Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Napoli and Pompeii: Day 8

The day we went to Pompeii was probably the day I felt the worst, which is perfect because Pompeii requires a ton of walking. 

But, you know what they say, when life gives you lemons the size of cantaloupes (such as the ones below that we saw in Naples), make lemonade....or sally forth into the tourist-filled depths of an ancient city.

Naples itself was interesting, but very VERY dirty.  The city government had recently changed and the garbage men were staging an increasingly stinky strike.  There were huge piles of fermenting, fly-ridden garbage lining every street.  Needless to say, other than a much-needed stop for Bacio gelato, we didn't spend much time there and opted instead to spend the day in Pompeii.

One of the things I loved most about Pompeii was the plethora of red and orange poppies coming up from every nook and cranny.  There was just something about the juxtaposition of the ancient grey rubble and the bright, cheerful flowers that I found really beautiful.  Plus, if you've ever seen my kitchen, you know that I love red poppies. 

Blake humored me and took pictures of the poppies everywhere we went. I'm dying to have some of his poppy photos framed for our basement.

We wandered through the town all day and ended up at the large amphitheater or colosseum.  In places like this, I am always in awe of what was accomplished architecturally without the help of modern power tools.  I guess slaves/prisoners of war/neighboring tribes/low castes were the ancient equivalent of modern power tools.

Here we are in the town center in front of an ancient Starbucks....what?, no, I actually can't remember what we were standing in front of at the time, but I got your attention there didn't I?

Of all of the plaster casts of people who died in Pompeii, I found this one the most heart-wrenching.  This man crouched down and tried to cover his nose and mouth so he could breath.  How terrifying that eruption must have been!

Again, it's amazing what was achieved by man-power alone.  Look at the size and detail of these columns. 

 I was joking above about Starbucks, but here is the ancient equivalent of a fast food joint.  

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