Italy Day 3: Pompeii

January 13, 2012

Now I know I have been MIA this week, but it has kicked my butt massively. I started English Language Arts tutoring for the iLeap this week, the LSU game kept me up too late, and duty on top of tutoring is tiring, and I am just slap wore out for no good reason at all. So consider this my apology for a 7 day break from blogging, I just didn't have it in me :)

Now back to the Italy trip. 

We left off day 3 arriving back in Pompeii to bad weather. Hence those fashionable plastic ponchos below. Tickets for this weren't bad at all, but when you consider that we had paid for tickets already with our group and had to buy them again since we did this spur of the moment without our group leader knowing we had left Napoli we ended up paying 22 euros for an 11 euro ticket. Not to mention the train ride we paid for that was probably already paid for. All of that was so worth it considering we had until 9pm to arrive back in Napoli before the train strike went into effect and we would be unable to leave Pompeii or arrive back there for 24 hours. 
 See that lovely yellow polka dot umbrella at the top of the picture? Shortly after this picture I held it up,  let my camera fall to my side...and suddenly noticed I was holding only the wooden handle. The umbrella literally broke off and I was only holding the handle, it was hilarious.

 Walking into the city of Pompeii. In case you do not already know, the exact year that Pompeii was destroyed by Mt. Vesuvius was 79 AD. It just blows my mind to be standing somewhere so ancient. Somewhere that existed for years before Christ was born, and was destroyed nearly 80 years before his birth. I love ancient history, and this trip really gave me a chance to see what has always interested me.

 Outside of the city.
 All of the stone roads were very slick with the rainy weather, made it quite difficult to walk around. Especially with the incline walking in.

Most of this post and the next will be pictures and just a few explanations about what the picture are. And there are a lot of pictures of Pompeii.

 Whenever you see a hole, like the red one in the bottom of the picture, it is either in a home or restaurant and was used for cooking. This one was in a home. (I watched a documentary about Pompeii after going since we didn't have a guide. We had paid for one...but with the group)

 This is possibly a bathhouse because of the pool area at the bottom of the picture.

 Road between buildings. This city was very well laid out, unless you were rich you didn't live in an open area. Most lived in apartments above the businesses.
 View of the city from a hill in Pompeii.

 Part of the forum. If you remember from the Ancient Rome post this is where citizens hung out and discussed politics and whatever was going on in town.

 I loved the brickwork all over the city.

 I thought taking a picture of the inscription on the monument below would help me read it better, fail.

 Mt. Vesuvius in the background.
 I thought it was really cool how the street were lower than the sidewalk.

 I did not expect mosaics to be in this good of shape after all these years. The place was buried in ash, but still...I thought it would be a little less spectacular.

 This is a home, the arched hole in the wall was used for baking/cooking.

 Like Rome, Pompeii had potable water everywhere. Even in the times of Pompeii a water system was in place that spread water throughout the city.
 Like I said, I did not at all expect to see paint and mosaics. Then again I had no idea what to expect. I knew about the bodies, but I did not know the whole town would be uncovered and preserved to the point that it was.

 Our little group wandering around. We got to Pompeii at about 1:30 and stayed past closing until they sounded an alarm at 5, and we still hadn't seen everything.
We stop here today on a street view with Mt. Vesuvius in the distance. I could completely imagine being a resident in Pompeii, standing in this very spot, and seeing the smoke rise from the volcano. At the time the people had no clue what a volcano was. Many stayed in their homes in hopes of riding out the problem, and others attempted to escape by boat. Tragically people were buried alive with pumice that exploded from Vesuvius before all of the other volcanic problems were underway.

In the documentary I watch they discussed how they had found the bones of several people who had chosen to hide in a "safe room", many had on so much jewelry that their bones were green. But one woman was found to be pregnant, they know this because of the small pelvis found within her pelvis. Can you imagine being those people?

Tomorrow we will finish up Pompeii with a ton more pictures. And maybe a bit more history. If you have missed any posts you can click on the Italy label below and see all of the posts.