We arrived into the Sri Lanka on an early morning flight, having spent most of the night in the Airport waiting for our flight we were pretty tired by the time our flight landed just before 7am. Visas issued, customs cleared and we were on our way into Sri Lanka. We had organized a driver/guide for the first part of our trip, which was a good plan as we didn’t have to worry about hectic public transport systems in our tired state. The car ride north to the cultural triangle included a Sri Lankan history lesson and stories from the times of war.
Arriving 3 hours later at our destination, our first stop was the ‘Golden Temple of Dambulla’ These caves sitting high on a rock out crop were originally carved during the Anuradhapura period (1st century BC to 993 AD) and added to over the centuries.
Welcoming us at the base of the rock, a large Golden Budda. Not yet accustomed to the Sri Lankan heat, the steep walk up the rock was a bit of shock to the system but well worth the effort.Legend claims the above tree was planted by Budda himself.
After an hour up the rock, we made our way back down avoiding thieving monkeys keen to get their hands on anything not firmly in your grasp. Arriving back at the car park again, I soon found out that its best to use toilets in hotels only. Grim !
Next stop – Sigiriya.
‘Sigiriya’ or ‘Lions Rock’. On top sit the ruins of an ancient fortress and a Buddhist temple. The rock itself is the solidified crater plug of ancient volcano, the surroundings have eroded away with time leaving only the rock out crop.
Half way up the rock small frescoes hold ancient paintings, still in good condition.
The final climb begins at the ‘Lions Paws’. Before the stairways were put in place for tourists, access was by way of small hand holds on the rock face.
As we soon found out, the view from the top was again worth the haul.
Luckily for us the heat radiated off the large rock mass was balanced out by a strong breeze.
Back down the rock and we headed to our bed for the night, and to sample some Sri Lankan curry : )