Ancient Cities...Continued

Trip Start Oct 19, 2010
Trip End Jan 19, 2011

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Where I stayed
Manel Guest House

Flag of Sri Lanka  ,
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Another day brings me to another of Sri Lanka's ancient cities.  Polannaruwa was a thriving commercial and religious center 800 years ago.  Although nearly 1,000 years old, it is much younger than Anuradhapura (my next destination to the north).

I popped into the archaeological museum on my way to the ruins and was pleasantly surprised.  It provided a good overview of the site, its history and condition before it was partially reconstructed.  The best was the final few rooms that were filled with bronzes, mostly from the Hindu sites on the outskirts of the ruins.  These devales originally had stone roofs.  When they finally collapsed most that was inside remained buried over the ages and was recovered in the last century.  Really magnificent stuff - worthy of The Met or similar.

Walking through the ruins themselves were an enjoyable afternoon.  It's monsoon-ish here which means it is rainy every afternoon.  I can't help but be out in it - I've been traveling in the morning (must arrive in the next location to find & secure a room early) and have been spending the afternoon / evening / next day seeing the sights.  Unfortunately, pissing afternoons means that I get slightly wet from the rain but very wet from the sweat.  Really sweaty!  My clothes from the past THREE days are currently spread all over my triple room with the fan on high attempting to dry.  So damn humid!  I'll put a bit more description on the photos that I post.

I ran into Jenny (Ozzie I met in Negombo) and a new friend Patrick (Dutch) in Sigiriya and we made it to Polannaruwa together - local bus all the way.  Took us about three hours & cost roughly $1USD.  Unfortunately WE were the ones standing the entire trip.  It's all about getting on the bus at its origin...and we flagged it down half way along!'s been really fun and I enjoy the interactions with the locals.

As I said, tomorrow I'm off to Anuradhapura, the last of the ancient cities I will visit.  My path has brought me in a bit of a reverse history, but I believe I've saved the best for last.  Looking forward to it!

As of now, I'll probably head to the south to spend my final week on the beach.  Then: cold, cold USA.

P.S. - It rained like a MUTHAFUCKA for an entire night and day in Polannaruwa.  So much so that I stayed an extra day and night and didn't leave the guesthouse.  Roads washed out & the they're cutting breaks in the local damn to release water faster.  Yikes!
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