Most of our plans for Kandy were thwarted by Ania and Bogusia’s temptation to “SHOP”and to search for yet another ayurvedic massage cream. We were treated to all manner of tropical fruit in the Kandy market, where I happened to recognize a market seller from twenty years ago. He was all smiles as my Polish friends almost bought him out of spices and creams!
We eventually decided not to miss the opportunity to spend a day at the awesome Sigiria Rock
. Somewhat difficult to describe, I have attached a few photos that will hopefully put it into perspective. Gerry, Mike and I actually climbed Sigiria several times when we lived in Sri Lanka, never tiring of its mythical attractions. Legend has it that King Kassapa built a palace on top of Sigiriya to escape the wrath of his brother after murdering his father in AD 477. I was rather disappointed to learn that a new theory suggests that Sigiria was never in fact a palace, but rather a Buddhist monastery constructed well before the time of King Kassapa. I was also dismayed to note that the precipitous steps carved into rock on the final ascent have been replaced by a metal staircase that removes all sense of danger and adventure, and that considerable reconstruction done on the top has somewhat destroyed its authenticity.
Not to worry, Sigiria still holds the power to amaze with frescoes painted high up on the walls, a thousand poems hand written on a mirror wall, terraces, ponds, and even lions paws. Is it worth the US$30 admission fee for foreign tourists, considering that Sri Lankan tourists pay the equivalent of only 50 cents? You’ll just have to come for a visit and decide for yourselves!!
True to their country’s reputation, Ania and Begosia came to Sri Lanka armed with a large bottle of Vodka. A swig every now and then will keep Montezuma’s Revenge at bay, is what they kept telling me. It seemed to work, although we were all a bit disappointed that it didn’t keep away the nausea on the very curvy road between Nuara Eliya and Kandy.