Friday, May 29, 2009

A Walk Through Pompeii

The wife and I just returned from our 10-day trip to Italy and it was a blast! I've got some well earned blisters on my feet and some of my best photos. (And, of course, a desire to bore my readers with travel stories like the annoying neighbor who makes you see their vacation slides. Ah, blogging.)

To check out the city of Pompeii it's necessary to stay in another town, like Naples or Sorrento, and then get there by train. We chose Naples and regretted it right away.


The view from the balcony of our hotel room. Somehow, these pictures never make it to Hotels.com. (Also, we decided to stop opening the window.)


The place is dirty and violent. Cab drivers were fighting with their passengers over fares quite aggressively and on the beach a serious fight was happening between and man and a woman who were trying to cut each other. Uncool. However, when we got to Pompeii it had been worth it.



My beautiful wife as we walked in to the main entrance. The place is inspiring and you have to stop as you walk in just to admire how well preserved things are (even though people complain that archaeologists didn't preserve as well as they could have).


These poor people were forever memorialized in their final pose as ash rained down on them.


A Temple of Isis. There were many temples in town for the worship of different gods which made me wonder if the priests got along or competed for patrons. I've been told that these religions worked together but I don't think we know for sure.

Pompeii had a wonderful arena that was like a small version of the Colosseum (of course, it could hold as many people as a high school football stadium so it wasn't that "small"). Very neat.

A view of the arena from an orchard above.
The city is large and includes high places where you could see other parts of town.


(Sorry, couldn't get any closer for a better pic.) There were many wall paintings remarkably preserved in full color showing us just how colorful were their lives - and how artistic and creative they were. I have read about the artistic habits of ancient people but seeing it is always better.

Most floors had neat designs that seemed like part of a modern art exhibit. This maze took me a while to work out. I probably shouldn't have used a Sharpie.


OK, this is totally a UFO. See the little alien heads sticking out the top and looking down from their glass covered spaceship? Obviously aliens destroyed the town. I'll probably get an award for this observation.

Christine has put these dogs to sleep with her mind powers. Actually, Italy was full of dogs in random places and we had to walk around them while they slept.

See all the graffiti on the walls behind my wife in that last pic? Every single wall in Italy looks like that. I'm pretty sure not one single square-foot of wall is clean in the entire country - even in nice otherwise attractive towns. Churches and monuments are the exception but in Naples even those had been marked on.

More pics of Pompeii and Naples are here and more posts about my trip are on the way. (Eventually, I'll get back to that discussion on post-modernism...)

2 comments:

  1. Very cool. I'm glad you two got to enjoy it.

    Have you heard about the garbage mafia in Naples?! One of the reasons Naples is so dirty (I heard on the news) is that mafia guys make deals with people inside and outside the city: the mafia lets people dump their trash in certain areas in exchange for power/control in other areas. An odd exchange, but people will do anything for money and power.

    That and the graffiti kinda take away from Americans' overly romantic views of all of Europe.

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  2. I am glad you had the opportunity to visit Italy as it is one of my (and my wife’s) favorite places on Earth. I am sorry for your bad experience in Naples. I just spent a day there and had a great time and good pizza but I can see how it could easily fall into a traveler’s bad graces. Good pics from Pompeii. I am looking forward to more stories and pictures from Italia.

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