Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Day 5, Part 2: Pompeii

The city of Pompeii is just neat. In 79 A.D. Mt. Vesuvius erupted and covered the city in up to 20 feet of ash. It was forgotten and buried until 1748.

The city was incredibly preserved during those 1700 years.
So much of the city is there to see, and it was fascinating learning about how they used to live (and how similar we all really are).

I listened to the "Stuff You Missed in History Class" podcast about Pompeii so I was pumped to see it in real life. (Nerd alert: pumped to see ancient ruins.)

remains of structures (most likely homes)
grooves in the walkway from chariots | ruins of the temple

We toured the House of Venus, fast food restaurants  public baths, palaces, theater and a brothel. Ironically, the last one is the most popular attraction in the city. The erotic art is impeccably preserved, which might have something to do with it.

Palaces, frescoes and beautiful statues.
The ash was the perfect preserver. The bodies of those covered in the ash created air pockets. Excavators were able to make casts of those bodies, and some are on display. It is haunting and brings a real sense of reality to the city.

As we left the complex I was asked by another tour group to take their picture. I asked where they were from and it was a BYU study abroad group! Even better, their leader is in our stake. Our world really is so small.

At the Naples train station, I got a hilarious pronunciation lesson from the most friendly, gregarious ticket salesman. (It is Nah-polee or [NĂ -po-li].)

Naples is gritty. It is strong, loud and dirty.
Also known for the Italian mob, high unemployment(about 30 percent) and Margherita pizza.
We experienced the last one and it was tasty.

We hung out at the train station, made a Roman friend who taught us invaluable info about Italian train stations (he was reeling when I told him that Jacob had 10 siblings) and finally made it on our overnight train.

Our train compartment had four beds. One of the other travelers switched with Jacob so we could sleep across from each other. It was nice to look across in the middle of the night and not see a stranger.

The conductor comes by and takes everyone's tickets and passports. To ensure no one misses their stop, the conductor wakes you up before your stop. Even knowing this, I still was so worried about sleeping through our stop I woke up every hour or so.

Thankfully, we were heading somewhere fabulous.

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