NAPLES: Volcanos and Villages

Hiking a volcano?? Yes please! Hiking Vesuvius was the very first thing I planned when we decided I was going to meet up with Chris in Naples. Something about climbing a volcano just seemed super epic. It ended up being not quite as exciting as I had hoped (the “hike” was even less difficult than hiking the Y back in Provo, for those of you who can relate to that. For those of you who can’t…there were full tour busses of senior citizens trekking up it) but the views over the Bay of Naples were spectacular and it was quite awesome (in the real sense of the word) to look down into the still-steaming crater and picture it exploding like it did back in the days of Pompeii.

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Travel Tip: You can get there super easy via the Circumvesuviana train. Just get off at the Pompeii Scavi stop and catch the buses that leave to Vesuvius from right outside the train station. Keep in mind that there are 2 buses: The public bus which is blue and a private company bus which looks all vintagy. Although the private company bus is a bit more convenient (I didn’t know the difference and got on that one), it costs about 5 euro more than the public bus and the driver decided to take us to Herculaneum on the way home instead of going back to Pompeii like it was supposed to.

 

Speaking of Pompeii, after hiking Vesuvius that morning, it was only natural to spend the rest of the day exploring the city it destroyed.

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View of Vesuvius from Pompeii

I L.O.V.E.D Pompeii. It was by far my favorite part of the trip. Probably because I’ve always had a secret parallel life-dream of studying archaeology. The ruins are massive! Way bigger than I ever pictured. It sounds silly, but it didn’t dawn on me that Pompeii was an actual real city until I was way lost and confused in it’s twisted and convoluted streets. It isn’t just a few ruins…it’s a huge metropolitan area that they dug up! And archaeologists haven’t even uncovered the entire thing yet! It was fascinating.

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I was a little bit bummed about the lack of information about various locations within the city though. I ended up going back to rent the audio guide because there are NO signs in the entire place. Even with the map that came with the audio guide I spent the better portion of my 4 hours there completely lost and wandering aimlessly through the streets. I loved it though. Since it was November and the tourist season was over there were very few people there and I was exploring alone for a lot of the time. I tell you, wandering alone in the ruins of ancient city is a hauntingly beautiful and surreal experience. Especially when I found myself in a room with the plaster casts of some of the victims.

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At one point I just sat on a broken pillar in the middle of the central square and looked out at Vesuvius and pictured an ancient Pompeiian doing the exact same thing thousands of years ago. Totally amazing. I wish I could sit in a place like that and watch time as a super fast time lapse of history. 4 hours was definitely not enough time to see enough of the city. I could have easily spent 6-8!  Hopefully I’ll get the chance to go back someday and bring Chris.

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How to get there from Naples:

Couldn’t be easier. Take the Circumvesuviana train for Stazione Centrale towards Sorrento. Get off at Pompei Scavi stop. Bam! You’re there.

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3 Responses
  1. Brian Hill says:

    That’s amazing that you could do that. I think it would be so touching to be able to see actual people, children of God, well, their plasters at least, who had to suffer through that and die. It would be such a humbling experience. God’s power is great. That’s such a beautiful city, it would be lovely to visit. I’m so amazing at how brave you are to be able to traverse it alone.

  2. […] is now the 3rd time Pompeii has been featured on our blog (1st time and 2nd time). Life definitely takes you down strange and wildly unexpected paths. I never would […]

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