Sunday, April 05, 2009

Yep, I'm a little behind on the blogging!

I'll just pick up where I left off.

Day 5:
We drove to Naples. After reading Rick Steves, we were all a bit scared of Naples. Once we drove into town, we were all A LOT scared. Totally crowded and grungy and impossible to navigate. After a couple of unsuccessful passes in search of our hotel, we decided that Napoli was better off left unexplored, and got the heck out of town. Whew! And we only lost part of a fender there.

So on we drove to Pompeii, where we found a lovely little motel just a couple of hundred yards away from the entrance to the ruins. Dinner was had at a quiet little place in town called Vecchio Americano (where of course they spoke very little English), and the owner’s brother even drove us back to the motel. That in itself was an experience--even Henry said “whoa!” a couple of times.

Sorry, no good photos from this day--it's better left forgotten!

Day 6:
Dennis and I got up early and had breakfast (this motel has a killer breakfast, by the way, and fresh cappuccino, and freshly made apple juice...) and walked down to the ruins of Pompeii. This worked out MUCH better than if we had day-tripped in; it was not at all crowded and not too hot. By the time we left at 11:30 the school groups were overtaking the area.

Three stepping-stones signals a main thoroughfare. Since the streets were flooded with water as a means of cleaning them, the stepping stones allowed pedestrians to cross without getting their sandals wet. Also, the chariots were made to span them.

The main forum with Mount Vesuvius in the distance.

Marble countertops at some ancient fast food joints.

Demonstrating the location of the ancient bathroom, which shared plumbing with the kitchen. Dennis calls this photo “Mount Vesuvius part deux.”

A bakery: to the left is a brick oven, the structures on the right are mills which were powered by donkeys or slaves to grind grain. Who doesn’t like their bread flavored with tiny bits of rock, really?

The amphitheater.

Here come the Irish!

If you ever visit Pompeii, definitely shell out the 3 Euro for a glass of fresh orange/lemonade at the tourist suck across from the entrance--so nummy!

After Pompeii, we all hopped back into the car again to drive back up to Rome. After orienting ourselves to the hotel, we stepped back out to pick up our Roma Passes and get started! Since tonight was a bonus Rome day, we decided to make one of our optional stops, the National Museum of Rome (Palazzo Massimo). Here we saw lots and lots of sculpture, as well as some very cool mosaics. Henry particularly enjoyed the frescoes depicting fish (“Ish!”). In the basement there are displays of Roman coins from current Euros all the way back to old chunks of bronze, as well as some ancient jewelry and dolls, and a mummified eight-year-old girl.

For dinner we stopped at La Gallina Bianca, which has excellent wood-fired pizza. Then half-price gelato from G. Fassi, which was huge and delicious.

And then bedtime.


Sarah C. said...

Beautiful!! It looks like you guys are having so much fun!