So now we've arrived in the ancient city of Pompeii, completely covered by the eruption of nearby Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79. The weather is just as bad as it was in Naples, but the sights are so interesting it almost doesn't matter.
See the ruts carved in the stones by Roman wagons?
These were homes.
No, you're wrong, that's not what the holes are for. They're made for holding amphora, large ceramic vases filled with olive oil and such.
If you look carefully at the carving in stone just above the checkerboard pattern you will see something pointing the way to somewhere. Yes, that's really what it is.
The style of art seems primitive to me. But it's nice that it was everywhere, seemingly on every wall surface in every home.
A nice floor mosaic.
Cindy admires the almost 2,000-year-old art.
And she snaps a picture of it.
Cindy shot some video in Pompeii
This was a street sign advertising a wool shop.
This was a laundry. Our guide said they used animal and human urine to wash their clothes. I dunno, I just dunno.
This is a wall painting in a ... well ... a brothel.
A bed in a brothel preserved in volcanic ash.
See the little white stones set in the street?
They reflected the light from oil lamps people carried at night. They could find their way by following the reflections. Clever, huh?
Bill and Cindy and Patty made lots of pictures of wall paintings.
Bill Blackberrys in his short bus jacket.
Those larger flat stones were set up high so you could walk from one sidewalk to the other without stepping in the mud.
Again, a rut in stone caused by the constant wear of wagon wheels.
Bill takes in the sights in a Roman bath.
One of our fellow tourists on the bus was a pretty young lady who didn't wear sensible shoes for this cold, rainy day of walking on millennia-old cobblestones.
More tile floor.
A plaza in the center of the city.
Must have been magnificent in its day.
Hey, what's that big mountain in the background? Looks kinda like a volcano, doesn't it? Wonder what would happen if it erupted?
It could kill you, that's what. Back in the 19th century an archeologist wondered what would happen if he poured plaster into some of these mysterious cavities that were being uncovered in the volcanic ash. Each cavity was filled with the bones of a person or an animal. Suppose you just drilled a small hole into the cavity and then pumped it full of plaster. What might you get? This is what you might get: a statue of some poor guy dying in agony as he's covered in hot volcanic ash. Pretty amazing.
Unlike our short excursion in Naples, this time our guide used a little microphone that broadcast to little receivers we plugged in our ears. As long as we stayed close to him we could hear every word.
Here he's explaining how a public bathtub worked.
Roman baths were elaborate setups and everybody bathed together, male and female. It was a great place to meet people.
Cindy's having a good time in spite of the cold and rain.
A really good time, apparently.
Short bus? What does that mean? Bill just doesn't understand at all.
What is this picture doing here? It's the last picture of the trip and there's no other obvious place to put it in the website. Bill was sitting in the business class lounge in the Rome airport thinking back on the great time he'd had and Patty snapped this shot. He looks happy and satisfied, doesn't he? That's because he is.