Feb 20 - Sigiriya and Polonnaruwa

We arranged an early breakfast at our Sundaras Resort (more about the hotel in a bit), and took a rented van to see the ancient city of Sigiriya. Entry cost was $35USD pp, but well worth it. We enjoyed hours of archeological wonders, explained to us by our very knowledgable guide. The paintings of the damsels and the mirror wall were just amazing considering the complex was begun in the 3rd century BC! The terraced gardens, pools and view from the summit were absolutely amazing, and a unique UNESCO Heritage site. Although tired, we had barely begun...next stop was Polonnaruwa, another ancient capital city of Sri Lanka. Again, the sculptures and frescoes, many dating from the 12th century, were amazing. The Polonnaruwa ruins are so vast that some people rode bicycles around! Our van driver would stop, drop our guide and ourselves off, and pick us up to take us to the next area to explore. This UNESCO site has a $30USD pp entry fee, but, again, is well worth the cost of admission. By late afternoon, we returned to the Sundaras, which has the coldest beers in town. The rooms are clean, the food really good, and the staff friendly and helpful. Laundry can be done, but is expensive. Free wifi is available, but a bit slow. A car or van is available for hire, and the hotel is conveniently located (a 10-15 min walk) to the Golden Temple nearby. This morning, we took the bus to Kandy. Bus rides (and tuk-tuk rides for that matter) are always an adventure. There is, I think, a genetic predisposition against anyone driving in front of you. Passing on curves, especially blind curves, or in crowded areas, or just about anywhere, anytime, is the normal scheme of things. It is advised to hold on to your seat....
Pic: We're still fresh; ready to climb to the top (I've named it the tooth rock) to see the ruins of one of two palaces. Amazing history....Check out: http://www.srilankaview.com/sigiriya.htm.

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