The Urban Wanderer

Crossing Borders ~ Bridging Cultures ~ Traveling Responsibly

A Perfect Day in Sri Lanka ~ Sigiriya Rock Fortress and an Elephant Safari

This post is originally from February 20, 2017

The incredible Sigiriya Rock Fortress

Today has been another crazy amazing day in paradise! It is the day I’ve been ‘training’ and preparing for (for literally months). And by training I mean, when I get off the train when I commute to work I make sure to use the stairs instead of the escalator! This is the day we climb Sigiriya Rock Fortress. This massive rock stands 370m above sea level with a sheer drop on all sides. There are over 1200 steps to conquer but the view from the top is absolutely magnificent.

A view from the top ~ and the remnants of the palace
Sigiriya was once an ancient city and atop the rock was the palace where the king and his harem lived. You can still see the well laid out gardens as well as the moats. What is most impressive to me are the murals and frescoes that date back to early A.D. They are still vibrant and as detailed as ever!
Looking at this massive rock from below was freaking daunting. With the afternoon heat settling in I was pretty sure I was going to fail, and considered sitting this climb out to be with the ‘older crew’. Thank goodness my pride and curiosity got in the way because other than not being able to see (because my sweat kept dripping and stinging my eyes) it was relatively painless. I say relatively because had I been in proper shape I probably would have only sworn only once or twice! Once on top of the rock you can literally see for miles, and let me tell ya it’s pretty spectacular to see the multitudes of massive white Buddha statues that dot the countryside.


Half way to the top are the lion’s paws carved into the stone
Next on the agenda was a ‘village tour’. Probably not the most well thought out tour and I am not sure who planned it because we didn’t quite have a distinct destination. Extremely hot and exhausted from our earlier climb all we really wanted to do was sit in the shade with a cold drink. Instead we walked down a dirt road looking at rice fields. Kris and I knew this was a bust right from the get go so we hung out in the back and every time we found a piece of shade we would sit and wait for a while before running to the next patch. Eventually the ‘tour’ was cancelled because clearly there wasn’t anything to see but each other sweating out of every orifice!
My good friends Lena (from Germany) and Ash (from UK)
Later a few of us decided to go on an elephant safari at Minneviya National Park. No matter how many times I get to see these amazing creatures in their natural habitat, it NEVER gets old! We got to stand up in our 4×4 jeep and let the wind whip through our hair. That wasn’t the only thing whipping through our hair; we had to be on the look out and duck from stray tree branches… but holy hell it was like being on a hilarious real life roller coaster. We managed through thick, lush jungle and eventually made our way to a massive lake. There were so many elephants that you literally lost count. There was even a tiny baby one that could only have been a couple months old. It was estimated that we saw approximately 125 elephants and to see them so close that you could watch them blink is simply indescribable!
I can’t imagine a more perfect day ~ Sri Lanka is clearly not disappointing us!

If you are interested in taking a tour that covers the places on my adventure check outG Adventures ~ Sri Lanka Encompassed

If you like this post and want to share it to Pinterest, feel free to Pin here!Copy of Dambulla Caves

Copy of Sigiriya Rock Fortress

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