Published: September 15th 2012September 15th 2012
The original plans for today was to sleep in, relax, and poke around the area. Instead, we decided to take a train south to Pompeii. To do this, we took a fast train direct to Naples. We had first class seats, so were able to reserve seats ahead of time. The first leg took a few minutes over an hour. That thing was fast!
From there, we went below the Naples train station and hopped on another local train that would take us to Pompeii. This was like our C-Train’s back home, only a few decades older. We stopped at every possible stop along the way. We were expecting a 35 minute ride, and I’m thinking it was closer to an hour. The train and all of the stations along the way were covered in graffiti. It was definitely a different experience for us.
The line to get into the ruins took about 30 minutes. We had a self-guide book of the area that we would use to navigate through the maze of ruins. For the most part, it worked well, but I’ll get to the issues in a bit. Nick and Noah, you would really like to see
this place. It’s an old town that is at the base of a volcano, called Mt. Vesuvius. The town had about 20,000 people. In 62 AD, a massive earthquake caused significant damage to the area. They were still rebuilding, when in 79 AD, the volcano erupted and began to bury the city under 30 feet of hot volcanic ash. Only a few hundred years ago, they discovered the ruins.
It is a maze of stone roads. Even with a map, it was hard to not get lost. We were walking on the exact stones people walked on 2000 years ago. You could still see the grooves from the chariot wheels. Most of the things found have been moved to museums in other parts of Italy. There are many buildings that you can still see the colour on the walls, tiles on the floor, and a few actual casts of bodies frozen in time. When uncovering the site, they would find hollow areas underneath. They determined that these spaces were left after bodies had decomposed. So they filled the areas with a plaster and removed them. The plaster casts show the positions they were in when overwhelmed with the volcanic
It did get a little frustrating trying to navigate through areas that used to be open. As I said, it was a maze and we would go around one corner to find it closed off now. So we would have to back track and find another way to get to where we wanted to go. We’d also find that some things that used to be on display were now closed off. It was also frustrating when we would get behind a 40 person tour group. We are glad we saw this though.
We hopped back on a train to Naples, and were glad to find out it only stopped at a couple of the stations along the way. I’m pretty sure we got back to Naples in less than 30 minutes. We went upstairs and were able to hop on our train back to Rome. It didn’t leave for a while, but it gave us a chance to relax and cool off. This train back to Rome went a different route. It was less expensive because instead of an hour, it would take about 2 hours with stops along the way.
We took a long walk
from Termini Station to our hotel, with a stop at a restaurant along the way. We’ve been very lucky with the places we have eaten at. We are getting good at determining which ones are good and which ones are to be avoided. I couldn’t imagine being in Rome in the middle of the summer when it’s in the 40’s Celsius. Anytime we sit down to eat, the places are so crowded that your neighbours are inches away and I sweat the entire time!
The weather was much nicer today – sunny and around 30 C. No more rain in the forecast! I’ve been battling a cold the past day and a half. I stopped in a pharmacy, but it was busy and I couldn’t tell what was what because of the language barrier. I’ll be sure to try again tomorrow because I’m very congested.
Ah, something we laughed about today, that I forgot to mention. We were got into trouble for going the wrong way in the brothel in Pompeii! We couldn’t find the entrance, so we went in the exit against the steady flow of a tour group. The guard at the entrance said a few
choice words. We just smiled and turned around and walked back through it the right way. 2000 year old pornography on the walls! Dirty men!
That’s it for today. We are off to Orvieto tomorrow – a 1.25 hour train ride north. Looking forward to seeing some friends that just arrived!
There are more photos below