The Lion Rock and Ancient City of Sigiriya

The Unesco World Heritage site of Sigiriya is a massive urban center dating from 477-495 AD. It was a sophisticated ancient city with water works, gardens, commerce, defensive walls and a palace on top the Lion Fortress.  The trees are overrun with monkeys, but perhaps its most notable claim to fame is being featured in the 1982 Duran Duran music video Save A Prayer. If you haven't seen that lately, I'd look it up on Youtube--it'll bring back memories.  

The hike to the top of the fortress takes about 45. It is fairly easy though there are lots of stairs. There isn't much on top except for water basins and foundations, but the view is incredible. Allow 2-3 hours to wander the entire site. 

Linking with...Friday Photo Journal * My Town Shootout * Pierced Wonderings * Weekend Wanderlust * Weekend Bloghop * Friday 5

Silent Sunday

Linking with...Photalife * Seasons

Dambula Caves and the Golden Temple

The Dambula Cave Complex is the oldest and largest in Sri Lanka. A site of veneration since the first century BC, the cave walls are painted with images of Buddha and other gods and house hundreds of statues. The world Unesco site is home to the most cheeky group of monkeys you ever did meet who will swipe food (or anything perceived as such) right out of your hands, so hold tight to your cameras and do not pull out your bag of snacks!

You are asked to take off your shoes before entering the shrine and if you are a tourist, you are made to pay for shoe storage. It's a little irritating especially given the pavement is very hot and rocky. I would recommend taking a pair of socks to protect your precious peds.

Linking with...Friday Photo Journal * My Town Shootout * Pierced Wonderings * Weekend Wanderlust * Weekend Bloghop * Friday 5

Kandy Botanical Gardens

We recently took a trip to Sri Lanka. Due to weather we were advised the best beach vactation would be had on the east side of the island. Instead of driving directly to Trincomalee we took 3 days and stopped along the way to see different sites. One of our days was spent in Kandy, a city in the middle of the country. The hot ticket for that day was the Royal Botanical Gardens and Buddhist temple. 

Honestly, I really wasn't that keen on going to the gardens because I thought my daughter would be bored, but after reading the Trip Advisor reviews we decided to go. It was lovely! Beautiful variety of plants, trees, and flowers. Monkeys, stray dogs and the tallest Bamboo trees you've ever seen! 

Address: A1, Peradeniya 20400, Sri Lanka
Hours: 7:30am-6:00pm
Cost: There is an admission fee
Time: You'll need a few hours the grounds are quite extensive. It's a lovely place to sit and read or enjoy a picnic if you have the time. 

I fell in love with this blind dog, he was so sweet and happy-can you see the smile on his face?  I would have taken him home if it had been remotely possible, I wanted this stray! 

That crazy tree is called a Cannon Ball Tree. Eden took many of the orchid pictures. 

The cemetery picture is out of place, it's not at the garden. This is a WW2 cemetery for the British and Sri Lankans. So many young people are buried here. I really loved reading the tributes and epitaphs on the grave stones. Brothers, sons, husbands all lost. There was one woman. 

Look at that bamboo!  Bob is standing there to give it some perspective. As the bamboo swayed in the breeze the stalks would hit each other and make this hollow crackling sound that was a little unnerving. 

Linking with...Randomosity * Life Thru the Lens * Thru My Lens * Our World Tuesday * Imagine-in-ing 

Silent Sunday

Linking with Photalife * Seasons

Silent Sunday

I absolutely love how this tree has been pruned (or not). Botanical Garden, Kandy, Sri Lanka.
Linking with Photalife

City Exploring: Seville Cathedral

 I've been to practically every major cathedral in the Europe and this building can hold its own with Notre Dame, Chartres and the Duomo. The choir and alter piece are the creme fraise that make this building so incredible. The Seville Cathedral, completed in 1507, was built on the site of an old mosque and is the largest cathedral in the world, bumping the Hagia Sophia who held the honor for about 1000 years. It is also the resting place of Christopher Columbus.

Because we didn't book our tickets online beforehand (ding dong) and because the "short cut" way of getting tickets isn't allowed during Semana Santa we had to wait in line for our tickets. But to be honest, it worked in our favor. My husband left for his early morning run and secured our place in line--number two. I then swapped him places and about an hour later when the church opened we had about 10 minutes to ourselves to photograph the cathedral before the tour buses showed up. If you can manage some alone time, it is worth it. I literally ran around photographing everything I could while the place was empty, then went back to the beginning for a leisurely stroll. 

The Details
Address: Av. de la Constitución, s/n, 41004 Sevilla, Spain
Hours: 11am-3:30, but these change during the holidays or special days so it's best to double check. 
Cost: €9

The photo below is Christopher Columbus' grave

Linking with...Friday Photo Journal * My Town Shootout * Pierced Wonderings * Weekend Wanderlust * Weekend Bloghop * Friday 5