Undocutraveling to Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius

Hey yall! I know I actually posted twice a week 😀 I hope you like it! 

After our fantastic day in Capri we decided to go to Pompeii the next day.  We were supposed to go with our friend Ali but he woke up late because he was feeling very tired, so at 7:15 we walked to the metro station and we bought our ticket for the Circumvesuviana line (2.60 euro) that goes to Pompeii, Ercolano, Sorrento, and others.  We met a nice couple on the train station and hanged out with them.  We boarded the train at 8.00 and it was already very crowded so we had to stand the whole way to Pomepeii, to our surprise they do not open the archeological site until 9:00 so we had to wait approximately 10 minutes under the sun (bring a hat and sunscreen).  Unfortunately during the Capri trip I lost my hat and my water bottle so I had to buy a white hat for 10 Euros at Pompeii.  When the gate was finally opened, they directed us to buy the entrance ticket (13 Euro, the same price applies to Ercolano), if you have a backpack I advise you do not take it unless you have to because they will not let you in the park with it, if you do then be ready to have all your belongings taken away to storage for a fee and they will give you a clear plastic bag for your necessary utilities.  The reason behind this policy is because they do not want you to take rock or pieces of pottery from the site, yes there are pieces of pottery on the floor of Pompeii!! So be ready to be apart from your belongings! If you are carrying a small purse those are acceptable and you will be able to bring that into the park (I find it strange since you can also hide things in there as well…but please DON’T DO IT).

Pompeii is not what I expected, it is big.  I did not expect for the city to be that well preserved and large!

Pompeii was destroyed approximately 2,000 years ago or so and in my mind (although I know civilizations were extremely advance back then) I thought of it as “ancient” and by that I mean not “too” advanced .  Well I was wrong! The city is amazing, you can clearly discern the low class and the high class, the religious common places, and they had lead piping! Yes they had piping! The only down side is that many people died of lead poisoning, but I was very surpised when I found that they were that advanced! Also their water and cleaning system was very sophisticated, when you go, you will notice that Pompeii is very hot! You will finish your water in no time, but do not fear because they have water fountains all over the site, but those fountains you are refilling your bottle with are at least 2,500 years old, they are the original water distributors of Pomepeii! They also functioned like a sink to wash their hands AND as street names! Each fountain has a face of a god or goddess, for instance, if your fountain has the face of Diana then that street’s name was called Diana!  Awesome right? The common people couldn’t read so they had to identify their street name with something!  As you keep walking you will notice that the street is made of giant cobble stones and to the sides you see sidewalks, but the one you are walking at was NOT the street.  The middle part of the road was used as a dumping site for bodily waste so they had to walk to the sides, occassionaly you will see a set of 3 or 4 big flat rocks that cross the road, those were literally crossing stones! They were necessary because they had to cross the street and they didn’t want to get their feet dirty with feces.  Another use for the water fountains is that they were used to clean the street, they will fill up the fountain and then lift up the stone door with their pillars (the pillars are no longer connected or even there since they were destroyed when Vesuvius erupted) the water will flow (like a water dam) and clean the streets of Pompeii with fresh water.

Here you can see the cobble stone path and its side walk, if you look closely you will see two big rocks raised higher than the other cobble stones, those were the crossing stones.  The “rooms” were either homes or “offices” or other establishments.  

You are going to walk A LOT but you will find amazing things like the showers! They had an amazing heating system, check the doors of the site because sometimes you can go in and discover amazing things! Occassionaly you will find beautiful and and also a sign on the floor with a barking dog saying “beware of dog” but of course not in English, it just give you a glimpse about normal life in Pompeii.  On the main “piazza” with the white pillars if you go to the left you will see a real “body” of Pomepii it made an impression on me because it looked like it was either crying or praying, it was in the middle of hundreds of pottery, then on the other “cage” there is a child in a glass box 😦

Praying man 

The child

Make sure to explore the areas where it seems like there is absolutely nothing and there are no tourists because in one of those alleys (I am sorry I cannot remember which one because I found it by accident because I got lost) I found dozens of bodies from Pompeii and NO ONE was there too see them, they are behind a gate but you can clearly see them! It was eerie to be there amid the surviving city and with its immonbile habitants, it was almost emotional.

The site is majestic, so to think that in just a few minutes the city was destroyed is mind boggling, it gives you perspective on life and the blessings we have become fragile because they can be destroyed in a second.

We spent 3 hours on Pompeii, then conflict ensued because I wanted to go to Sorrento to see the Amalfi coast, and Erick wanted to go to Mt. Vesuvius.  Erick won the debate so we went to see how much the ticket of the bus, it was 22 Euro, Erick thought it was too expensive so he said we should go to Sorrento.

On our train ride Erick was almost crying because he wanted to go to Mt. Vesuvius he was just too upset and I honestly did not want to see his depressed tantrum face so I told him to just retreat and go to Mt. Vesuvius, he insisted it was too much money and then I asked him, is it one way or roundtrip? He did not know.  He didn’t ask! Uggh.  So we went back to the park immediately after arriving to Sorrento, suddenly he was animated and his eyes were not red and glassy (this actually kind of got me upset), when we got back to Pompeii and asked about the Vesuvius bus it turned out that it was a roundtrip ticket and were were just in time for the last shuttle.  We purchased the ticket and took their green bus to Mt. Vesuvius and after a while we changed to a second shuttle (do not misplace you original ticket you needed to change shuttles!), after the lyft we were told that we had to hike 20 minutes to reach the crater.

So check this out, we needed to hike 20 minutes to the crater, which gave us a totaly of 15 minutes to  explore the mountain because we had to be at the bottom at 6:00 pm in order not to miss the buses.  It was NOT not worth it, so please at least give yourselfs two hours to explore.  I honestly did not enjoy the hike much, Erick walks too fast and I walk slow so it was hard to take in the sights.  When I hike I like to walk slow and observe so it was a bit of a letdown for me, when we reached the crater it was nice but kind of impressive, to think that the mountain you are standing on destroyed one of the important cities in its day.  Aside that I was not very excited of the view, I saw the same ocean as with Capri, and although the view was beautiful it was not amazing (for me, others found it magnificent), not worth my 22 Euros.  I did enjoy however the view of the city and the beautiful flowers!

If hiking is your thing you should definitely go to Mt. Vesuvius so it is all just a matter of taste! I personally like the ocean more and the Amalfi Coast is one of UNESCO’s wonders of the world so since I couldn’t go you should!


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