Sri Lanka - Round trip part 1

My friend Mona and me went on a 3 weeks trip to Sri Lanka in July 2003. 
The first week was dedicated to a tour around the country, visiting the famous sights with the help of own personal driver.

We started with Sigirya, a 180 meters high rock on which in the 5th century there used to be a fort.

 Park at the bottom of the rock
 Buddhist monks used to live here
 Ready to climb up!
 No wait - you want me to go up THERE?  That's just a tiny little metal stair!
OK, I did it with a lot of moral support from Mona, although I nearly died of fear!
I was rewarded with the famous "cloud girls" (also 5th century)

 Yes, it was possible to climb up to the very top. Which I flat out refused to do!
 But I still got a great view on the artificial lakes.

 A small stop on the way
 with a gigantic Buddha statue
Next historical site: the royal citadel of Polonnaruwa
Reception hall

The termites did a lot of work here...
Vatadage temple
And another temple

Apparently thousands of monks used to live here!

One of the Buddhas of Gal Vihara
On the road again. A lot of green...
...behind an ancient artificial lake
To the cave temple of Damulla
It's always a long way up - and a beautiful view!

looking back at the entrance
An ayurvedic garden

VERY important plant: Cocoa!

There is an ointment and a potion for every problem
We also found a Hindu temple for a change
Learning how to drape a sari the Sri Lankan way
Shopping in the streets of Kandy

First class view from our hotel window
Dance show in the evening

For more pictures and loads of animals, go to Part 2