Ashes to Ashes

Trip Start Jul 01, 2010
Trip End Jul 21, 2010

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Where I stayed
MEC Hotel

Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Friday, July 9, 2010

Ciao!  Click on the first photo to see a video of everyone on the tour at Pompeii!

We're again in the MEC Hotel, chillin' after another four course meal. Firstly, we hope you enjoy the posted video of our messages home and the beautiful scenery in the background. We started the day with an interesting breakfast; chocolate pie, espresso shots and masses of Nutella. This was the beginning of our first proper day in Italy, as donned by many 'the best day yet'. And now Carys makes her debut as the resident "satyrist":

After enjoying the luxury of not having to pack up our suitcases, we tottered next door to meet with Gianni our flamboyant Italian guide. Only an Italian would wear a striped dress-shirt and white jeans in July. For the next two hours, we travelled around the antic site of Pompeii; possibly the best preserved insight into Roman culture as yet discovered. Highlights included the Odeon, where a few of us sung Broadway and Lady Gaga, a massive house whose servant quarters were bigger than your average Remuera estate - 3,000 square metres - and an ancient brothel where you 'pick your position, not your girl'. Literally.

Next came lunch, where we experienced the thrill of independence and ate our self-prepared lunches in a rocky courtyard. The rest of the afternoon was spent exploring the town at our own pace. Now back to Ione for the daily geek-out:

So, from here we decided to take a wander around the site as a group and ended up at the House of Pansa to start. This was the beginning of a mind-blowing afternoon/real-life year 12 Classics recap, as many of us 'Classicists' managed to visit the very sites that featured in our externals. After Pansa, we moved to the 'Casa di Forno' which we so mistook for the Casa di Mr Tumnus (Fauno) until we realised that there was no faun in 'site'. (This proved to be very embarrassing for me, as I began to tell the surrounding people about the features of the house and pointing them out, until I realised that we were in a Pastrina, or random bakery... oops!). After the failed geek-out, we made our way through the Way of the Tombs to get to the much anticipated Villa of Mysteries (This one I did accurately identify) to the glee of a lot of the students. This was the highlight of my day and an absolutely amazing sight, as we marvelled and geeked at the Dionysiac Mystery Frieze that sat impeccably preserved on the wall and ventured in to the entrance of the cryptoporticus. This insight into ancient history could not be beaten by any history book. From the Villa we moved to the actual House of Faun, where again we were amazed at the preservation of the statue and the House, which so cheerfully fashioned 'HAVE' on the front door step, translating from the Latin 'Be Happy'. Next we went to the amphitheatre, which is where I hand over to Steven, the Department of Political Correctness, Grammar and Censorship.

Upon entering the ampitheatre, we felt like gladiators of old, and thus entered into mock fights at the centre of the arena. We managed to survive, unlike thousands of Nucerian spectators that were massacred by the Pompeians at the very same site. The amphitheatre was the final site in Pompeii for the day and thus we headed back to our hotels, content with the amount of sightseeing we've managed to cram into one day. On the way back to the hotel we stopped by the supermarket for the second time, and marvelled again at the difference in culture between New Zealand and Italia. Some of us browsed the marketplace afterwards, where an assertive Carys engaged in intense price negotiation with an unfortunate Italian salesman. Naturally, he caved in to her demands and shaved six euros off the end price.  

(Carys again). To finish off the evening before an amazing dinner, everyone crammed into our stunning room for a sleepover-style couple of hours. Hair was curled by Rachel, A Young and David, Ione was spoilt by massages from Hannah, Steven and myself, and we all sung along various Glee songs at full volume. In high spirits, we bounded down the stairs, ready to eat and then blog. Cause that's how awesome we are.

In summary? A fun-filled, dust-covered, Nutella-smothered day that really epitomised the Roman culture we'll be immersing ourselves in for the next week. We're once again exhausted, but happy (and full). Ciao for now!

Stevionarys (Steven, Ione and Carys).
-The Ultimate Bloggers + The Newby.

To my Darling Melly, I'm absolutely fine, the volcano did not erupt and no lava monster ate me. I hope you're good and are keeping everybody in line and I love you lots and lots from Aunty Ione.


I can handwash, so take that. -Steven
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Patricia Calvert on

Just to say Hi Bede from Granny


ione ione ione ione

hi aunty im writing to you but with mums help i saw your video and mum is getting mad cause i have watched it a million times, i have even made mum plug it in to the tv so i can watch it on big screen. i like the photos and the one of you in the tunnel but what is behind the door?? i hope its not a so glad that there is no lava monsters speaking of monsters i have been up every night crying with nightmares after watching that dr who!!!!
i hope you can make me somemore videos cause i love seeing you. i keep asking mum to go pick you up so you can stay a night at our place but i dont really understand how far away it is. there is a travel ad of rome on tv and everytime it comes on i have to match the photos that you have sent to the ones on the telly....... i hope to hear from you soon cause i miss you so much
love you alll the time mal
ps when i get big you can take to the dr who volcano

Angela on

Bede if you like the Nutella, I'll bring some next time I come to NZ

maria on

Chocolate Pie for Brekky...ohhh my.........and expresso shots, .......yummm:)
What a way to start the day....Lucky you Bede:)

Hope you all have a great weekend,

Take care everyone:)

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