Photo of the Day

View From the Lion’s Rock
Sigiriya, Sri Lanka

{ 12 mm } – { f/9 } – { 1/320s exposure } – { ISO 100 }

The Sri Lankan countryside, as seen from atop Sigiriya

How to Photograph Sri Lanka’s Untouched Landscape

  1. Get yourself to Sigiriya.
  2. Hope it’s open.
  3. Arrive on a day when the hornets aren’t buzzing.
  4. Make your way up the ancient rock fortress.
  5. Allow a local guide to tell you that the top is closed.
  6. Look surprised when he offers to sneak you past guards and hornets.
  7. Follow him through the stone lion’s paws, up the steps, and to to top.
  8. Enjoy the incredible vista and panoramic view of Sri Lanka.
  9. Leave the top when your guide declares that if you stay too long everyone will get in trouble.
  10. Hurry down the stairs and give him money to bribe the guards for letting you past.
  11. Smile and know that without him, regardless of the reality of hornets, you never would have made it to the top.

Hornets at Sigiriya

. . .

Really? Are there Really Hornets at Sigiriya?

OK, so I can’t guarantee that this will happen to you on a visit to Sigiriya in Sri Lanka. But it’s a pretty good summary of what happened when Carrie and I were there. Below is an excerpt of my travelogue from our visit, dated April 21, 2009.

Sigiriya became the final stop on our Ancient Cities tour after we visited the front gate on our first day and were told we could only climb halfway up due to a hornet infestation atop the fortress. It seemed that some school kids threw rocks at their nests 10 days ago and the hornets were still flying around quite angry.

When we arrived the second time, there was some confusion among the guards. It seemed that the top was still closed, but we could see the paintings, ruins, and some of the view… Shocker; shortly after entering the compound we found ourselves with a tour guide who assured us that he could get us to the top for a photograph.

 To read the whole story, check out The Hornets are Buzzing at Sigiriya