Situated on the Indian Ocean, just north of the historic Galle Face Hotel and south of Colombo’s business district and old Fort region, is a public park known as the Galle Face Green.
The park covers 5 hectacres (12 acres) and is a popular place for people to gather, especially at sunset when the beautiful light of the setting sun and cool ocean breezes draws folks in. The Green has in the past, also served as a horse racing venue, golf course and sports field (football, cricket, rugby).
During my visits to Colombo I enjoyed walking along the Green’s oceanside path just after dawn — one of my ways of dealing with jetlag. The walk was refreshing and interesting because, despite the early hour, many people were there enjoying this space. In the morning folks often exercise on the Green. Others fish and enjoy splashing in the water (despite many warning signs not to). When the evening breeze gain momentum, kites start to dot the sky over the park.
During my last visit, I was a happy to see new development in the city, but not all of it was something I’d view as favorable. A number of new residential skyscrapers were being finished near the park — something good. Perhaps most bothersome was the building of a new Marina. Ships were constantly pouring tons of sand and dirt into the sea at the north end of the Green in what will one day add 269 hectares (665 acres) to the city at a cost of about US$15Billion. The nature of the Green and the historic Fort district will forever be changed. I don’t think the Marina belongs here and know that if Arthur C. Clarke were alive he would have strongly opposed it.
Meanwhile, enjoy these views of the Galle Face Green as it existed in 2017.
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