Saturday, 15 October 2011

Trip to Pompeii and impressions of Naples

This is a typical shot of looking down a street in Pompeii. I got there - finally!!!!

The trip was a 10th Wedding Anniversary present to ourselves and the first time we'd managed to travel away without the children (who are now 8 and 5 years old) for more than a day or two. So in many senses - it was absolute bliss!

I have always wanted to go there and for some reason I never thought I would manage it. (I can't explain logical reason...but it seems as it is literally lost in the mists of time.) So how does one actually get there?

We got a cheap and cheerful flight out of Liverpool to Naples. We'd booked to stay at a B&B in Naples so we would could get to The National Archeological Museum of Naples (official website is here) quite easily as well as visit Pompeii and Herculaneum. We also ended up visiting 'Underground Naples' as well.

Naples can seem intimidating as its reputation for crime goes before it. It is very busy but once we got there (there is a dedicated bus service from the airport - takes 20 minutes) it was all very lively and friendly. A tad chaotic maybe but exciting nonetheless. (We did not experience anything bad whatsoever and we were there three/four days.)

The city is covered in graffitti and covered in rubbish but looking beyond that the buildings are magnificent and the people are very friendly. Interestingly there is a Spanish feel to the place. It was under Spanish rule for a few hundred years so this all intrigues me. I would like to know more.

The weather was 30 degrees plus ( the same as the weather here at that point) but, as I hadn't set foot in Italy since 2008, it was very welcome to have the mixture of the sun, the people, the culture, the language, the cuisine, the architecture and just generally everything combined....I was in heaven!

(I'm going to push myself to post a photo each day with a comment. I'll try to give a flavour of Pompeii and Herculaneum. To be honest I am still digesting the two sites. They are pretty big and need repeated visits to fully understand both places. I'm also trying hard to get my business Hands-on-Latin up and running over the next few days/weeks at the same time. Time is not in great supply - as ever!)


Carole said...

We loved Naples too... just not when I got lost and ended up driving in central Naples (that was such an experience... but only because I made it without incident!).
Unfortunately we didn't visit the Undergroud Naples so here's a good reason to go back and I agree with you need repeated visits to really understand Pompeii and Herculaneum.
I have learn so much about the Romans since I first visited both sites in 2008 so going back there is essential.
Really glad that you manage to take some time off without the kids... it must have been really special :)
Keep the posts (and pics) coming!
Carole xxx

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thanks Carole! Your support here and on Twitter very much appreciated. :-) BTW everyone if you like history, archaeology and so on Carole's tweet links are fantastic
@carolemadge She's like a one person history channel. Amazing stuff.
She and her partner have also stayed with us at the B&B so I know her too and she's lovely!

Back to you, Carole, you must have been brave driving around Naples because my only other comparison with crazy driving is in Venezuela - Caracas. They are truly "crackers" drivers over there. (Forgive me all Caraquenos...but the driving is hair raising!) The two sites of Pompeii, Herculaneum are big. Pompeii is more like a city and Herculaneum a cosy town...but still a massive amount to see and digest.
I think it is important to find/feel these places personally. It is all too easy to pass through quickly and get the 'cliched' version. It is easy to do but to give homage to the people who died in both places...Pompeii in the ash and Herculaneum in the must have been horrific and tragic. The legacy that has been left behind to us all is priceless. . .

Thank you, Carole, as ever. C xx

Maggie May said...

I once was on a coach trip and we had to go through Naples and I can remember thinking that it was a city of character. We seemed to be travelling high up & going at break neck speed across scary bridges high above the city and it seemed to go on for miles.
The sound of *underground Naples* is intriguing. Maybe you could post about that?

You were so lucky to see Pompeii. I have seen the people in magazines, overtaken by ash and lava from the volcano and I used to feel very sorry for them all when I was a child and can remember seeing a chained up dog twisted in its agony of death. That always made me feel so sad.
I suppose these are in the Museum now?
Maggie X

Nuts in May

ADDY said...

U lucky girl. Enjoy your stay and all the wonderful sights of Pompei and Heculaneum. Look forward to those photos.

Lady Mondegreen's Secret Garden said...

Last year I took the girls to a fabulous Pompeii exhibition at our national museum (Te Papa), which is nothing like visiting the real place, but there were real artifacts, which certainly left me awestruck knowing that real people used them.
The body casts were indeed sad, especially the chained prisoner.
The earthquake/volcanic aspect of the exhibition tied in with NZ's own seismology, and now although the scientists keep reassuring us,
as the Christchurch earthquakes keep rattling away under our own extinct volcanoes, I can't help thinking of Pompeii's pre-eruption earthquakes!

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Yes - you are right Maggie. The chained dog is exhibited in the Museum now. I will be posting about Underground Naples too!

Thanks, ADDY, it was great fun and will do my best!

Lady Mondegreen - Glad you saw the artefacts. Not sure I can reassure about the close-at-home stuff. I can imagine that it may chime with you. Here's hoping that it will never happen!! :-)