Trip Start Apr 01, 2008
Trip End Jun 30, 2008

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Flag of Italy  , Campania,
Sunday, June 8, 2008

So apparently some people can't live without their regular travelblog fix.  I hear you so here is a short blog about Pompei...  In short, it was brilliant...  Even having studied it, read about it and seen photos of it, I was totally unprepared for the scale or the preservation of the town.

We arrived in Pompei and immediately discovered that the station did not have baggage lockers, so were contemplating the horrible thought of having to lug our backpacks around all day.  However, luckily a pushy taxi driver got our attention and eventually communicated to us that there were lockers at Pompei itself, so we hopped in his taxi and drove to the ruins.  I did pay him 10 Euros for the shortest taxi ride ever (he must do this alot), however, I refused to pay him 2 euros for the 'not for sale' map of the ruins that he tried to sell us... 

There, is, however, no escaping tour groups in Italy, so as Gaynor and I watched as the crowds flowed to the left following each other as if they were part of a chain gang we headed in the opposite direction. We wandered down streets completely devoid of people. Alone you feel like an explorer that has wandered on to an undiscovered forgotten city.  It was, however, difficult trying to ignore the large loud tour groups and their guides with portable sound systems and once you got to the more popular sites of Pompeii is was hard to avoid them.  We did finally find a use for tour groups, however,which was if we were interested in something we could wait for a maximum of 10 minutes for an American with an umbrella to come and tell us all about it...

Pompeii is so well preserved that you can see every piece of daily life from the baths that they relaxed in, to the bakery and shop's that they worked in.  The bakery even had bread left in the ovens with garlic and figs in them when they were opened up.  Some of the paintings and murals look like they were completed yesterday and the streets bear all the wear and tear associated with a busy thriving town.

What I loved most about Pompei, and Rome I guess, was how immediate the  Roman civilisation felt.  Being able to see into their daily lives makes you realise how similar ours and their needs and wants are and if you took away our internal combustion engine and computers a town like Pompei would not be out of place in our modern world.  This from a town that is frozen in time from 2000 years ago...

We spent 4-5 hours just wandering the streets and buildings and still didn't see it all (there is still quite a bit to dig up too...).  However, we were exhausted ad the weather was closing in so we left for Naples and Ischia.  Ischia will have to wait for another blog, but as you should have guessed we are loving it...  Naples on the other hand is all that has been described and more.  I have never seen such blatently open racism as when two black Africans got on the metro train we caught to Naples port (even though they were by far the least worrying people in the carriage...).  The train itself was also the first time I have felt dodgy during my travels, and that includes seeing a beating in Prague and witnessing a young punk threaten to kill an old man in NYC for daring to talk back to him... 
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angelasusan on

Many, many thanks...

angelasusan on

Many, many thanks...

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