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Honeymoon Week 1: Sri Lanka - Habarana Part 2

It was another early start the next morning, so that we could get to the rock fortress of Sigiriya before it got too hot since it involved an energetic climb to the top for the spectacular view. The guidebooks even warn you about the climb before you go! So hats, water and trainers at the ready we arrived at Sigiriya before 9am and started our climb. Even at that early time in the morning, it was so hot, which made the climb harder so I would not have liked to have done it during the hottest part of the day. Twice we saw people who had to lie down as they had underestimated the climb in such a heat, and the amount of water needed to get all the way to the top.

Half way up there is a mirror wall and up a small metal spiral staircase there is a gallery of cave paintings. At the top of the rock is the main fortress.

Lions paws guard the entrance to the palace ruin which is right at the top. It was definitely worth the climb to see the views but the last bit on the rickety metal staircase was tough going in the heat. The guidebook had made it seem like it was actual ladders to get up to the top and that you may need pushed up, which I was a bit concerned about, but it was actual stairs, even if they were a bit wobbly and not completely attached to the rock!

Once we got back to the hotel we had time for a swim in the lovely pool before getting some lunch. In the afternoon, we had the choice of an elephant ride or a trip to Polonnaruwa, the ancient 12th Century capital city. Since we had already been on an elephant in Thailand, and we felt it was far too hot to be sitting on an elephant in the sun for 2 hours, we opted for the trip to Polonnaruwa. There were only 6 of us who went so we had a little mini bus to take us there, along with our usual tour guide. The ancient city is now an archaeological relic site so we spent some time exploring the ruins.

It was absolutely boiling that day though so we often had to stand in the shade. Even though they are ruins, to go into any of the temples you still had to take your shoes off, and the ground was burning! So much so that it was always just me and another woman going in to each place while the rest stood in the shade! You also had to cover your shoulders and wear trousers or a long skirt.

The temples were all wonderful to see but I think my favourite part was the four massive Buddha images that are carved into the side of a single granite rock face, which is the rock temple Gal Vihara. I hopped around taking these photos while Graham stood back under the shade as again you had to take your shoes off to go close to the temple.

On our way back to the hotel we saw an elephant in the wild but I couldn't get a proper picture of it. Once back at the hotel we got changed for dinner where we met some of the rest of the group to hear about their elephant trip. We managed a few more cocktails again before bed, ready for another early start in morning. When we got back to our room they had left us a little message on the floor.

The next day we started heading towards Kandy...


  1. I am way too lazy to walk up mountains but this was definitely worth it! (Oh and I love that you call them trainers :)!)

  2. Wow, what an amazing place! I can see how it would wear some people out who were unprepared, so way to go for sticking with it and making it!

  3. What a great adventure you guys had! Love the pics of the elephants in your previous post!

  4. It sounds hot but fun. :)
    That Buddha carved in the stone is so beautiful!


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