Day 3 in-country startd will
an awakening yell, "Shit, we missed the bus!!"
The Museum of Archeology of Napoli contains most of the good stuff from Pompeii. If you want to see Pompeii, go there instead. They also have a neato Egyptian collection complete with a mummified crocodile and her babies, very cool!
"You know there's a real
twisted side to you Pee Wee."
Somehow we managed to miss
all the mosaics that are the reason to go to the Museum of Archeology
of Napoli - theyre supposed to be magnificent and the model that
the Renaissance artists used for inspiration. I think the staircase to
that floor was closed when I walked past it the first time. Apparently
it opened up later and a few students found there way down to that floor,
but most of us missed it.
My stepfather had told me all sorts of amazing tales about Pompeii so I was really looking forward to the planned field trip to see the ruins. Heather had seen it before and not been impressed and refused to go back. Ive always loved ruins so I just pegged her as someone who had no appreciation for ancient works and hopped on the bus without her.
As you enter the gates of Pompeii
you'll spot many dogs lying about that reminded me precisely of Mark Twain's
description of the dogs of Constantinople from Innocent's Abroad:
The tourists either avoid them in disgust or delight in photographing them in their misery. A group of Japanese tourists laid a crust of bread in front of the nose of one of the poor creatures and videotaped him lying there too lazy, or sick, to stir for the offer despite his ribs showing plainly.
Pompeii in summer is much like it was at the exact moment it was being buried by Vesuvius. A hot wind blows dry dust in your face and into every orifice and threatens to carbonize you should you stand still for a moment. Its miserable. I refused to pay 10,000 lire for a map and subsequently spent the first hour wandering aimlessly seeing row after row of ruined rooms containing nothing. Look, more nothing. And on your left, if you look closely, you may be able to spot nothing.
I ran into two guys in the program heading down a long dead end containing the nothing I'd just explored. I warned them so they turned back and we journeyed a bit together. They'd been in the sun without water for quite some time and their lack of external stimulus hadn't helped their sanity. They were discussing turning various buildings around Pompeii into discos. I had to agree that some of the structures would make excellent dance clubs.
One of the boys ran up to a
locked gate, grabbed hold and started dancing up a (dust) storm while screeching out
techno noises from some non-existent dance tune. The other stood in the
middle of the street, reached for the sky and screamed "Disco,
feed my soul!!"
Eventually I ran into some students with an extra map and found all the important things to see inside half an hour. I found the carbonized people, either slow tourists or victims of Vesuvius, you decide.
I found the house of ill repute with various mosaics depicting men with immense penises balanced on scales. I found the little theater, some pretty flowering vines acting as a backdrop for the stage.
I found the small coliseum, an empty patch of dust and grass surrounded by small grandstands.
Lastly, on the map is listed
"Villa della Misteries," the Villa of Mysteries. There's (yet more)
nothing there, save a house with a few mosaics intact with a vaguely
Egyptian theme. The only mystery is why would anyone walk that far? The
only explanation I could generate was that it led you past yet another
trinket stand. The maps are sold by such trinket stands - coincidence?
Heather had taken off by herself to explore, despite warnings by the staff about how dangerous Napoli can be. She showed up at dinner, glowing. She'd caught the train to Sorento and had a marvelous day, met a nice couple from Scotland, got stalked for a bit by a local male and made it home without a scratch. I was kicking myself for letting her run off and have fun without me while I choked on the dust of Pompeii. I decided as much as I was pissed at her for our current state of affairs I was going to swallow that anger, be patient, and try to spend some quality time with her soon.
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All original content on this site is owned by Degenerate Press and cannot be used without our permission. We have lawyers for friends with nothing better to do than cause trouble (no kidding), so play nice. Copyright © 2002, All Rights Reserved