November 7 – We came, we saw, we conquered

An eerie glimpse into Pompei life

Today was quite a day.  We missed our train to Naples, almost took a train to Milan, managed to switch our tickets, arrived in Naples and discovered our train to Pompeii was diverted because of flood waters covering the tracks.  We took a commuter train to Pompei, which consisted of an hours time packed into a train car like sardines with quite the bunch of characters.  We left at 9 AM and arrived at 2PM.  It was trying and stressful.  There were heated moments and moments where I felt I deserved a gold medal for the 50 yard sprint to track number 10.

Although it wasn’t the easiest traveling day, we saw Naples, Pompei, and managed to get home by 8:30PM to have dinner with Jim and Marleen.  I have to say, Naples isn’t what I thought it would be.  It was industrial and dirty, and is Monday laundry day?  EVERYONE had their laundry hanging out.  It was chaos! I was very happy to take our pizza and eat it on the train in peace (well, until we conversed rapidly in universal sounds and gestures with a TrenItalia worker who forced us off the train because Pompeii was no longer a stop).

Pompei was incredible.  I have a question though: why would you live so close to a volcano (although currently inactive) when you can clearly see a destroyed city just around the corner?  Food for thought. It was interesting to think about the effect of this volcano… it wiped out one civilization, but its fertile soil had nourished generations for thousands of years since.  We enjoyed a lemonade which was made from fresh lemons grown on the side of Mount Vesuvius, which was absolutely delicious. We saw plaster-casts of people who perished from asphyxiation during the eruption which was incredibly sobering, but we were also able to glimpse into their world by walking through their homes and along their streets.  We saw not only their bath houses, theater and places of government but also fine details such as frescoes, preserved tile floors, sculptures and even several indoor bars which resemble modern day island kitchens.

Tomorrow, we are taking the train to Milan, good night!



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