Getting off the train in Naples at 10:00 on a Saturday night, we felt the most uneasy we had felt this entire trip. It could have been the fact that we were warned by everyone we spoke to regarding Naples to be careful there. There were large piles of garbage down several streets (including the one our hotel ended up being on), as well as many unsavory characters lingering around the train station.
Luckily, it was a very short walk from there to the safety of our hotel room. The next morning, we boarded the train bound for Pompeii.
The archaeological site at Pompeii is massive - 44 of 65 hectares of the city have been unearthed at this point, and exploring them takes quite some time. It also takes quite the imagination.
Of course, the iconic images of Pompeii are the plaster casts of people that had been frozen in time by the coating of ash that fell on them during the eruption in 79 AD. Though not entirely surprised, we were a little disappointed to discover that none of these casts, or really even a mention of where they may have been found within the ruins, were present. At the end of our exploration, we did find 2 that were locked in glass casings in what used to be the city's granary, but it would have been nice to know where within the city these were found in order to get a little more insight into the final moments of the inhabitants.
It was still an amazing place to visit. The paintings on the walls, the way the city was laid out, the buildings that had been reconstructed using different kinds of tools and architecture after the earthquake 17 years before the eruption... It all gave a very good glimpse into the past of this once thriving city, and how it all ended in a few short hours. The mountain still looms over the city in the distance. I wonder what the people today think of living in its shadow.
Jill, as seen in the picture, found her new counter top. Apparently, the ancient Romans did great interior design work. Just look at that granite!
After a bit of a mix up trying to get back to the train staton in Pompei (we pretty much ran through the entire town due to a combination of bad directions and getting turned around while inside the ruins), we spent our last few hours in Naples enjoying a few sights there and - of course - some pizza. It was delicious. And the Naples soccer game was on while we ate. The sounds of the horns coming from the street when they scored was awesome.
We leave Naples, and are now on quite the adventure for the next day. We have decided to try and make a trek to a Greek island - Santorini. Our schedule is more than a little tight, so we'll keep our fingers crossed as we cruise across the sea towards the port of Patras.
Update to come from Santorini!