Saturday, May 09, 2015


My last tour was a place just outside of Naples at the city of Pompei which was covered by ash and mud from when the nearby mountain of Vesuvius erupted in AD 79. Mom did not come as it said there was extensive walking on very uneven surfaces.  The city was buried under 18 feet of mud and the mud acted as a great preservative so the site is in pretty good shape.  There were still some frescoes on the walls and original mosaic tiles on the floors.  Lots of the statues and bigger frescoes were plundered and removed from the sites when it was first discovered. 
Definite chariot tracks

The streets were made of big flat stones.  You could see where the chariots had worn groves in the stones, in my minds eye they were rolling down the roads.  At one point you could see small bits of white marble in the streets, the guide explained that the moonlight would light the way home when it glistened off the marble bits in the dark. At the crosswalks there were three or four large raised stepping stones so your feet wouldn't get wet in the sewage that was flushed down the streets.  
The ruins were very extensive and you could spend days exploring them.  

We were shown the highlights, a nobleman's home with two entrances, servants quarters on the upper floors and an inner courtyard, an restaurant or wine bar, where there were holes to accommodate the large amphora that held the wine, and the plaster casts of people's bodies that had been encased in mud or overcome with fumes. 

We also got to see a coliseum where slaves were made to fight.  The doors into their cells were very short.  It was all very fascinating.  
We were also given a tour of a place where cameo's were made.  It was very hard to resist but as usual I was attracted to a very expensive piece and cooler heads prevailed.  After the tour was over I took a port shuttle over to where the main tourist attractions in the city were aesible by foot.  I wandered around with no agenda and no map and thoroughly enjoyed myself.  
My lunch spot. 

I stopped at a little outdoor restaurant and had a pizza, a glass of red wine and some pistachio gelato!! The strait narrow alleys which serve as side streets were amazing, notice all the laundry hanging from the balconies. There were a lot of scooters around and if the weather was good it seems as if that would a very good method of motorized transportation. 
Imagine driving a scooter or a chariot down these extremely narrow streets. 
I returned to the ship and an hour later Mom came back from her motorized bus tour.  She was pretty tuckered out.  We left for Rome at supper time and we had booked ship transportation to the airport, so the leave taking of the ship was easy and seamless.  We got on the plane in Rome and it was a nonstop flight to Toronto.  Mom's luggage did not show up there so it was a bit of a hassle dealing with that but she was heading home and has lots of clean clothes to change into.