We slid into the huge port of Naples and it was not long before we were off on a long day out…
Driving along the Sorrento Peninsula was interesting – we were happy not to be driving the bus on a cool and rainy day along the narrow road with so many hairpin bends! All these ancient towns seem to have long and often violent histories.
As with many medieval coastal towns we have experienced on this cruise, the little back streets were full of souvenir shops. This time we spotted a couple of items we needed… Like some lovely Limoncello in a cute bottle (keep it in the freezer and served as a slushy!) and a shirt for Ian and a top for Ginny. We also admired these intricate clay models.
After all that shopping it was time for coffee or wine – guess what we chose?
Then it was on to Pompeii. What an experience!
“Civilisation exists by geological consent, subject to change without notice.”
This quote from Will Durant sums up our feelings very well.
Pompeii was already pretty ancient before Vesuvius blew its top in 79AD. All very interesting, but we found the most telling evidence of age were the cart ruts in the hard basalt cobbles! All this happened well before the eruption and is a solid indicator of the town’s antiquity.
The barriers across the road in the photo above are not ancient speed humps, but were used to get across the road without walking through a lot of waste water and sewage. Hmmm.
Check out the pizza/bread oven – not much has changed in the design as it is almost identical to the one in our back yard, if a bit larger…
Other parts needed a little imagination, but the artefacts recovered, including the remains of a dog and a person needed no explanation.
It is worth remembering that the Mediterranean area was the centre of the rise of civilisation in Europe with cropping in the Fertile Crescent – and therefore sedentary populations were present from very early times.
These people built on previous building remains as and where convenient, so there are several layers of work present in most of the cities… It is all pretty mind blowing in its extent and scale.
Why did they build such huge places? The Pantheon is an outstanding example. The columns outside are one piece and were transported from Egypt by sea and river! The capital (top section) came from Greece!
We hope these photographs successfully convey the situation in Pompeii. However, you really need to walk the streets and experience the place yourself for it to sink in…