Neither Buds nor I had ever been to Pompeii, and it was high on the list of things we wanted to do with the children. Getting there was no small undertaking. We had to get tickets for the ferry…a very early morning ferry. (Buds and I walked over to the ferry the day before we were headed to Pompeii to try and get tickets, but to no avail. You could only get them the day of your trip. Sounds shockingly similar to a ferry trip we’re taking in Maine soon.)
We had to leave the house before sunrise to catch the earliest ferry. Erika was right on time to drive us to the ferry, as she insisted on doing.
We trundled across in the darkness, on this ferry that feels like a floating casino boat.
Felice was waiting for us, as planned. Having him as a connection, thanks to Erika, was such a tremendous blessing.
We zoomed away from the ferry terminal, slipping through morning traffic. It was interesting to see Mount Vesuvius as we made our way to Pompeii.
Felice dropped us off at the main entrance, and we made plans for him to pick us up later in the afternoon.
We were quite early since we weren’t meeting our tour guide until noon’ish, so we grabbed a meal at an open air restaurant across the street from Pompeii’s entrance.
A few quick photos at the entrance:
Roberta, our guide, was our first tour guide of this trip. She was fantastic with the children, and an encyclopedia of information. She grew up in the area, and was able to immerse us in the history and culture, making Pompeii come alive.
She had an ipad for making it a multi-sensory experience for the kids; she set up a contest between the children and the adults to keep us all interested (Adults lost.); and she condensed the ending when The Buster began to melt. So respectful and kind and fun.
Roberta guided us all over Pompeii, showing us the tiny and intriguing stories written in the walls and stones and mosaics of this city that was buried by a terrifying natural disaster.
Note that the picture of Monkey and me above is us walking across the very ground featured in the book pictures above.
I’m missing pictures from Pompeii, and I know I’ve forgotten so many facts. For example, the chariots that were allowed inside the city gates had a very specific width for the wheels. The ancient grooves and blocking stones are still visible, showing how any other width would not have been able to fit through.
We saw an ancient “fast food” restaurant, as well as an ancient bakery where petrified loaves of bread were discovered when Pompeii was excavated.
On a steamier note, we did walk through the “Red Light” district where there are still mosaics on the walls showing the “options” for “services” and their cost. (Lots of quotes in that sentence.)
We saw plaster molds of the poor souls who were caught and suffocated by the ash. We saw the beautiful homes and dishes and the statues of this amazing city that once held thousands of people who laughed and worshipped and loved.
There’s an aura at Pompeii. I would be grateful to go back to listen once again to the whispering souls who rest there.
With hugs of thanks, we left Roberta and made our way back to the waiting Felice. Another careening car ride back to the ferry, and the long trek home, arriving after dark to find the dearest Erika waiting in the mist to drive us home.
Definitely worth the effort, and having Roberta as a guide made it spectacular.