Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Day 7 - Pompeii and Capri

The pictures I've been posting are the low-resolution versions of what I actually took so I don't kill the blog. The big guys are located here for Day 7: http://www.flickr.com/photos/agstratt/sets/72157619772966098/

On day 7, we woke up super early and caught a train to Naples. There, a driver picked us up and took us to the ancient city of Pompeii, where our tour guide Elvira met us to walk us through and show us the city. Below are a few of my favorite shots.

Mike poses in the gladiator barracks. The door on his right is a locker, where a gladiator kept all his gladiatorin' junk.

This auditorium had perfect acoustics even today. Standing in the middle, you could hear your voice amplified naturally.
One of the old streets of Pompeii. Pompeii was destroyed in 62AD by a major earthquake, and was in the process of being rebuilt when it was buried in volcanic ash in 79AD. The older streets in Pompeii were constantly wet, washed with the water from the aqueducts. The front room of each house was the bathroom, and the excrement was swept out into the street with water. In this way, the sewage was washed out of the street, and as Elvira said "The streets.... never dirty" There are stepping stones in the middle so that the people could cross the street without getting their feet wet. Check it, you can even see the old chariot tracks in the street.
Posing near a pool in a rich person's house. It was huge!
More of the Pompeii city streets.
This shows how the old streets met up with the new streets. The newer streets had the sewage system running underneath them instead of over the top. This shows how the older street drained into the newer sewage system.
This, uh, carving shows where to find the nearest brothel. I find it's fairly to the point, no? Elvira told us that the beds in the brothels were stone, as to not make any noise!
The central area of the city
Central area, with Mount Vesuvius in the background. You can see how it has two main points after the last eruption.
Us! With Mt Vesuvius in the background, getting our tourist picture takin' on.
More cool old columns.
They had one large shed full of archeological items taken from around the city
When Pompeii was destroyed by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD, it was immediately buried by 60 feet of ash (so says Wikipedia, Elvira said 25 feet... who knows). Over time, the bodies buried in the ash decayed away, leaving holes in the ash in their shape. Archeologists poured plaster into the holes to get a cast of those people at the time they died. There were a few like this.
This guy is a dog. "Un perro, un perro!" - some little kids yelled in Spanish.
A temple off the central area
The organization of the civilization at Pompeii was amazing. It's impossible to tell how tall most of the buildings were built, b.c the ash collapsed all of the roofs and many of the upper floors. But the amount that they've dug out was so cool - and there are archeologists still digging out areas of the city. Most of the houses we saw had a hole in the middle of the living room and a basin to catch rainwater. And they even had fast food, even if it was fish soup! Our tour guide was funny, as we stepped out of multiple buildings, she would point to the different directions and say "North, South, East and West. To the West, the sea. To the east, the river. Is good location!"

After our tour at Pompeii, we got back into the van of our driver and he took us to Sorrento to catch the ferry to Capri. Once there we caught an open-air taxi to the hotel and were greeted with this.

So amazing. After a happy hour and some laying by the pool we were ready for dinner. The hotel had a deal at a restaurant in the town square that they also owned that was amazing - 20 euro for a side, first course, second course and dessert. After dinner, the waiter poured a tiny shot glass of lemoncello (a VERY strong Italian cocktail clocking in 48% alcohol) for each of us. You're supposed to sip it - but Mom thought it was lemonade and knocked it back. Dad, Mike and I laughed hysterically while she gasped and made faces at the burning sensation down her throat. So funny.

After dinner we took in some cocktails on the amazing patio of our hotel. We saw a party down the street and decided to check it out - too bad it was for some Major Sailing Competition and clearly we weren't good enough friends with PDiddy to get in. Oh well. We headed back to the hotel to get some sleep.


Mich said...

1. Love the pic of Mike in the barracks
2. Pompeii is one place that I really really want to go -thanks for documenting it so well!