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Saturday 1 September 2007

CK Goes to Italy – Pompeii (Pompei)

Pompeii is one of the most visited places in Italy by the sea, and I couldn't have missed it. Therefore, on 7th of June, 2006, I decided to visit this astonishing old city buried by a disastrous volcanic eruption of Vesuvio (Mt. Vesuvius) in 79 A.D. which lasted for 3 days!

The common way of getting to Pompeii from Naples is by taking the Circumvesuviana, an LRT-like transportation. I should be boarding the train heading to Sorrento at Napoli Centrale station, but in a hurry, I jumped on a wrong train to Sorro instead. So, I quickly jumped off the train after one stop and returned to Napoli Centrale station to take the right train again. The train arrived at the Pompei Scavi Villa dei Misteri station at around 11:30 a.m.

This is the Basilica, but didn't function as a basilica as we know of today. It was the house of justice.

Well, I need to put myself there as a scale for you to imagine the size of the Basilica's column.

All judgements of rights and wrongs were all done beyond this entrance.

This is the forum of the ancient time, where people socialised. Vesuvio at the background was the culprit that destroyed its glory.

I wonder how many people have come and gone through these arches.

There are new lives on old ruins. There must be hope.

These are the remaining columns of an ancient temple.

And these are the remaining columns and capitals of an old government office.

All the artifacts excavated are displayed in the temporary warehouses, including a fossilised human figure.

The streets of Pompeii are still as busy as they once were.

This is an elaborately decorated fountain in one of the houses.

And this is the mosaic floor of a house with the figure that represent the sign of 'Beware of Dogs' today.

On one of the streets in Pompeii, I bumped into 袁勇 from China, a conference delegate I met at the 2nd fib Congress. Then we met another Japanese lady, 岸由美子, who's resided in Florence for many years following her Italian husband. So, that made us three in a company for exploring Pompeii further.

We first visited a bakery with conical stone grinders. An oven which is still intake can be seen at the back.

Then we admired some walls using rocks of different colours to form patterns.

We walked further west to Villa dei Misteri (the House of Mysteries), one of the best preserved houses after the volcano eruption; to look at some well-preserved wall paintings.

We went our separate ways as I wanted to explore further up hill but the two of them decided to walk through some other streets.

After circling round the old city walls, I finally made my way to the theatre, where some of the Japanese tourists were singing 'Sakura' to entertain us.

I rested on the theatre seat for a while, before I made my way out of Pompeii.

At a café along the way to the Circumvesuviana station of Pompei Scavi Villa dei Misteri, I bumped into 袁勇 and 岸由美子 again while they were sipping up their orange juice. I ordered a cappuccino and sat down with them to chit-chat about Asia, as 岸由美子 hasn't been back to her hometown for more than 10 years. We walked to the Circumvesuviana station together to take the train back to Naples and we had another round of great conversation on the train. I found out that all of us paid different prices for the return train tickets, mine being the most expensive! 岸由美子 even invited us to Florence but I don't know when I'm going to make it there again.

If you would like to read my other posts on Italy, these are the links:

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