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day filled with highlights


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Another early day awaited us, but this time the AC had nothing to do with it and unlike the previous hotel in Hendala, this time we had the opportunity to turn off the AC, as we did as soon as we entered the room. Ever since we left Europe, Tania was fighting a cold and sadly enough over the last few days, things progressed to the worse and it looked like she was getting laryngitis.

Still not feeling 100 %, she was up there at the crack of dawn with the rest of the group. Sick or not, she wasn't going to miss that infamous Unesco World Heritage Site which is called Sigiriya, the same name as the place where we were staying at, but I guess most people just know it as the Lion Rock Fortress.

Because it was still very early, we had to wait a bit for breakfast to be served, but for me, it was just a tad bit too early, so instead of eating all those delicious items which were provided for us, I just sticked to eating some hot porridge, this was more than yummy enough and I was sure it would get me through the morning.

As soon as we were all ready, our bus brought us to the entrance of the site where surprisingly enough, we were almost all alone. It seemed that Samy was right after all, the earlier, the better.

Like always, tickets had to be bought first before we could enter the premisses, but as soon as that was behind us, we could go on discovery on this huge complex which consists out of multiple landscaped gardens, pleasure grounds, moats and of course the ruins of a palace on top of the rock.

I could go on and on about that crazy dude called King Kashyapa, who believe it or not walled-up his own father while he was still alive and to make things even worse, made sure his own brother, the rightful heir to the throne was driven away so that he could claim himself to be king. Seriously, there was something wrong with this guy and if you google him up, you can find loads of stuff on this mad person, but you gotta give it to him, he was crazy enough the build an incredible megastructure that even can be visited till this day.

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After walking through the ruins of the gardens, moats and so on, it was time to face my worst nightmare coz halfway up the rock you could visit the infamous "cloud maidens" of whom it is forbidden to take pictures nowadays and if you are right up there, you have nothing but eye for this impressive rock paintings and believe it or not, I just don't want to know how they were put up there coz I am sure more than one person has died at that place. 

Once we passed the "mirror wall", which is some kind of corridor of which its only function was to make sure that the king could see his own image while passing through (and they say that men aren't vain), it was only a few stairs up before we reached the Lion's Paw Terrace and also the entrance to a lot of stairs which brought us straight to the upper part of the rock and also to the ruins of the palace.

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It was really a big climb up and even if we left the hotel with a group of 10, once at the top of the rock, we lost another soul. Our fellow group member Edward wasn't able to climb up the stairs because of a blood pressure problem and he even got problem with oxygen. This was really sad coz he made it halfway up and knowing that he couldn't go further, I know how that feels, he sadly enough never saw the amazing views of the jungle.

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As we slowly walked downstairs again, we met up with Edward and Marie-José again and as we passed several ruins, it was just a matter of time till we reached the car park again and suddenly we were not alone anymore. 15 minutes later we were back at our hotel and it wasn't even 10.30 AM yet. 

With still a little bit of free time on our hands, most of our group decided for a relaxing hour or two, three at the pool of our hotel, but me and Tania had something else in mind.

Yesterday while Tania had her run, she noticed a house where you could have an ayurvedic massage and thinking this could help her cold, we went in search of this house and found it a few minutes later. Although the sign told us that it was some sort of spa or wellness thingy, once we entered the house, it was nothing of the sort, but they did some massages and although we were not used to sitting in someones living room while having a massage, we went for it, what harm could it do after all and little bit than an hour later we were all rejuvinated again.

Ayurvedic or not, we were in a good mood as we left the place and after we had a bite to eat and a nice refreshing shower later, we were more than ready for our afternoon adventure which was an elephant safari.

Finding elephants isn't always easy and doing this by bus is nothing less than impossible, so after a ride of about half an hour, we changed our bus into trusty jeeps and we were on our way to find us some big giants.

The safari on itself was more than funny and because we were but a small group, they divided us into two smaller groups so that it was a bit easier to stalk some elephants. 

Although we had to go and search them, we first came across a few native bird species before we suddenly noticed a group of giants and what an experience it was. Those loveley giants look so gentile but never forget that we humans are nothing compared to them and about a few hours later with the sun setting as we arrived back at our hotel, we all left our bus with a giant smile on our faces.

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This was just an incredible day and together with a nice dinner to top of things, it was more than an incredible day. Still tired of so many impressions of one day, we decided to hit the sack a bit earlier than normal. Tania was still not feeling well and maybe a good night's sleep would make things a little better.

Posted by Ils1976 01:22 Archived in Sri Lanka Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises people animals birds culture history bus adventure clouds friends cave fun sightseeing sights asia relaxing wellness viewpoint big_five unesco_world_heritage_site

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