23 Aug

What an incredible place.  I’m used to going to touristy places and thinking, “I mean, this is nice, but I’m annoyed to be here with half the world.”  With Pompeii, I didn’t even mind.  It was incredible.  We looked at so many cool things there.

First, the ancient people of Pompeii were pretty smart people.  They added stones that reflected the moonlight to create the first illuminated road into a city. Then, owing to the impracticality of underground sewers, they added a series of elevated rocks to form crosswalks across the roads (so people didn’t have to walk in human filth).

Pompeii with Mount Vesuvius in the background

We walked into the main piazza of the city, which would hold the open market.  In the heyday of Pompeii, the area was covered and merchants sold their wares throughout the area.  Now, on the left of the ruins, there is an impressive collection of artifacts found during the excavation of the area.

Some of the ancient artifacts of display

One of the more disturbing sights in the ruins was the discovery of  a modern cafe/ restaurant in the middle of the ruins.  This place was constructed for tourists in the 1960s in the middle of the ruins of the Roman baths.  There was nothing added by its presence and, in fact, the kids thought it detracted a lot from the scenery around us. Oh well, got to make a profit I guess.

An awesome part of the tour was our visit to an ancient bakery.  Our guide, Silvia, showed us the ancient oven.  When archeologists finally arrived at the bakery and opened the oven they found over 80 burnt, but perfectly preserved, loaves of bread. It was incredible.

Another really cool part of the visit was seeing graffiti.  Yeah, who knew it, but the Romans loved tagging too.

Graffiti in Pompeii

It was a great visit and it made me think of the horrific events that took place there thousands of years ago.  Our guide said the mountain was due to explode in the 2020s.  Who knows?  Maybe something similar will happen again.

A tribute to the dead and departed

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