It was a crazy fall for work and work travel. I found myself working hard in Naples for nearly a week, and on our day off myself and a co-worker took the quick train trek (about 45 minutes) to Pompeii. If you have never watched the Discovery Channel or read anything historical, you may not know about Pompeii and the eruption of Mount Vesuvius that buried it in AD 79. If you live under a rock, you can be forgiven. :)
It was a great day for visiting the site in the fact that it was sunny and warm - 18 degrees Celsius on a November day ain’t not bad for a girl from Newfoundland. We covered the ruined city the best we could in 5 hours or so, all on foot. It was a large city, and from examining the ruins and following the audio guide you get a great feel for how the people of Pompeii lived. The daily rythm of life was much like how we live - people worked (a lot of bakeries, farming, etc.), played (ampitheatres, brothels and such :)), ate (and ate out a lot, evident from the number of food “canteens” there seemed to be), drank, bathed (public baths, as per the Roman style), and enjoyed life. And for many inhabitants, it all suddenly stopped as the city was buried in ash.
It’s very odd to be in a place you’ve heard so much about. Even odder still to see the casts of the people frozen in time. Pompeii today is quite the tourist attraction, and to be honest was quite crowded and… well, “touristy”. If I had a few more days in the area, I may have taken a different approach to things but c’est la vie. At first, I wasn’t impressed, but as we kept walking, the magnitude of the city and the impact the eruption must have had on the local economy and lifestyle (even from those outside of Pompeii) became apparent. I have posted pictures from Pompeii in my gallery, but unfortunately the thumbnails are not working. Yo u are welcomed to scroll through the “full-sized” images. I’ll work on the thumbnails. This is Part 1 of two parts of my Pompeii review… the second is on Robert Harris’ novel of the same name. :)