Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Pompeii

Marianne visited Pompeii years ago and wants to return so I figured I better check it out. I was wondering which day of my remaining time in Rome to go and that was solved by looking out the window on the Monday morning. It was wet cold and windy. Wandering around in Rome would be a dismal affair and the radar map showed Naples to be clear.



So I took a train to Naples where it was raining even heavier than in Rome. I walked to the nearby station for the Cirumvesuviana train to Pompeii and Sorento.


I did not have to wait too long.


The station at Pompeii (Scavi) is close to the entrance to the site. Fortunately the queue to get in was not too long and soon I was inside.



They had run out of the booklet in English telling you what you were looking at and the map is not all that useful other than showing you where you are. However I just followed the crowd and snapped photos such as this one of painted plaster on a wall.

By the way I presume you know the history of Pompeii. In any case it might be helpful to refresh your memory here.


Tunnel through the walls leading to the site. It had rained and some of the stones were slippery. One man fell over just before I took this photo.





Wine jars (amphora) behind bars. 



I was able to stick my camera snout through the fence.






Without a guide you just have to surmise what these are.



Prior to the eruption the sea came much closer to the site of Pompeii. Now it is several miles away.



To be honest I can't help too much with names of what I saw. There is just too much stuff and the site is enormous. On a nice day, it would be fine to linger and absorb the atmosphere but on a cold, damp windy day, you just want to keep moving.



Sometimes you can only guess what you are seeing. I suspect this might have been part of a water viaduct.


An early 'Beware of the Dog' sign.



Much of the site is inaccessible to visitors.






Weird tree rising above the towers.





Some of the photos of these paintings on the wall look better than the original.









Walking here is very difficult even in my hiking boots. The stones are uneven and it is easy to slip particularly if the stone is wet. Progress is slow in narrow areas since your walking speed is restricted to that of the slowest person in the group ahead of you.

I would also imagine that in summer the stones heat up in the morning and radiate their heat in the afternoon.





There were lots of people but it is such a large area, the crowds thinned out. I suspect summer would be much more crowded.









A tub for washing clothes.





This was blocked off.













The current town in the distance.


The streets have signs.



Tombs of presumably rich families outside the town walls.








Pompeii apparently produced a lot of wine prior to its destruction.



The amphitheater.


Entrance to the stadium.



Stadium seating.


Somebody's bright idea to build a pyramid with a pathetic display inside in the middle of the stadium. You wander in follow the path and come out again not much better off than when you entered.


Apparently experts in stadium building are impressed by how the designer made it easy for patrons to enter and exit the stadium.



According to Wikipedia this was a huge gym.



Another building had a new museum inside that featured statues from Egypt.


This might explain the link to you but it remains a mystery to me.



By now I had wandered around for several hours and decided to head back to Naples. Did I mention that it was cold damp and windy? I know that I probably missed a lot of important items but it was hard to know. The area of the town is large and even with large portions closed to the public, there is just too much for my brain to take in.



I liked the composition of this photo.


These metal statues puzzled me. Surely they are not from the time of the eruption.



Leaving the town. The amount of work required to excavate all of this must have been huge. For centuries it was unknown that all of this existed under the pile of ash.


A train pulled into the station heading south to Sorrento. I was amused that one half was clean and the other half covered with graffiti. 


The cute little station that has to be one of the busiest little stations in the world.


While I was walking around the ruins, I kept hoping for a view of the mountain that caused it all. Even at the station there was still a tree obscuring Vesuvius. I had thought of taking a bus to the summit but the cloud cover stopped that idea being pursued.


Flowers in bloom. Spring was further advanced here in the south of Italy.


So from a train window here is Vesuvius.


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