So to pick up from yesterday…
There were indeed lots of monkeys on our roof in the morning. Families of them. As we were walking down the road we almost missed a whole family of them that were about 6’ away.
Our little spa hotel in the middle of nowhere is sitting at the foot of the eighth wonder of the world. I’ve linked an image page here because our day was rainy and misty and the pictures don’t capture what we saw.
It’s called Sigiriya Rock (or Lion Rock). it is the leftover plug of a volcano and as geologically fascinating as that is, it’s history is so interesting.
In 477 CE the Prince (by a non-royal consortium) stole the throne from the King and then feared for his security (no kidding!…kids! not thinking ahead). So he built his fortress on top of this rock. Today there are ruins up there, a footprint of the palace as well as water gardens and the royal throne.
The new King died 495 CE at the point of his own sword as the throne was being fought for by the rightful Prince. Well, that’s one story. There are several renditions of what may have happened. If you’re so inclined to know the others you can read all about it. Other stories include this ‘palace in the sky’ as a place where the king and his harem hung out, where only a couple went and where possibly the queen may have killed him. There’s also a version of his death that has his elephant turning in a certain direction, that the rest of the warriors misinterpreted as retreating, and left him alone on the front line. Meh. Who knows?
This is what I know, it’s 370 metres high and we climbed it.
As we approached it, in all it’s intimidating shear edged glory I marveled at the range of people coming down the mountain. All shapes and sizes and ages. I actually stopped an Indian woman and asked her if she’d really gone to the top. She didn’t speak english so we did charades and she assured me that she had. She had long grey hair, no teeth, no shoes and was about half my height (ok…that part is a little exaggeration). And she assured me I could do it too.
And of course I did. Mostly because I’m stubborn. As we walked (and braked for breaths) we talked about what it must have been like to take supplies up to the top. We were walking on steps, some of them build from the rock and others metal (with insufficient railings!) but we could see the indents in the rock that they would have used to climb to the top. This was very extreme living!
Goes to show that prime real estate has always been the best view, on the highest point, and the most secure. Location, location, location. Couldn’t resist.
For centuries after the king’s short reign the rock was used as a buddhist monastery. I have to say – this is a perfect use! The views are lovely and awe inspiring and make you want to contemplate bigger things, or nothing. Just to sit quietly and absorb all that nature is giving from that vantage point is indeed worth the effort.
After that experience we had lunch in a little hut type thing, driven there by a tuk tuk (you’ll see pictures) and back to the hotel for an herbal oil massage and an herbal bath – and as lovely as that sounds…they need the help of my massage therapist in Niagara (Tammy). As funny as you would find the telling of it – I’ve gone over my 500 word goal. You’ll have to imagine! I’ll just say I’ve never had such a full body massage in my life and i did NOT feel relaxed when it was over!