Exploring the ancient ruins of Pompeii
Pompeii Travel Blog› entry 61 of 92 › view all entries
There were still some dark clouds about, but as we were leaving tomorrow, today was our only chance to see Pompeii. So we took the dreaded bus ride into Sorrento and stopped in for our morning coffee at a little cafe near the station. Pompeii is about half way between Sorrento and Naples, so 40mins on the train and we (like many others) got off at Pompeii Scavi stop.
The entrance is only a 2 minute walk from the station, however you have to weave past all the street vendors selling postcards, souvenirs and of course umbrellas. We'd overheard some people recommending the audio guide so we grabbed one each as well as the maps and headed in. The map has a couple recommended walks ranging from 1 hour to 6 hours – we picked the 2 hour walk.
The audio guide talks a lot about the age of the buildings, what they were used for, the art but unfortunately nothing about the actual event which created this tourist attraction so that was disappointing. Never the less, we were glad to get the audio guide as it's the only way to get information about the buildings unless you are in a tour group. And there were lots and lots of tour groups.
We did our best at trying to avoid them, by moving onto the next area ahead of them, or staying back, but it didn't quite work as well as we'd hoped because there were so many. The most busiest part of the walk was the brothel which had erotic paintings above the doors. It's only a 30sec walk through but there was about 5 tour groups of 40 each trying to get in. In the end we didn't get to see much of that building because everyone is trying to get through it.
It was about this time we put the map away and walked off in the opposite direction to the tours and found a quiet area to walk around. It was nice to only see a few people at a time instead of 40 and it meant we could walk freely around without people getting in our way to spend minutes taking a single photo.
By the time we left it was quite late and we were damp from the various rain showers during the afternoon. Caught the train back into Sorrento and then ventured out looking for a shop to buy some food to cook for the night. Craig got the bus times wrong for the trip out to the marina (was looking at the other direction) so even though we rushed back to the station to catch the bus, it wasn't going to arrive for another hour.
Eventually we made it back to the camp at about 9pm, quickly cooked and ate our dinner, packed most of the bags and went to sleep.