Heights, humidity and hornets. Not exactly my favourite type of day but to be fair we had to climb Sigiriya rock as we were here in Sri Lanka and in order to avoid the humidity we started as early as we could and we were passing through the gates of the place as soon as it opened. There was a steady stream of people but it wasn’t packed but the humidity and heat had set in early and we were both sweating even before we had begun the climb!
The base of the rock is a garden and pond area surrounded by a moat and had lots of ruins scattered around but we were keen to get up the rock so decided to have an exploration of the grounds when we got back down.
It wasn’t long after we started our climb that I had our first vertigo inducing moment as we climbed up a rickety spiral staircase bolted on to the side of the rock. We went up these to see some paintings in a cave but I have to admit that I am not sure if they warranted the climb up and back down again.
The next stage of the climb was fairly easy and we ended up at the feet of the Lion’s gate where there was a sign warning about wasps in the area! (Don’t worry mum I had my antihistamines with me) but still didn’t fancy hanging around so headed up the stairs in between the two huge lion’s paws.
The concrete stairs soon turned into metal ones which were bolted on to the side of the rock. They seemed fairly sturdy other than the odd creak and strain and even though it hasn’t happened in ages a bit of vertigo set in but onwards we went and in no time at all we were at the top!
We weren’t sure what to expect but what we saw was almost the entire top of the rock, 1.6 hectares, filled with ruins. There must have been quite a few buildings up here and even a reservoir! I do not know how on earth it would have been possible to build such structures up here and even now there are many unanswered questions as to how it was done. It is believed that it was a fortress of a king and was built in 400 AD and at the time it must have been impregnable.
We sat and enjoyed the breeze and the view and then headed back down again. Just as we were coming out down the bottom we passed some Red Cross workers and asked if they were there to help with rehydration and heat stroke? They answered that their main reason for being there was to deal with the wasp stings!! Lucky.
The other lucky thing was that we had beaten some quite huge crowds. There was now a constant stream of tourists coming into the park and beginning their climb up. I have to admit I don’t think that they would all make it and if they did I reckon the procession would be grinding it’s way up at a snail’s pace. They were all heading up the stairs though so we got to enjoy the surrounding gardens which again were quite breathtaking and much larger than I had imagined them to be.
Last stop in the tour was the museum which although might have been interesting wasn’t air conditioned or fan cooled and we were both far too hot to walk around inside so began our walk home. All this and it was still only 8:30am!!! T
I will never get tired of seeing these fantastic animals as we travel around. Just so much amusing personality.
Some of the man made lakes/baths/reservoirs.
The key for me was not to look down! At the top of the spiral staircases were the murals.
The paws are all that’s left at Lion’s gate, the entrance to the second stage of the climb. How on earth they got up here 1000 years ago I have no idea.
A view back towards the gardens we had just walked through.
Brave and casual!
To be fair the views were spectacular!
All smiles at the top.
The size of the ruins up on the top of the rock were something to behold.
There was even a reservoir up here!
I think Sarah enjoyed the views on the way down more than I did!
Just massive amounts of uninhabited forests all around here.
I was very quiet!!
Scary walkways around the side of the rock! The Sri Lankan engineering held up!