Can I just say, my children are world class, primo travelers. I mean, it’s like they’ve been doing it all their lives! We hopped a train for Naples bright and early Friday morning, dropped our bags at the hotel, then hopped another train to Pompeii.
I can’t find the words to describe Pompeii. It was . . . . awesome. In the truest sense of that word. Standing there in the ancient streets, with Mt. Vesuvius towering over us, put a totally different face on the story of Pompeii. It all became very human, very real.
If you connect the 2 peaks of the mountain in the photo above, you can start to get a sense of how enormous Vesuvius must have been before it erupted.
The thing Fletcher is standing on in this photo (below) was used to grind grain. It was inside of the bakery, where the ovens look amazingly like the ones used today.
The plaster cast in this photo is of a dog, found chained in place . . .
It was a loooooooong day, and while we were very lucky to have overcast skies and relatively cool temperatures, it was still exhausting and overwhelming.
Bright and early the next morning we headed out for a walking tour of Naples. If I thought the kids were champs in Pompeii, it was nothing compared to Naples!
Naples is a tough town. Gritty. A little seedy. Rough around the edges. More than a little intimidating. But there is something very real about Naples. There is laundry hanging from every window, criss-crossing above your head as you navigate the narrow streets. Dirty children play soccer in the street and in every piazza, yelling at each other and anyone passing by. The contrast to the wealth of Rome is startling – everyone seems poor, everything seems run down.
And yet there are these moments of incredible beauty hidden throughout the city.
The kids followed along with the group for a stunning 9 hours. Seriously, 9 hours. Every time we stopped they pulled out their sketchbooks – a pretty good example for the college kids to follow!
On Sunday we visited Herculaneum, smaller than Pompeii but better preserved.
There was a bit of drama in there, involving a student accidentally separated from the group in Herculaneum. Raymond ran back to find her while the rest of the group returned to Naples, gathered our bags, and headed to the train station. The students were incredible – they jumped in to help me with the bags and the kids – and we met up with Raymond at the station for the return to Rome.