Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Napoli, Pompei, Vesuvius

June 27, 2011
            We started out the day with a 4 hour bus trip to Napoli, which wasn’t too bad because I slept most of the way (not surprising to anyone).  As we pulled in to Naploli, it was pretty overwhelming.  All I saw was trash, trash, cars, trash, big buildings, and trash.  The town itself is very old and pretty run down.  The people in Naploli are very intense and didn’t seem to like the fact that a bunch of Americans were walking through their town.  The thing that surprised me the most was the driving. They really don’t have lanes or any sort of passing rules.  Motorcycles pass cars so close to the point where I am just waiting for an accident and people drive incredible fast.  Crossing the street is a little scary but we learned “always look your enemy (the driver) in the eye and NEVER run.” 
            Once we got to Naples we walked around a little on our own.  Jackie, Molly, and I went down to see the coast, where there were a lot of guys in speedos sun bathing which was just kind of strange.  We met up with the group for lunch and had a Maghretia with mozzarella di bufala.  Which is cheese from buffalo milk..and let me tell you, it was awesome (totally beats pizza shuttle at 2am).  After lunch we met up with Alesondro, our tour guide, and started walking around with him.  We went to a couple outdoor galleries which were beautiful and had so much history.  Too bad I couldn’t understand/hear him so I didn’t catch most of the stories.  It was a little frustrating because I found it all really interesting, and I really wanted to learn about it but I couldn’t quite catch what he was saying.  After walking around outside we drove around Napoli in the bus, where I immediately fell asleep, and then proceeded to go to the Archological museum.  There was a lot of cool artifacts and sculptures that was really awesome to see, but other than that I didn’t find it all that interesting.  The tour was very long and way too detailed for me to understand anyone.  He was very knowledgeable and passionate, but I just don’t share that same passion for art so I didn’t find it as interesting.
            We walked through Napoli and went into one of the most beautiful churches I have ever seen in my life.  It was absolutely breath taking.  We were only able to be in there for a few minutes because the bus was waiting, and we weren’t able to take pictures, but I really wish we could have spent more time in there.  I love old churches like that because they never fail to take my breath away.  It amazing me that they are so old yet so detailed and filled with so much art.  The columns and murals on the walls were immaculate and I always wonder how they achieved that without the technology that we have today.
            After leave Napoli we headed to Serrento  where we will be staying for the next four days.  We checked into the hotel and went down to supper right away.  After supper a few girls and I walked around the town to find some good Italian wine and gelato.  While we didn’t end up getting wine we found Jenny’s bar where we got some cocktails and sat outside drinking those.  We walked a little bit more to get some gilato and then made our way back to the holtel.  I’d have to say my favorite part of the day was figuring out we could go out to the roof of our hotel and it has an AWESOME view of the Mediterranean sea.  We decied that tomorrow we are going to get bottles of wine and watch the sun go down over the sea on the roof…and I’m excited.

Ciao for now!

June 28th
  Today was a much better day than yesterday.  We got to sleep in until 7:30 and left our hotel around 8:30.  The first thing we did was visit the excavation site of Pompei.  Pompei is an ancient city that was discovered from excavation after being covered by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius.  The coolest part of the whole experience was standing in the theatre and being able to hear the acoustics from the "perfect spot".  I'm just amazed at their ability to figure all that out so long ago.  We saw ancient restaraunts, bath houses, laundry sites, spas, and of course a lupanare which is just a fancy word for a whore house. I thought that was really interesting.  As you walk in you see pictures on the wall and you "pick your woman".  There wasn't a universal language spoken so most men just pointed at the picture of the woman they wanted.  There were little stone beds in each room where you can imagine what went on in there...Deep, intellectual conversation of course!  Anyone we walked around Pompei some more and the most bizarre thing was the amount of stray dogs there. I guess people just drop off dogs because they will be taken care of.  None of them looked like they were going hungry which was comforting, but you know me..of course I wanted to take them all in!

After visiting Pompei we were able to hike Mt Vesuvius.  It was a little scary to drive up there because we were driving up the side of a mountain in a huge bus...and European roads are much narrower than American roads.  We had to honk every time we were about to turn a corner so we wouldn't hit cars oncoming traffic.  At one point our bus met another bus coming down and we had to back up around a huge curve so the other bus could get by.  Let's just say my mom wouldn't have been able to handle it!  But I figured that if we ended up falling to a terrible death, at least I would die happy!  Once we FINALLY got up there we were able to start walking.  There were a lot of cool little shops along the way and of course I had to buy gifts for a few people.  I don't want to buy everyone gifts from the same place so I have to try and spread it out a little..but who knows!  The hike wasn't a long as we thought it would be, but the view was AMAZING.  We could see the Mediterranean, Napoli, Serrento, and I'm sure a few other towns that I'm not sure of.  We took so many pictures that I will update soon but it was hard to tear myself away.  There was an awesome breeze so it wasn't too hot, and I just wanted to stay there forever!  Buuuut I guess we had to leave at some point :(

Tomorrow is a free day and we get to do whatever we want so I think most of us are going to the island of Capri and hanging out there most of the day to tour, lay out, and swim!

We found a really cool internet cafe with some amazing wine so I have a feeling I will be spending the next three nights here!  So far the trip has been more than I imagined and I have a feeling 5 more weeks is going to FLY by.  I miss my family and of course my dog, but hopefully pictures and messages will keep me from missing them too much.  Well we are going to get some more gelato and walk around for a little while.  I will update everyone later!


ps.  Sorry for any typos..my computer is about to die and I didn't have a lot of time to proof read..oops :)

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