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Naples, Pompeii

We caught the train to Naples which is situated on the Bay of Naples and lorded over by Vesuvio (Mt. Vesuvius), and unlike Rome, in fact unlike pretty much everywhere we have been since London really, Naples has skyscrapers! Not 10 storey dilapidated apartment blocks real skyscrapers with cool bullet like lifts running up the outside – very strange we did realise Naples was so big.

You don’t need to be Einstein to figure out that we were headed for Pompeii, where in AD 79 Vesuvio blew its top and buried Pompeii under layers of lapilli (burning fragments of pumice stone), killing 2000 in the deluge. The world’s most famous volcanic eruption left behind fascinating ruins that provide insight into the daily life of ancient Romans.

Another mad day. So cool. Ruins,ruins more ruins and some very cool mosaics and frescoes that somehow survived the eruption.

With our train late we missed the connection to Pompeii and had to wait an hour at Naples. We caught our little regional train to Pompeii and were greeted by the traditional (and very predictable) taxi driver trying to get the sucker tourists. This one I must say was quite helpful, he showed us on his map where we had to go and told us it was only 2km away, and that he would take us for 10 Euro .. Umm hello 2km for 10 Euro’s I don’t think so buddy.

So without map but half an idea of where we were going we starting walking. We met a mum and daughter – Susan and Vanessa from Oklahoma – along the way and ended up spending the day with them which was cool.

We found the gate without any drama’s picked up a guide book and started on our way. It wasn’t too long before the four of us realised there was way too much to see and that the few hours we thought we might need was so far off the mark it wasn’t funny.

About 5 hours later with the sun setting and the gates closing we had covered some 12 or 13km and made a pretty big dint in what there was to see. All I can say is I am glad it wasn’t summer, 35 degrees crowded (more so than it was today) with tourists and more sights open, because I think it would be not only unbearable but impossible to see enough in one day.

We got our train back to Naples reserved our seat back to Rome – which thankfully we hadn’t already done, waited about an hour and got back to Rome about 10pm having left at this morning at 8am.

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