-Pass from SriLankan Air Taxis to the Galle Literary Festival on the day of your flight.
Taking off from Colombo, your flight will cruise at an altitude of 1500 to 3000 feet above sea level along Sri Lanka’s western coastline. Along the way it’s all yours to enjoy Colombo’s fast changing skyline from Moratuwa, Panadura to the sacred city Kalutara with its famed Bo Tree and Dagoba, where river meets sea.
You pass the Fisheries Harbour at Beruwela and swoop over scenic golden beaches of Bentota with its necklace of hotels dotting the coastline. Your final destination will be Koggala – deep in the Martin Wickremasinghe country – which evokes vivid images of ‘Madol Duwa’ and ‘Gamperaliya’, classics of Sri Lankan literature and immortalised in film by the doyen of Sri Lanka Dr. Lester James Peries.
This time’s festival will attract historians, poets, award winning writers, and biographers from England, India, Pakistan, Turkey, Nigeria, the Ukraine, Malaysia, Australia, Canada, USA, South Africa, and Sri Lanka.
Among them will be Nobel, Booker, Orange, Whitbread, Commonwealth and Gratiaen Prize winners who will be part of the activities including panel and solo discussions, concerts and workshops. There will also be gourmet lunches, Al fresco lunchtime concert picnics, dinners and late night revues and readings.
Adding to the excitement of the experience, SriLankan Air Taxis will also operate scenic flights out of nearby Koggala during this festival to enable foreign visitors to discover more of southern Sri Lanka from a bird’s eye perspective.
Sri Lanka ‘s historic Galle Fort exudes a distinct olde worlde charm. Every street corner, every old building, every tombstone and every archway have each a story of their own. These are stories, sometimes untold and waiting to be discovered by inquiring Sri Lankan and foreign visitors.
While savouring the 21st century charm of the Galle Literary Festival, you can also embark on a voyage back in time … when battles were lost and won, tales spun and charmed … and history created and reshaped in this UNESCO World Heritage site.
SriLankan Air Taxis Cover Natural Beauty of Sri Lanka in Half an Hour
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