Sigiriya - the Lion Rock citadel

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We left the Cinnamon Grand Habarana hotel early in the morning; we had a long drive ahead of us and a few places to visit before we reached our destination.

Cinnamon Grand - Habarana

Our first stop... Sigiriya- the Lion Rock citadel.

Fortified in the 5th century, Sigiriya is one of several World Heritage sites in Sri Lanka.

Sigirya - view from afar

It was cloudy as we drove towards the site... and we were worried that it might be closed due to the mist and rain.

But as we came closer, the clouds parted and the sun came out.

Sigiriya Sign

My inner Indiana Jones got kinda excited about this sign.

Sigiriya - Family

Not everybody was feeling up to managing the climb - so my uncles, mom and I went on ahead.

Sigiriya Elephant Rock

Elephant Head rock. Sigiriya Rock

If you look to the bottom left, you can see the stairs going up to the first landing. We would climb those in a bit... and up, and up, and up to the top!

Sigiriya Monkeys

There were lots of monkeys all around.

Sigiriya - stairs

You get a better view of the stairs in this picture. The first sets of stairs take you up to a landing - and past the beautiful frescoes. Of the estimated 500 original ladies in the frescoes, a few still remain -  remarkably preserved.

Sigiriya Painting

Sigiriya Painting

Sigiriya Painting

Sigiriya View

A view from on the way up.

Sigiriya Stairs

Past the frescoes there is a landing. Those wanting to climb the additional stairs to the top can walk past the lion's paws and climb carefully upwards.

So my uncle and I - we did!

Sigiriya Pool

At the top of The Rock is a pool in what used to be a garden complex for the King.

Sigiriya Top

Me: at the very, very top.

Sigiriya View

Another few from the top.

Sigiriya Jump

The guide asked me to jump and snapped a photo using my camera.  "This one will be good for facebook!" he said.


Sigiriya Stair Help

At some point along the journey, another guide decided to "help" my mom up and down the stairs. Apparently weary travelers will sometimes need assistance and guides are there to help... for a small tip, of course. My mom didn't really need help, but he was pretty insistent. And it was kind of adorably embarrassing...

Sigiriya Snake-Charmer

A snake charmer... also working for tips.

Sigiriya - Touch Me Not

My uncle introduced me to these little "touch-me-not" plants. Brush the leaf lightly with your finger and they quickly close up.

 Sigiriya Stairs

We climbed back down The Rock and continued on our journey, warm and sweaty from the journey but inspired and incredibly content.

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