Pompeii: Another Day, Another Villa…

I don’t know if you are aware…  Actually, let’s do a quick head count… How many are reading this?…. One 2 3 four…five…6… (sorry didn’t see you there) Seven… Is that it? Seven? Why do I bother? Honestly I don’t just rattle these things off you know. They take a lot of planning. A lot of hard work… Why are you laughing? Stop laughing!! Stop it… [I think they’re onto you.]

Honestly, I go to all this trouble and all you lot can do is giggle…

Anyway, back to my original point. As you may or not be aware, I’m currently studying History with the OU. My current module is Myth in the Greek and Roman Worlds. A subject that is broader and more intense than it sounds. Right so, with the title of the module in mind you can see why we visited Pompeii last November (apart from being a lifetime ambition for both of us of course) – it wasn’t entirely selfish.

By the way, while I’m writing this I’m supposed to be writing an essay about the political/social use of myth in Rome… Just thought I’d warn you because I may get a little bit side-tracked… [Like that ever happens]…

So where did we get to last time? End of day one wandering around the ruins wasn’t it? Yeah, that’s right… So here goes with day two…

Having finally learned that Pompeii is unusually warm for the time of year we venture forth for our return to the ruins in just light clothes without coats – you can see where this is going already can’t you? 😉

The sky is blue, the day is warm, we are young(ish) and in love so we are in the perfect mindset for another day of visiting buildings destroyed nearly two thousand years ago by the volcano that we frequently forget is there (even though we are actually on it’s lower slopes wherever we go)…

We successfully avoid the tat-sellers again and stride purposefully into the ruins… Having covered what we refer to as the “lower two thirds” of the town yesterday we plan our route accordingly today to begin at “the top” of town and work our way back in… And so we stroll around the outside of the ruins, following the ancient city walls (or cycle route depending on the century you wish to use for reference)… unfortunately, despite being able to walk along roads put down over two and a half millennia ago, most of the surrounding area is covered by the spoil heaps of previous excavations, now used as allotments for the locals… The only gateway on this side of town is cordoned off so we cannot enter until we reach the “top” gate…

Pompei Nov 2012

I had to climb up to see this and still couldn’t see all of it 😦

Actually the above pic ties in rather well with my essay… The tomb is a “public” building (in the sense that it is outside of town, beside the main road, in full view of all the passing traffic) but the interior is “private” because only those with access to the keys are able to see the murals displayed inside… [knew he’d go off on a tangent]… unless you do as I did and climb up the outside… I don’t have a pic of it but I remember saying to My Angel when I first saw this mausoleum, that I didn’t like the way a beautiful ancient monument had been hidden from view by “modern” concrete… Oh how wrong I was… It wasn’t “Modern” ‘crete at all… it was Original!!!! *geeky jaw drop moment* for me at least 🙂

As I pointed out last time, having a running commentary of our wanderings within Pompeii would probably bore you to tears… There is only so many ways I can say; we went into this ruined villa, that ruined town-house, looked at this set of tenement stairs, imagined ourselves sat in this reconstructed bar… suffice it to say that we saw more of the same as we had the previous day… Don’t take that the wrong way, we saw some beautiful mosaics, frescoes, statuary, buildings and “stuff” but I cannot put them into a narrative that would be interesting for you read or for me to write… besides it’s been three months and I doubt I could remember half of the things we said, saw or felt…

Instead I shall give you some edited highlights…

The in situ fresco that was recreated in our hotel dining room

Villa Di Mistiri

Look very closely...can you see him?

Political Graffiti?

Bet you can't guess why they called it that...!

House of the Fawn

Couldn't tell you who it is but I like it :D

Pretty ain’t she?

I must warn you, these photos are not being shown in chronological order. They are used here to give you a taste of what we saw more than as a pictorial narrative.

We saw some amazing places within Pompeii. Public Baths, both Forums, Both Theatres, The Ampitheatre, private residences, takeaway shops, bars, “The Brothel” (there must have been more than one!), Butchers, Bakers and (probably) Candle Stick Makers… Private Tombs, Public Temples, Niches for Household Gods, Statuary of State Endorsed Deities… It’s all there, slightly [Hahahahahaha] decrepit, rather dusty, at times overcrowded, in places practically ignored by tourists and archaeologists alike, but wherever you look there is something that will intrigue and enchant you… Whether you want to see the people that were there at the end, be titillated by 2000 year old brothel art, indulge in fantasies of bathing with gladiators, or (like me) get over-excited by wheel ruts and Roman plumbing… Pompeii has it all!!

Oh, and a cafe…

Well, there we go… we’ve seen Pompeii… Time to head back to our hotel and search for food… Down this way is it? My! Those clouds look ominous… Where did they come from? Yes, it is down this way, remember we passed here yesterday… Can we hurry my feet/back are starting to hurt… Boy those clouds do look like they are going to open at any sec….QUICK!! In here. I can see a roofed area… Boy, look at it come down…

Well, I must say; you’ve picked a nice villa to ride out the storm in but half an hour looking at the same mosaic and frescoes is a bit much…

Ok, its clearing… shall we head off then? Ooooh Look, that wasn’t open when we came past yesterday… lets have a look 🙂

If this computer worked (or if I had any technical know-how, if you’d rather) you would now be enjoying a lovely photo of the interior of the Public Baths… as you are not, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions of what has occurred to prevent said photo being HERE.

OR MAYBE HERE.

“Wow! Wasn’t that brilliant?!” “That was Beautiful.” “I LOVE this place.” Just some of the phrases that passed back and forth between Our Hero and his Amazing Angel as they leave Ancient Pompeii in search of food – hopefully before the heavens open again… TOO LATE!!! We saunter past the tat-sellers and bemused locals, laughing like loons and fending off each of the salesmen crying “Ombrello”… we are soaked to the skin within seconds of leaving the ruins and past caring of any more rain… you can only get so wet… Crossing a couple of rivers that used to be roads we return to our hotel room to shower and change before dinner… cue couple of hours on FB, reading and coffees waiting for the skies to clear…

Evening arrives (in a small wooden carriage, complete with small pasties and a fountain of lemonade)… Remembering our efforts to find food the previous night, our adventuresome twosome leave a little later to procure sustenance this eve… “I’m sure I saw a nice looking place up this way…” Funny really, Angel only asked me yesterday what was the last bad decision I made… I think the “Yes, this looks like a nice little family restaurant…” comes pretty close. Let’s just say; we can laugh about it now 🙂

Oh Ok, it was a nice little family restaurant… but please remember what family means in this context… Mind you, they did stop me leaving without my hat!!

I was going to regale you with our adventure climbing Vesuvius but i think I’ve bored you enough for now… besides, I’ve got to get back to my essay… and my dinner is ready… and I want to watch something on TV… and I wanna have a bath… and… I… well… I… er… Well, truth to tell, I can’t be bothered at the moment…

So I won’t.

But because I’m not completely horrible… {Alright, you can stop that laughing at the back!}… I’m going to leave you with a nice pic…

Yeah, Right!!!

I can see your house from here

or two…

Well, not really but you get the idea :)

Smokin’

Ok… Three (But you’ve got to admit, the last one is truly beautiful)

Just in case you were wondering, I am truly, madly and deeply in love with this fantastic, brilliant, wonderful woman. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you: Ms Tina Price-Johnson.

My Beautiful Adventure Angel

Ok, there you go… all done for now… see you all soon [Don’t bet on it, after reading this drivel]… {Oh shut up you}

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