Monday, May 31, 2010

Disney Cruise - Day Five: Naples & Pompeii

I woke up a little earlier the day we were arriving in Naples and was rewarded with a beautiful view from our room just shortly before we pulled into the harbor.

We had an afternoon excursion, so Tommy and I had reserved babysitting at Flounder's Reef, the nursery on board. We had a two hour block so we could hit the gym. After about an hour, I felt that I had worked out enough. Tommy stayed in the gym and hit the treadmill pretty hard.

I, on the other hand, went back to the room after my workout and suddenly realized I had the room all to myself for an hour. So I ordered a warm chocolate chip cookie and a cocktail from room service! I sat out on the verandah with my cookie and cocktail and read a book for a while. It was amazing! I wish I could do that every day!

Our afternoon excursion took us to Pompeii. We drove through Naples on the way. Naples had to be the ugliest port we stopped in. I found myself looking at the buildings in Naples and wondering, When do dilapidated and run down old buildings become classified as ruins? I mean, really. At some point, places like the Coliseum must have just been an eye sore as it began to fall to ruin. And then, magically, at some point it became a historical ruin people come to visit from all over the world. At some point will the ugly port of Naples be ruins?
Of course, Pompeii is a little different, since its ruins were buried for nearly 1600 years after
Mt Vesuvius exploded it's guts all over the city.
This, by the way, is the best picture I could get of Mt Vesuvius. Not stellar, I'll grant you. But it's as good as I got on the bus ride.

Pompeii was crowded and hot. And crowded. It was hard to get around in some parts. We had little radio receivers we wore around our necks with single ear buds so we could hear our particular tour guide. 'Cause there were tons of tour guides. Some waving large Mickey Mouse lollipop-style signs for their tourists to follow (like our guide did), some waiving umbrellas or scarves or just their hand. If it weren't for the number on our Mickey, I would have totally lost our group.

Seeing Pompeii was pretty cool. Having been in Europe for a while now, we've seen our share of ruins, but never an entire city like this.

Of course, there were rocks and dirt and climbing to be done, so Caleb was pretty happy. Pompeii was super dusty. (It gives whole new meaning to the volcanic ash discussions we've had in England as a result of the Icelandic volcano eruption that disrupted European travel recently.) By the end of the afternoon, Caleb was filthy.

It was cool to walk through the houses. Many of them had these little white stones embedded in the floors. Our tour guide said that this was to help reflect the torch light at night to give a little more light to the houses. Clever!

Many of the houses had remains of the original frescoes still partially in tact.

In addition to public areas like the forums and private houses, there were also businesses. We passed what used to be bakery.

This little corner store was a snack shop, according to our tour guide. Notice the ever-present Mickey lollipop? He's serving us up a pizza or some such thing!

Of course, the real reason you visit Pompeii is to see the preserved people! Ruins? You can find those anywhere. Preserved people? Bring it on!

Unfortunately, the lines around the cases of preserved people were thick, slow moving and frustrating. But we managed to make it through and snap a couple of pictures. It was creepy and strange and fascinating.

We had a bit of free time towards the end of the tour, but as was beginning to be standard, it didn't seem like enough. But we did pick up some gelato from a stand near our bus stop. I had been looking forward to having gelato again for months and was sad to see it tasted just like American ice cream. It was really disappointing. Fortunately, gelato was able to redeem itself just a few days later in Florence! But before we get there, we had a day in Rome to get to!

No comments:

Post a Comment