Sunday, December 04, 2011

Naples - Pompeii

I decided to do the post on Naples first, because well, it is easier. From Venice, we got on to Rome via Eurostar. On our third day at Rome, we went to Naples , and specifically to go to Pompeii. I always wanted to go there ever since I head of the place. Thus I did!

Did plenty of research on how we are suppose to go there. 

So if you are to be in Rome and you want to go to Pompeii, here's my tip
Take a eurostar to Naples ( you can get a much cheaper train, but that takes longer. Look at trenitalia website for more details. You can get the discount from there). The cost that we paid from Rome to Naples for 2 is around 44EUR. I think . And from the main station ( Napoli Centrale ), you look for the Circumseviana line to take the local train, that head to Sorrento. You stop at Pompeii Scavi. 

We didn't take that line. When we arrived at Naples we were in for a rude shock actually. The local train is on strike. And in front of all the closed ticket counters are the taxi drivers waiting offering the price of 50EUR ( no bargaining either )!! We declined .. We kinda walked aimlessly aound the train station for half an hour trying to hatch up a plan, then we found the tourist information system, where they informed us there are another local train line going to Pompeii. It  was Pompei actually, the actual town located next to the Pompeii ruins. 

So if you found ourselves in our situation, this is what we did. 
We bought the ticket at the newsstand at Naples Centrale ( you can just bought the train ticket even going into the Naples town at newsstand or shops at the train station ). You can just asked them where the platform are, afterwards validate your ticket at the yellow machine near the platform before entering the train. We got off at the Pompei station. 

Right out at the station, walk to your left and the Pompeii ruins is at your left about 2 km away from the station. It is not a long walk at all, much more preferable than paying 50-60EUR for a cab ride. The train ride cost 11 EUR for 2 pergi balik.

So that's the tip.

Anyway we got to Pompeii at last. Bought the ticket and berpeluh2 la berjalan to get to the entrance Porta Marina. 

Before the volcanic eruption it was much more closer to the sea, the bigger entrance used to be for the carriages and the smaller one was just for usual people passing through.

 I don't know where to start exactly. We walked around Pompeii almost 4 hours, it does not feel like 2 hours. Pompeii used to be a thriving town. So 4 hours walking around a town, is a short time I guess. There is something to say looking at Vesuvius from the main center of the Pompeii.

Vesuvius looms at the center of Pompeii. I think that is Vesuvius. It said so in the book~

There were a lot of temples in Pompeii. I think we identified the temple as the the ruins that have lots of pillars.

It is really, really dusty with volcanic ash at Pompeii. Especially here.

Also some even have statues that have a tiny sharp penis.

This is a town that had been frozen in time. It was unbelievable to see how the old Romans ( or Pompeiians ) used to live and how they really looked like.

Left: Fast food of an ancient city. Majority of Pompeiians don't cook because their house is so small, so they usually take away! Restaurant business are good then and now.
Top right: A pool inside one of the town bath
Bottom right: A bakery

You kinda get that people then are no different from now. Many who have money like to have wallpaper in their home, in their case, brightly painted frescoes.

It must had been garish then. 

Lovely mosaics, even just for warning visitor, "Beware of Dog" ( below pic; bottom right )

But I guess, the most haunting of images you'll see there is the plaster cast of their hollow past remains.

I believe the remain of this particular inhabitant was found in a warehouse. But I maybe wrong.

I have to say, while it is sad, it is fascinating. The people last moment and their expressions, frozen in time. When they first excavated Pompeii, they kept on coming upon small empty pocket, which they then realized this empty pocket used to be the remains of the people frozen in the volcanic ash, where their bodies and bones disintegrated leaving an empty pocket. They then filled up the empty pocket with plaster cast where it filled up and thus showing us the past inhabitants frozen in terror. It is fascinating for us, but a horrible way to go for them. As when the lava flow hit them, it quickly burned off their clothes and hair, and also cut off the oxygen. It is believed that these people here, most probably die of suffocation due to lack of oxygen and at the same time, they are boiled by lava. Again, horrible way to go. 

I had always been interested in the history of Pompeii and how it came to be and how the excavation works are being done, so this is why Pompeii is one of the places I really want to go. 

Also apart from the 'frozen' inhabitants, what make Pompeii so famous is their infamous brothels frescoes. I used to think that there are a lot of them. Maybe there was, but there was only a block that I saw that housed the brothels and bars. And among all these, only 1 brothel are opened for business. So to say. I think this the only place that have the frescoes intact and of course throngs of tourists there. 

Pics are a bit 18sx for below and some more below: so if you are offended, just scroll really fast :p

Left side: Well, it is obvious kut. At top of a doorway. Not sure what it signify, probably it signify what it signify.
Right side: Many, many positions. 

The frescoes of the many, many position is not there merely for decoration. It is believed that customer may choose the prostitute that specialised in that particular position. I do believe that it is right based on the room itself.

Bed of stone. STDs never looked more uncomfortable. But there used to be some cushions. 

The rooms are tiny. The one pictured above ( the only one that are lighted... ) is the only one that I saw that you can lie down. The other rooms can only fit 2 people if they're sitting. (Obviously this brothel do not specialize in menage a trois ). 

While it is amusing to see the brothels. I guess by the end of the day, I am glad to be walking down the street of Pompeii itself. 

The deep indent in the road was because of the carriages. The big rock in the middle are used when they washed the streets or when its rainy and the streets are a bit flooded, the people used it as a stepping stone to cross the street. 

This is a long post regarding just Pompeii, but actually my main goal in this trip is to see Pompeii, so I have a lot of things to say in this post. 

After Pompeii, we then head back to Naples to go to the Naples Archaelogical Museum. At first our plan was to go to the museum and then try a pizza at Naples. Naples are infamous for their pizza, but due to the strike, our schedule got a little haywired, so we didn't have that pizza. 

We head to the Naples Archaelogical Museum, which is actually quite awesome. We only have an hour before closing time, but I do believe we got the most of it by concentrating on the Pompeii artifacts ( most of the things found in Pompeii and Herculaneum are housed here. A lot that is currently in Pompeii town itself is a replica, preservation and all ) and wander through the Farnese collection.. So if you really like Pompeii history and stuffs, this is the place you should go. 

The original frescoes, mosaics and statues found in Herculaneum and Pompeii. 

And of course I wanted to see the Secret Room. This is the room where they displayed the frescoes from the brothel in Pompeii. 

I am putting the least crude one here. Heh. Anyway the secret room is informed to tourists at the entrance as Reservation Only, however, I think we can just go in without reservation. The guard didn't say anything. However it is only allowed for those who are 17 and above. 

Among all those that I seen, the only tad disturbing thing I seen is the one showing a man with a small boy ( Ok. The one with the geese came in second, its kinda freaky.) . It is just a drawing, as if after they etched out what it is there, they stopped. It was disgusting now, but then while it is taboo, it was accepted, I guess. After all the Greeks are famous for their fascination with a young boy physical appearance. 

Anyway aside from some of those stuffs it also showed a lot of other everyday things that we used that they excavated then and are now displayed here. 

Apart from the Pompeii and Herculaneum displays, the museum also housed amazing statues and sculptures that are known as the Farnese collection. It was really beautiful. The statues used to be decos for the public bath/gymnasium  in Rome which is Bath of Caracalla.

The statues are huge.

While looking through this section we kept on saying how huge the statues are, but when we finally got to the Bath of Caracalla in Rome, we can totally see why the statues were made so big. The place was HUGE and capital letters are appropriate.

Some of the Farnese collection. It was quite wonderful. And no, the statue on the left is not doing the freaky with an eel, I think it depicts a legend of some demi god kut, struggles with a giant eel. 

Anyway, the Archaeological Museum of Naples is great, totally worth the trip. However, a lot of the displays are in Italian, they're some in English but a bit sparse. However it should not deter the curious to look and wonders. 

So that's our day trip to Naples and Pompeii. I would like to go there again, most probably Herculaneum perhaps. But who knows, there are a lot of things I like to go again or to see for the first time. But this day trip was incredibly satisfactory. And I have to say I am glad that I am travelling with my husband who stays sensible even if we did get sidetracked awhile in the first hour.


taqiyuddin bakir said...

doesn't look like an eel to me. more like a huge tentacle.

Dils said...

Most definitely an eel. It have sharp teeth at the bottom

iceroll said...

I second taqi on this. Tentacles hv sharp stings at its end.

Dils said...

We're all wrong! I searched for the statue image and found the name . Eros e Delfino which tranlates to Eros riding a dolphin.

Which sounds suspicious,

And does dolphin is that limber?

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