July 28, 2014, Pompeii
I’m actually writing this entry the day after we visited Pompeii because I might have had a bit too much wine last night to write about that adventure. Plus I was starving when we got back to the boat yesterday.
Upon the advice of a former traveler and the tour book, we went to Pompeii. It was well worth the trip.
We paid about $60 each for the Troy, which included a tour bus to the site, a tour of a cameo factory, and a guided tour of the ruins a themselves. The ruins are quite a hike, as the streets of Pompeii are just as they were in 779 AD when the whole town was covered in 25 feet of ash from the volcano Vesuvius blowing its top.
The streets are not navigable by (thank goodness) strollers, so there are few children. I think that is good honestly both because it is hot, and it is almost a sacred place. Bodies frozen in time, houses turned to rubble but still containing their beautiful mosaics. A bakery, a judicial building, and even a house of ill repute round out the tour. There are thousands of vases, statues, pieces of marble, and other artifacts for one to see. I’m sure we could have stayed hours more, but we saw enough in one day to last a lifetime.
With Vesuvius hovering in the background, you’d imagine that Pompeii is in an uninhabited area, but it is not. It is in the center of a very residential area, although it does measure a total of 152 acres in size. You can even buy pizza and beer inside the site, as well as hand painted frescos inside one of the houses.
The bathhouse is interestingly still mostly intact, although one can see why when entering, as the walls, ceiling and other areas are well over 18″ thick. The bathhouse has a steam room with a fireplace, which I could not ever imagine needing in this climate, plus a cold bath room with cole running water through a pipe system, as well as a hot bath area and a waiting/dressing room.
The ruins were something to see, and although this traveler did not get her typical souvenir, she was glad for the experience and the very animated t-shirt she bought in the gift shop.
Try the liquor they give you at the end of the tour. It’s delicious!