aka The Great Pompeii Adventure
My new husband and I arrive in Naples, Italy on a bright, beautiful day. We see several people hopping into taxes, but we figure we’ll try the subway. We’re worldly people. We can handle public transportation. The plan is to take the subway to the main train station. Then we’ll hop on a train and head to Pompeii. At the end of the docks is a map of the surrounding area. After regarding the the map we take off in the direction of the subway. No wait, it’s that way. No, it’s definitely this way. We walk past the sign roughly one hundred times. Finally heading in the, for sure, right direction, we’re on our way. We got this!
We find the subway entrance…only it’s closed. Okay, regroup. Let’s take the bus! We find a kindly shopkeeper who doesn’t speak a lick of English. He tries to grab someone off the street to translate for us but no dice. That’s okay. I lived in France. I’ve traveled to India. I can communicate even with a language barrier. The shopkeeper and I send each other ESP waves, and I purchase bus tickets for Frank and me. We set off in the direction of the bus stop. After boarding the bus and asking the driver if we’re heading to the train station, the entirety of the bus starts yelling at us. Now, mind you, this is Italy. So it’s not actually yelling per se, maybe more like enthusiastic talking. Once again my ESP kicks in, and it seems we have boarded the wrong bus. We hop off the bus and head toward another bus. Once again, the yelling and pointing commence. Silly Americans, that is also the wrong bus! Another bus. This must be it, right? Train station? Si, si. Victory!After a bit of aimlessly wandering around the train station, we successfully purchase tickets and board, wait for it…. the correct train! Next stop Pompeii. It’s just smooth sailing from here, right?Being in Pompeii is quite surreal. To imagine the people who stepped on the very stones under my feet. We guess at the uses for various structures. Maybe that one’s a home? All of it existing in the shadow of the mighty Mount Vesuvius. Pompeii–a bustling city that was literally buried.
We come upon artifacts that are amazingly preserved by the volcanic ash. Among the artifacts are the well-known body casts of those who did not escape. It doesn’t seem like a pleasant way to go.
Pompeii is rather expansive. We don’t see it all, but our tired feet and watches say it’s time to return.We patiently wait for the train to arrive to take us back to the station. Then we not so patiently wait for the late train to arrive. All I can think about is being left behind by the boat. You miss the return time, and it’s up to you to catch the ship at the next station. The next port is Rome–where we have to catch our flight back to the States.Once we finally arrive back at the train station, the clock is really ticking. Frank spots a couple from our ship, and we all hop in a cab. The cab driver either senses the urgency of the situation or just wants us out of his cab. He whips through the streets, and we reach the dock. The dock workers are waving us down telling us to run. We’re back on the ship with minutes to spare. We head upstairs to grab a slice of pizza. Looking out the window, we see the port disappearing.