Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day 9

Day 9 Wednesday 7th July
I am typing this blog on Word as we travel on the fast train across the 'calf' of Italy. Last night while relaxing in a street restaurant, eating pasta with salad and drinking two bottles of Peroni beer, I couldn't help thinking to myself, "It just doesn't get any better than this." Cheers burst out from inside as Spain and Germany battle it out in the semi of the soccer World Cup. Another late tea after a big day out!

The day began with a brisk one kilometre walk to the peak of Mount Vesuvius. We were given hiking sticks to assist us with the slope on the shifting volcanic gravel.
Vesuvius is still considered active and small puffs of steam rose up the inside of the cone while clouds crept down in the opposite direction. The last eruption was in 1944 and the blast blew out the entire cone centre.

Pompei was a much larger city than we imagined and it took us hours to explore the ruins. It might have been built over 2000 years ago but the locals enjoyed a remarkably comfortable lifestyle. Fresh running water provided by the aqueducts, ancient ' fast food' stores, lavish baths and ducted heating throughout the house! Not to mention the beautiful theatres and the open municipal squares!

* the climb up to Vesuvius
*the bus driver stopping to pick figs from trees without leaving his cabin.
*walking the cobblestone (huge stones at that!) streets of Pompei.
*the plaster casts of bodies with bones still inside
*the wall murals and decorative architecture
*the gnocchi, linguine and large bowl of olives given to Debbie by the funny waiter
*meeting Neville Anderson's Italian double (or was it really Neville moonlighting as a waiter on the holidays?)

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