I'm Portuguese, live in Lisbon and I'm a travel addict!
I've been traveling since I was a teenager and I've been around the World a few times already.
This is my attempt to share with you my experiences and the knowledge I've collected after more than 20 years of non-stop traveling. Hope you like it!
You can read more about me here.
Latest posts by Ana Barreto (see all)
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Hello fellow travelers!
Do you remember hearing about Ceylon in your history class? Well Ceylon today is called Sri Lanka, and it’s a beautiful country with a lot to discover. I was there just a few months ago and I loved it!
There are several places in Sri Lanka that are worth a visit but my favorite was Sigiriya, The Lion Mountain – one of the country’s most iconic landmarks.
Sigiriya is a massive rock mountain that through the years, has functioned as a palace, a buddhist monastery and a fortress.
Many say that Sigiriya is the heart and soul of Sri Lanka, so I knew that I had to visit it.
The Climb to The Top
My “pilgrimage” to Sigiriya was not easy. To get to the top you need to climb around 1,200 steps, in the midst of terrible heat.
But along this stone path, deep in the lush forest – there are many additional things to see:
A snake charmer with a huge python that you can hold in your hands if you are not too scared by it.
Various species of monkeys that follow you around, just as curious about you as you are about them.
The landscape of the plains and the views around the mountain that are simply magnificent.
Then there is a cave with well preserved frescoes and the ruins of the Old Royal Palace.
Your imagination drifts away as you picture the grandeur of that place in its glory days.
Today completely in ruins, this palace was once built on the mountaintop by Prince Kashyapa during his reign (477- 495 BC). At the height of its splendor, it was a marvelous palace decorated with frescoes, luxurious pools and elaborate water gardens.
The royal palace was abandoned after the death of the prince and the place was used as a Buddhist monastery until the 14th century.
Halfway up the montain a narrow steel staircase takes us to the Lion Gate.
This is the entrance that gave the fortress and the palace its name.
The gate was built in the form of a huge lion, and originally the entrance had the head of this animal with it’s legs too, but with the passing of time, the head collapsed and today we can only see the lion’s paws.
However, it is still an impressive site!
If one day you visit Sri Lanka make sure you go to Sigiriya.
This calm, mysterious, and still relatively unknown in the West, mountain is not going to disappoint you.