Sri Lanka (September 27-30)

Three days in Sri Lanka is not enough. My friend J and I did our best, cramming giant mammals, unique cuisine, ancient temples and fortresses, and relaxing beaches into very full days. It was all fantastic. And it was not enough. We left too many amazing-sounding destinations off our itinerary. Sri Lanka is officially on my list of places worth a second (or third or fourth) visit.

Top: Bath time at the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage
Middle: Monks walking lakeside in Kandy, Sri Lanka’s cultural capital
Bottom: Reclining Buddha in the Dambulla Cave Temple complex. The complex dates from the 3rd century BC; the Buddha statues were added in 1190.

The ancient city fortress of Sigiriya was built at the top of this rock around 480 AD so the king at that time could avoid retribution for seizing the throne from his half brother. The whole time we were climbing I could only wonder at what it must have been like to transport the rocks that make up the city all the way to the top. I’m glad it wasn’t me.

Top: View from the summit of the Sigiriya rock
Middle: Driving along Kanalama Lake in Dambulla
Bottom: Boats and dried fish in Negombo

Hoppers are made from a fermented batter and paired with different fillings and sauces. They are native to Sri Lanka and quite delicious. String hoppers (not pictured) are noodles paired with the same toppings.

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