Thursday, June 14, 2012

Naples and Pompeii

Our last port on the cruise was Naples and for us we made a trip out to Pompeii. This was another reason we picked the cruise itinerary that we did. I have always wanted to visit Pompeii since I learned about it in elementary school. Something about it fascinated me and even after visiting, it still fascinates me.

One thing we didn't realize beforehand but glad it all worked out was that we arrived in Naples on a Sunday which meant everything was closed. So, if your plans were to wander around the shops you would have been dissapointed. But Pompeii was open so we headed towards the train station to begin our adventure.

We decided to take the train as we didn't want to pay a crazy amount of money for a taxi and didn't want to be stuck with a cruise tour. We started walking to what we thought would be a close train station and which turned out to be a pretty long walk. Along the way we came across a family who became our life savers for the day! It was a husband and wife with there three grown children and their spouse who were on a different cruise line celebrating one of the son in laws graduation from medical school. The dad spoke fluent Italian and Swahili...the kids spoke Spanish and they were so helpful. They just told us to tag along to the train station, helped us get our tickets which turned out to be somewhat confusing even if you have someone who spoke fluent Italian, helped us on the train and provided nice conversation and a welcome distraction for the kids. They all had one or two children at home so they were all missing their little ones and kind of shocked that we were traveling with ours. We finally made it to the train station and we parted thankful for their help!

I LOVED Pompeii. I loved that it was so preserved and so easy to imagine life there. I loved how big it was and how you could spend weeks in there. I could imagine how amazing it was when they discovered it. As you can imagine since we had our two little travel companions we didn't see everything but we got a good feel of Pompeii. And since we didn't want to upset our kids, we also stayed clear of the plaster casts of the bodies and anything else that showed what happened to the people there.

This was the view as you walked into the main gate of the city.

Mt. Vesuvius in the background. Seeing it and knowing the history of the city made it so much more imposing. It wasn't until we were on the train that I realized we were so close to an active volcano that could have erupted! Granted it is one of the most monitored volcanoes in the world and we would have much more warning but it was still crazy to me!

Peyton inside one of the homes. It was really crazy to walk down the street and see the houses and stores along the sides in a perfect line and with openings where the doorways would have been. You really got a feeling of what the life was like. 

What was also amazing to me was how well preserved some of the mosaics were especially being outside. This was inside one of the houses and shows Alexander the Great. It was beautiful and so well preserved. 

In addition to the mosaics, the frescoes were still so rich in their colors. It shocked me. I loved going inside a random house and finding something like this. It was so big and like a maze that you never knew what you would find when you turned the corner.

Me and my traveling companion. He wanted to be held towards the end and we tried him on my back for the first time and he loved it. It was much easier to carry after I got him to stop pulling my hair.

My tired crew ready to head back to the train and back for some naps. We were exhausted from this day and felt it for several days later. The walking, lifting the stroller up and down and the heat. It was a long day!

We got back to the train station easily and actually ran into the same family from before so we all had a laugh. We were surprised that we all finished at the same time granted they did see more as our group tended to need more breaks. We got back to Naples easily and then walked back to the boat. Graham fell asleep on my back and was pretty out and by the time we got back to the boat I was EXHAUSTED from carrying him. He was so heavy and we figured I carried him for about 5 miles total!

It was a wonderful day and I am so glad we got to experience it!! A great last stop on our cruise. The next day we docked in Rome and the second part of our adventure began....

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