It is only Day Two of Academic Travel and I already am already dreading its end! Today was perfect. Yes, it was pouring rain most of the day. But it wasn't too terribly cold and there was something magical about the patter of rain on the cobblestone streets of ancient Pompeii. I am still pinching myself that I was able to visit. Pompeii has been on my "bucket list" for a very long time. The whole place is just unfathomable to me. (1) I can't believe that this entire city more than 20 acres was buried underneath 32 feet of volcanic ash after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvis in 79 AD. (2) I can't believe that archeologists have been able to uncover 20acres worth of this massive city! What a feat. And (3) I can't believe that it is so open, today I meandered through the same streets that ancient Romans did 2,000 years ago. I ran my hands along mosaics that were installed in 15 AD. I climbed the same steps that the Romans did going from their homes to the shops, or the temple. Today was surreal to say the least. I will give a full recap in a few weeks time but for now here is a small sampling of my day...
Most people took shelter when the rain started pouring down, but I was nothing short of fearless in my rain jacket and embraced the downpour, while climbing a roman ruin.. This is in fact the remnants of a temple.
Pompeii is best known for the volcanic eruption which buried it. These bodies were buried along with the city. Archeologists preserved the remains with plaster casts as seen here. The bodies are laying in the same position they were found near the city wall. It is a little difficult to tell in this picture but many were the bodies of women and children curled up in a fetal position, covering their mouths from the poisonous ash, trying to crawl away...an eerie site indeed.
This photo was taken during a rare moment when the sun broke through the clouds during our visit there. The dog is one of a handful which live in Pompeii and just hang out among the ruins. I love the wild flowers, green grass, and blue sky. They provide such a great juxtaposition with the ancient ruins.
I loved the view from on top of the Roman Teatro in Pompeii, even with the clouds you could see at least a half mile above the tops of the ruins.
Some sections of ruins held up better than others. This particular section most likely was residential and for the shopkeepers who were neither impoverished nor wealthy. I learned from the tour that shopkeepers in Pompeii typically lived above their stores on a second level and you can tell which buildings were once stores by (a) the layout and (b) a worn rut in the doorway of the shop indicating the presence of sliding doors. In the past these doors were used by shopkeepers to lock up their shop while they slept at night.
Pompeii you took my breath away. xoxo