Monday, December 23, 2013

Naples - Pompeii Part 3

Naples - Pompeii - Part 3

The final stop on our day in Naples - Pompeii!  We got here after Sorrento and we had about 2 hours to roam.  It turns out that 2 hours is insufficient to cover Pompeii.  I think you need at least 4 hours, if not 6 hours, if you want to go through most of the major archaeological finds.

The good thing about visiting in end November is that there were no crowds.  We were fortunate that this was a cloudy day.  It looked like it was going to rain, but the skies held up.  That was a relief since the site of Pompeii is out in the open.

In summer, I hear that this place is flooded with tourists (and pickpockets!).  It is also very sunny and hot. So, if you are planning a visit in summer, do bring enough water and a good hat, and watch those valuables!

This was the ticketing booth.

Views from the ticketing area.

Our tickets.  11 Euro for adults.  I think they gave us free entry for our two kids, which was nice.

They had a book shop.

We start our journey.  This slope upwards was rather steep.

And we emerge, into ruins, literally.

Pompeii is a fascinating place.  So much has been written about it, therefore I shall not attempt to say much in this post.  Enjoy the pictures.

Imagine the busy streets, AD 79.

This looked to be an impressive hall or landmark.   The bottom of the columns still exist.

Tourists, but nothing like the crowds in summer.  Look at the overcast skies.

There she is, Mount Vesuvius, AD79.

You must remember that over the past few centuries, much work has been done to restore Pompeii and to ensure its continued survival.  Those red tiles you see, obviously they were not from AD 79.

Many modern structures can be seen, like the roofs here.  They must have been built to protect the underlying ancient structures.

The kids having a great time running around.  Boundless energy.

More restoration work was on-going. This path was closed.  Looks like there were trying to keep the walls from collapsing!

Look at the colour on the walls inside a house.  Fascinating.

Decorative art.

This was very fascinating.  Mosiac flooring.

Lots of renovation and restoration work going on, as I had mentioned earlier,

Skip, hop... at least the kids were entertaining themselves!

I could use my CityMaps2Go App to navigate Pompeii.  Fascinating APP! (though you must remember to download the correct maps)

We walked all the way from that entrance (there are a few entrances) to the other side.

This courtyard was closed.

And we came to this breathtaking structure - the Amphitheatre of Pompeii, built around 80BC.  This is the world's oldest surviving Roman Amphitheatre and the first to be built out of stone.  Previous amphitheatres were built out of wood.  The Colosseum in Rome was build more than a century later.

And we go into the Amphitheatre, like gladiators going to war.

It started to rain and out came the umbrellas.

Imagine the crowds cheering!

As the Gladiators fought the battle of their lives.

Either you die, or I die.

I read that this Amphitheatre could take 20,000 people.

We started to head back to where we came from and took more photos along the way.

Some archaeologists estimate that there were 200 cafes and bars in Pompeii.  Counters were set up, selling food from large jars.  Perhaps this was one such cafe.

You can still see the faint painting on the wall.

Protected by a layer of hard plastic or glass.  Otherwise, it would be gone under the harsh weather.

Somebody's courtyard?  Or some public building.

You can see the work being done to preserve these very old buildings, more than 2,000 years old!

One can only imagine what this place looked like, before AD79.

See the body.  That's the position when that person died.

Yet another person.  Crouching for dear life.  They stood no chance.

Lying down, hands protecting the face.  Buried in the ash, only to become an exhibit 2,000 years later. Think about it.  It is quite profound.

We found a Cafeteria.  I assume this didn't exist in AD79.

Hump-backed Mt Vesuvius.

A lot of imagination is required, to imagine what this place was like 2,000 years ago.  However, it is clear that the place must have been very grand.

Scientists agree that Mount Vesuvius was much taller before the massive eruption in AD79.  Some accounts I have read estimate the Mountain to have reached in excess of 8,000 feet.  Today, she is about 4,200 feet.

Pompeii, short video taken with my iPhone.

You can see from this that Pompeii is a large place to explore.  Extreme right of this picture (near number 15) shows you the Amphitheatre where we walked to earlier.

After a fascinating visit, we made it back to the ship in good time.  The port was very nice.  There were shops opened, even though we were the only ship in port today.  

Here we are, back on the ship!  And this wraps up our visit to Naples.

Back to: 

A Christian in Pompeii. Interesting insights.

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