Exploring Cave Temples and Lion Rock in Sri Lanka

Exploring Cave Temples and Lion Rock in Sri Lanka
Hello everyone! I hope everyone is well and enjoying themselves as much as I am.
So, the weekends at the field house are free time, so on the first weekend I went away with Cheng and Yufei. We first went to Dambulla where there are the famous cave temples. Once we had climbed to the top and reached the caves, we were greeted by lots of monkeys – there’s just always monkeys at temples!
Inside the caves are beautiful statues of Buddha, as well as amazing paintings all over the roof of the caves. It really is something remarkable. I was especially taken by the feet of the Buddha in the first cave we went to – all you have to do is look at this photo and you’ll know why!
Buddha’s feet
Paintings on the roof of the cave

After exploring the caves we went and checked out Dambulla. While in a veggie shop Yufei picked up an avocado and asked me what it was. It turns out that Cheng and Yufei had never had one, so before I could say anything I hear Yufei asking for two and for them to be cut into half. I tried to explain that you don’t just buy avocado and cut it in half and eat it there and then, but by then it was too late. Both girls took a big mouthful – Cheng looked disgusted and Yufei ate the whole avocado. ‘How was it Yufei?’ I asked, to which she replied ‘Hmm, was good but not as sweet as I thought. I thought it would be like a mango’. I then explained it’s a vegetable we put in salads, on sandwiches, with lemon and salt – but we never eat it like a mango. It was probably one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen! Ohh thank you Yufei for the amusement.

Yufei caught red handed!

Afterwards we hopped in a tuk tuk with Lakshmi, aka Lucky Bob, who definitely wins the award for the most rasta tuk tuk. He was absolutely unreal. He drove us to Relax Guesthouse in Sigiriya, and on the way we stopped off at a spice garden. It was really cool to see all of the plants where common things come from, like pepper and vanilla. Did you know that vanilla has to be fertilised by hand as there are no longer the type of bees that used to do it? That’s why vanilla is pricey! Crazy!

Lucky Bob and his tuk tuk

Once in Sigiriya we hired some bicycles and checked out the local area which was lots of fun. It was beautiful driving around the back streets where locals live and bathe, minus almost getting attacked by an angry dog. Two little kids screamed at the dog and it backed off, otherwise I am convinced we would have soon been frothing at the mouth with rabies. That night we chilled out and had some beers, although Cheng left early, assuring us she could walk back to the guesthouse safely. Yufei left not long after, and I kicked on with some other backpackers. I found out when I got back to the accommodation that Cheng had gotten lost and had called the fieldhouse crying and speaking no English. Yufei followed the sounds of her sobs and eventually found her…woops.

The next morning we got up nice and early to go have some breakfast and then climb the infamous Lion Rock. When you enter the area, there are beautiful water gardens leading up the towering rock, which would have taken amazing planning and construction. Being the smart cookie that I am, I wore Birkenstocks for the walk, not thinking I would need enclosed shoes. The stairs were a bit wetter and steeper than I thought they would be, but I made it to the top nonetheless. At the top are palace ruins that date back over a thousand years, with an amazing view looking out over the surrounding land. The huge lions feet which are at the entrance of the palace give the rock its name.
After our walk up and down we were pretty tired and went and had lunch, before embarking on our bus ride back to the fieldhouse. It was fantastic to get away for the weekend and see what Dambulla and Sigiriya had to offer.

Lion Rock
The beautiful paintings on the cave wall on the walk up Lion Rock
The ruins at the top of Lion Rock
Me and the view!
The lion feet which give the rock its name
A beautiful little girl from Sunday school
Just on a parting note…a dog with dreadlocks

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