Wednesday, August 2, 2006

Favourite Places - Galle Face
















A uniquely Sri Lankan experience. This has got to be one of the best places in the world to just mooch around and watch the world go by. Sit in the hotel with an ice cold beer and watch the picturesque sunset or mingle with the throng and eat prawn vadais on the green. Either way you'll remember the idiosyncratic feeling of calmness and excitement for a long time.

Taken on a purely objective basis it's probably not even one of the most beautiful places in Sri Lanka, let alone the world, but there's an indefinable quality about it that many haven't felt anywhere else.

Maybe it's the mixture of people and characters that makes it. There are rich tourists trying not to look rich and touristy, there are poor tourists trying to look like expats, there are the Colombo elite and the Colombo not so elite. There are pimps, touts and drug dealers, there are grandparents and grandchildren. Young couples sit and snog under umbrellas or just hold hands and watch the sunset. There are kids playing cricket and some of the mankiest looking ponies I have ever seen. The noise is a spicy stew of the waves lapping, the Colombo traffic with its continual horning and unsilenced diesel engines and the throng of the crowd.

The BOC building, the twin towers and the Galadari loom with their distinctive shapes overlooking the whole scene. The Intercontinental, or whatever it's called now, looks like a tiny insignificant blot on the landscape, but I remember when it was one of Colombo's two 5 star hotels, the other being the Oberoi down the road. The Akasa Kade is long gone.

So, if you're visiting colombo, check out the Galle Face, you'll adore it. It really is one of the world's most exciting places.

5 comments:

childof25 said...

Hmm...its the nostalgia that makes me fond of the place, though I havent visited the place in ages...was a big part of my childhood

Theena said...

Love the place even though I don't visit it as often as I should.

Dude, were you in Colombo last year around this time? Their was a world wide music festival held at the Galle Face called WOMAD. My God that was amazing. Had around 30 acts - from African drummers to a techno band from the UK called The Bays - and the performances were spread over two days.

I remember I had never seen so many people in Galle Falle at one point like that. The finale when they brought out Kandyan drummers, Hindu temple drummers, Indian drummers, western drums, African percussion instruments was orgasmic.

SpectralCentroid said...

Ah the "isso wadey"! Yum.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Theena - I was gutted because I was in CMB about a week before WOMAD. I don't need to tell you how much I would have enjoyed seeing all those drummers on Galle Face Green. I got a text from a great friend of mine on the Saturday night finale to say she was watching all these drummers on stage and how great it was. I couldn't believe my bad timing!

Sachintha said...

WOW you brought back memories...
I used to work at WTC and when I didn't have much work - oh yeah there were some days like that - one of my fav things to do was to get to a window and just stare at the see, everything else around...

It was such a serene experience...

Miss it so much...