Monday, 25 January 2016

All Aboard!

The day started  very early as we had to catch the tour bus to Naples and Pompeii.  It has been a fascinating day with more spectacular sites to see.  We drove through the area where Benedict started the monastery after being quite disillusioned with Rome.  It is at this Abbey that you can find approximately 4000 graves of allied soldiers.  The Benedictine monks were well loved in the town of Cassino where they lived out their simple rule of life "pray and work."

Naples was a brief stop to pick up the tour guide for the Pompeii ruins and ad drive through the city to see the major  attractions.  Once we were finished the drive through here we were on to Pompeii.  The fist stop here was the Cameo Factory where we learned how cameos are made.  Interestingly enough the blue cameos are done by laser while the reddish brown are completely done by hand.  A friend once said that everyone needs a cameo!

After this tour and lunch we were taken through the ruins of Pompeii.  This city was established approximately eight centuries before Christ.  This would have been a Greek civilization before Alexander the Great conquered it.  It also suffered the devastation of a volcanic eruption which buried much of the ruins that are slowly being excavated.  The marvel of the systems that the early civilization had in place was quite impressive.  There were signs to indicate which direction that one traveled the street.  Signs on the road stones to indicate the kind of establishment that you were standing before, original in floor heating in the bath houses a water system with lead pipes and pieces of marble set amongst the road stones to better illuminate the roads after dark by reflecting the light of the moon.  Are we this enterprising and intelligent?

We quite enjoyed the slower pace of today and are more than happy to have someone else do the driving.  It is a great way to see a section of the country without the stress of figuring out where the driving lanes are -- that is a loose prospect in the city where three lanes becomes four or five. Interesting to say the least!

Naples Harbour

The Fishermen are out

View of Naples

Again a harbour view of Naples

A Castle in the distance, was a hazy day 

The traffic!

Street view

Pompeii Roman ruins

Gladiator Arena

Gladiator Change Room

Roman Brothel Bed

And you knew it was a brothel as this sign would be on the tile outside the door!

Temple to Zeus with the Volcano Behind (Mount Vesuvius)

Mosaic at the doorway, warning that there is a dog within

Look closely and you can see the marble bust of Zeus

the mountain range

There were also casts of skeletons that were suffocated when the mountain erupted and they were not able to escape.  Archaeological techniques allow the plaster to be poured in the space where the body decayed and when hardened will let you see how the person died.  A fourteen year old boy died in the fetal position with his face covered, a four year old boy suffocated and a two year old dog was unable to escape as it had been chained on.  The sadness of the stories as well as the marvel of the ingenuity of the people is retold  quite graphically.

At the end of the day, as we waited on the platform for the train to come a priest was standing not far away, availing of the wait to pray his evening office.  The time for prayer is anywhere, any time, under any circumstance . . . and the journey continues!

No comments:

Post a Comment