Mt Vesuvius in the background
So considering that neither my sister, nor I had slept much on the flight you would think we would have slept well that first night, and you would be wrong. Sleep did not come easy or for long, but we were still up and at it like champs for day 2. We had a train scheduled to leave at 745am for Napoli (Naples) so we got up at about 615am. Early enough to pack up because we had to check out of the hotel as we would be staying somewhere else for the next 2 nights. There was no drama involved and we managed to scarf down some breakfast (croissants and jam) and throw back some coffee. The hotel was kind enough to let us leave our bags there and we were off to the train station. We got to the train station to discover our train was delayed 10 minutes, which was really 20 minutes.
I don't know how I was moving with all the crap I had
Daggone it, I could have eaten more food. The train arrived and we found our seats. This would be our only journey on the IC Plus, and I'm kind of glad. It's neat the compartments, but it's a little to close to 4 strangers. During the train ride I filled out postcards writing as much as I could in Italian...I'm sure everyone appreciated that :) I also listened to an audio guide for Naples, Pompeii
, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast. The audio guide had me good and scared of the Naples train station. I let my sister listen to it as well, so she could be suitably frightened too. All that fear ended up being for nothing, because we were never approached by anybody trying to hustle us.
My own version of a picture I have seen countless times. A plaster molding of a victim in Pompeii
Maybe we just looked like two women not to be messed with! Still with no drama we got on the Circumvesuviana to Pompeii. For some reason this train ride was excruciating to me. It could be that I was standing, or that I was hot, or I was so on guard, but for whatever the reason we could not get to Pompeii soon enough. Once at Pompeii we get two audio guides and a map. Now I have to say, as it turned out, the audio guide seemed to be more trouble than it was worth for several reasons. One, it doesn't just play, you have to push a number and play it. This is a pain in the ass because you have to get the map and try to figure out where you are. Two, too many of the things are closed in real life, so you can't quite figure out what the thing is talking about.
The big theater
Three, even with headphones, it's just a pain to carry around with the map. So it was kind of a waste of 6 euros. Though we did get to hear about what we would have seen had things been open. So my overall impression of Pompeii is overwhelming. The place is too darn big, you wanna see everything, but it all starts to look the same, but you are afraid that if you stop you will be missing something. So around and around we wandered for many hours sometimes listening to the audio guide and sometime just marveling at it all. Somethings I found interesting. First, this city was around before 79 AD, now being from the USA, that concept is inconceivable. Just walking around these ruins, which maintained a lot of structure and thinking of life back that far is mind boggling. Second, these people were some dirty birds... listening to the descriptions of what the frescoes depicted was an eye-opener. They were clearly much more sexually free. Third, just the massiveness of this place is amazing and it was basically just a vacation spot! My favorite thing was the large theater. It is still pretty much intact and you can really just imagine it in use.