From India, we headed down to Sri Lanka, flying into Colombo where I met with my parents and two siblings. Michelle and Charlie left us here to begin their own adventures, and after one night at the beautiful Galle Face Hotel in Colombo (a must-stay, simply to sip a gin and tonic as you watch the sun go down over the Indian Ocean!) we made our way to the town of Anuradhapura. Here we explored the ancient Buddhist ruins, dagobas (or stupas), and saw the Bodhi Tree and its surrounding temple.

We made our way to Sigiriya, where we climbed the famous rock fortress. Dating from the 3rd to the 5th century, this elaborate fortress palace was built into the rock at the top of a mountain, and still has beautiful rock fresco paintings which are marvellously in tact. We also went on a fabulous, although very wet and rainy, elephant safari and saw many, many elephants in the wild. What was probably the most poignant happening of all, however, was the night we were invited to have dinner at the little mud hut of a local family, who made us the most amazing traditional Sri Lankan meal on their clay stove (complete with eating with our hands!) and sang us Sri Lankan songs.

Our next stop was Kandy, where we visited the Sacred Temple of the Tooth, and then on up into the mountains and tea country, where we stayed in Nuwara Eliya. Here we drank lots of delicious ceylon tea, and did a magnificent 9km walk (for which we had to wake up at 5am for!) in Horton Plains National Park to World's End - a breathtaking look-out across the mountains and valleys and forest. Our next stop was Udawalawe, and here we went on another elephant safari where we got ridiculously close to some very noisy young elephants!

Our final stop was Hikkaduwa, a famously hippy beach town along the east coast of Sri Lanka. Here we spent four wonderful days relaxing, seeing wild sea turtles, swimming, surfing and snorkelling. We also made the journey to the famous architect Geoffrey Bawa's house, which I fell in love with (and which I haven't included photos from in this post as I'm planning on doing a separate post for it). From Hikkaduwa, we made our way back up to Colombo where we departed for home.

Here are some of the photos I took on my iPhone 4s of the wonderful Sri Lanka.