Today we were up at 8:30a to meet in the lobby for a delicious breakfast laid out for us of croissants, a roll, coffee, lemonade, ham and cheese, and hard-boiled eggs. It was delicious and we then hopped on our charter bus to drive over to Pompeii.
Upon arrival of the ruins, we got yet another whisper device for a 1-hour walking tour with an old sweet Italian man as our guide. Pompeii was quite a site with about 14,000 residents back in the day, and only 2,000 actually perished at the site. This was because the wealthy were able to escape the city in time, and the ones that died there were mainly slaves who stayed behind to take care of the homes.
Our tour guide
As we walked about, the sophistication of the culture was evident! Sidewalks lined the streets so water and traffic could be separated from pedestrians. An amphitheater that seated 5,000 was built geographically into the hill so that it sloped down and had numbered seats to maximize seating and attendance. Floor mosaics were still perfectly preserved and we saw the famous black and white “dog” mosaic designed with a growling face to ward off unfriendly visitors, along with additional wall frescos scattered about the ruins.
First walking inside
Mt. Vesuvius in the background
Heading down the street to the bath house
Famous “dog” mosaic
We then entered into the bath house in which we went through a series of 3 main rooms: one for changing, one for a cold bath and the last room to finish with a warm bath. The 2nd room was cool because If you held your hand up and shielded your eyes from the light streaming in from the window, you could see the stony face of the roman god of the sea, Poseidon, the god in which the bath house was dedicated.
Inside the bath house
Giant fountain in warm bath room
Afterwards we walked by the excavation holding room in which holds all the pots and artifacts found when excavating. They also had plaster casts made in which they poured plaster into the molds made by the bodies in the ground so we were able to see exactly how and in what position they died. There was one model of a person and one of a dog rolled over on its back.
Excavations with dog in the center box
One of the most interesting things we saw there too was there was a symbol of a penis made out of rock build into one of the roadways, in which to indicate which way the brothel was. Never thought I’d see see something like that when touring Pompeii.
After the tour we went to the Hotel Victoria across the street for a group lunch. It was only €12 and we got the choice of a salad or fries, pizza or pasta, and ice cream for dessert. I got the salad, pizza and chocolate chip ice cream which was so good and very filling!
This way to the brothel –>
We then all hopped back on the bus for our 4-hour bus ride to the other side of Italy to board our overnight ship to Greece. The ship was named the Superfast and was a cargo hold for cars and trucks at the bottom, and then more like a cruise ship above with a nice dining area, seating everywhere and then cabins for those who paid for an overnight room.
Our cabin consisted of 4 to a cabin, with bunk beds and a small bathroom complete with shower and personal sink. Erin and I bunked up with Lauren and Becca and although it was some close quarters, we had a blast on the ship nevertheless.
Seating area inside the ship
Our tight quarters, LOL.
As we were waiting for the ferry/ship to set sail, the grab-and-go buffet opened up so we all got in line for dinner. I got a piece of grilled chicken, french fries, and a large plate of sliced fresh fruit all for €11. It was so delicious and it felt good to have a full belly as we finally left the port for Greece. Everyone on the boat was happy, buying drinks (lots of tall beers and mixed drinks).and playing card games. Erin, Ryan, Andreas and I all sat together eating and chatting and then afterwards, Andreas left and was replaced by Chris and we played euchre until heading to bed at midnight. We lost an hour as we moved to Greece, now being 7-hours different from home.