Perpetual Plan B

Monday, November 30, 2009

Our Fantastic Trip, Part Three: Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast

This was a great day. We docked in Naples, but didn't really spend any time there. Alberto was our tour guide and driver for the day and he was pretty smooth. He told us if we didn't remember his name, we could just call him "James Bond". Later we found out he was also "the King of Sorrento". He was pretty fun and charming, even though some of his information was a bit questionable.

I was really looking forward to visiting Pompeii because I had been fascinated with it ever since Morgan was little and we read a book about it. I didn't know what to expect so it was really interesting.

This is what it looked like entering the city, because it actually is a whole city. We only saw a small part of it in the two hours we were there.

One of the first places we went to was the basilica, in this case meaning the center of the court system. It was in surprisingly good shape.

Next up was Diana's temple, where I swiped a rock (okay, two) for Ally's collection. She was Artemis (or Diana) for Halloween.

This is the forum, where they would have the markets and it was also sort of a social center. The whole square used to be paved with the white marble squares you see here.

We entered the arch of the forum into the streets of Pompeii. This is what most of the streets looked like. Each little place would be either a house or a business.

The wide path in the middle is where animals and chariots would go down the street. People would walk on the sides. The big stones you see (look toward the back of the road, you can click on this photo to enlarge it) sticking up every once in a while in the street are for the people to walk on to cross the street so they wouldn't get their sandals wet. Water and sewage would regularly flow down the middle of the streets. Also, every once in a while, they would have little white rocks embedded into the pathways that would glow in the dark to light up the path.

This was Crassius's house. He's the guy in history who used to charge people a lot of money to put out fires for them. He always demanded payment up front. That's where the term "crass" originated. It was the nicest house in Pompeii, so he must have put out a lot of fires. (Note: I just went online to check my facts here and couldn't find anything to back up what I just wrote, so it may or may not be true.) There were four dining rooms in this house, one for each season, with nice mosaics on the floors.
We also visited a brothel, but I guess I didn't think it was worth taking any photos. (Actually, maybe they weren't allowed.)

This is our group with our tour guide for Pompeii, Joseph Giuseppe (I don't know his last name) - the one in the hat. We just called him Giuseppe. He was quite the character. He told us he was a Sicilian, which I took to mean that there is a big difference between a Sicilian and a regular Italian.

After Pompeii, Alberto, or "James Bond", drove us to an overlook that I think was supposed to be a scenic view. It must have been a little foggy because I don't think we saw much of anything.

Next we drove up and down a very crazy little road that was full of switchbacks. I actually got feeling pretty carsick, which rarely happens, by the time we got to Positano. Here is the view we got to see just before we headed down. Not bad, huh?

Here is a closer view of some of the residences.

Positano is the city where the movie Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed.

We took a little walk down some of the little winding streets where they had some shops.

Next, to my dismay - since I was still feeling a little green around the gills, Alberto drove us back along the same little winding road to get to Sorrento, which is another charming little town. Sorrento is famous for its lemons and also a drink called limoncello. Unfortunately, Hal and I couldn't sample the limoncello because it is alcoholic, so I had to be content with buying a lemon flavored candy bar at the liquor store.
Here is a shot Hal took of Sorrento.

Just getting ready to board the ferry back to our cruise ship.

Now it was time to say goodbye to Alberto, whom we had grown quite fond of. He kissed all the ladies on both cheeks, probably hoping for a bigger tip.

I had less fond feelings of him once we figured out he told us to sit on the wrong side of the ferry. He told us, in fact he really emphasized, that the best view is on the left, where we could see the island of Capri (which we never did see). Not so, the best view all the way home was on the right side of the ferry, where you could enjoy the whole Amalfi coast. I think he was in cahoots with the ferry operator, so they would have enough people on each side to balance out the ferry. Oh well.

Even that couldn't dampen my spirits because the next day we got to go to Rome!


The Gathering Place said...

I got to go to Pompeii and Sorento when I was in Europe. I thought Pompeii was really interesting and Sorento very romantic. It is a beautiful part of the world.

Linda said...

WOW Holly WOW!