Monday, November 17, 2008

First Port of Call - Naples for our visit to Pompeii

After boarding the ship on Sunday, we got settled in and the very next day the ship was alongside in Naples Italy. This was a good stop for us because we were looking forward to seeing Pompeii. A once in a lifetime experience to see a city frozen in time after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79AD. Pompeii was roman installation and looks similar to the others we have seen so far. All the towns had similar characteristics, a theatre, baths, public piazzas, shopping areas and wide streets and of course a very important thing, underground plumbing!!

We went on a Princess arranged tour with an English speaking guide so we did not have to do anything. This time it was me getting on a tour bus outside the port terminal instead of watching passengers at Outer Harbor do it as I have always done. It is nice to be on the other side for a change and to see how the different ports operate their terminals/embarkation points.

When we arrived in Naples by bus it was hard not to notice the mighty Mount Vesuvius towering over town still so dangerously close for an active volcano that is likely to erupt again. This monster must have instilled some fear in the inhabitants of Pompeii back in the day when they hear the mountain rumbling. Believe it or not they left their city for days and after the rumbling and trembling stopped, they returned only to be sitting ducks for the explosion of deadly gas and ash that they had no idea was to follow. This eruption preserved life at a moment in time like no other. We had a perception though that our tour of the city would show the people in their homes preserved at that moment in time but unfortunately, in order to preserve them forever, the people have been removed from their original place and placed in a central viewing area as well as artifacts like pots, plates etc. This was probably our only disappointment. The city is huge as it used to have 20,000 inhabitants.

A funny thing we walked through was a two storey brothel. In those days many foreign merchants would come to Pompeii to sell/buy products and of course they would visit the brothel. Because of the language barrier, the locals depicted pictures of certain "services" as a catalogue on the walls of the brothel so that foreign visitors could just point to the service of their choice. Apparently they were a very open civilisation when it came to these things.

See the anguish on the face of this person, quite chilling.
Next post, Athens Greece

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Wow, it's really interesting. I feel like I'm actually visiting the place with you. Great pictures.
Thanks Ally.