Pompeii III – The cause of all their problems

OK, day three (4?… five? I don’t know) Day whatever of our grand adventure in Italy begins… Too early again… I’s on me’s ‘olidys fer cry-sakes Why am I supposed to get up earlier for my breakfast than I do on a workday? It’s just NOT ON!!!

So, anyway… We are up and breakfasted – the usual fare… croissant, cake, (English Breakfast) tea [possibly the worst tea in the world!!!] {Couldn’t agree more}, fruit juice, cheese and ham roll… the same as the previous day… and the same tomorrow… I’m nothing if not consistent… and then out into the orangery for the first lung-cleanser of the day… Have we met Mario and Egon yet? I think we may have met them last night… but I will tell you about them later… Remind me…

Right so let us get on with the day… Today we are going to get out of town and visit the cause of all of Pompeii’s ills – Ancient Pompeii that is, from what I could tell through conversations and personal observations modern Pompeii’s primary problems come from the Papist church [I think that is for another blog, don’t you?] {I think you may be right}… as I was saying… Today we visit the elephant in the room… or mountain on the horizon if you prefer…. To Vesuvius!!!! First order of business, bus time table…. OK, bus arrives at 09.30 so let’s motor because it’s already 09.10 and it will take us 5 mins to get to the stop… and there we sit, stand, grumble, smoke, laugh, moan, pace, smoke, joke and while away the next one and a half hours waiting for the bus that never came… We did see NUNS (Which Beloved Angel photographed – well, you have to) but it was no real reward for having to sit there for ages waiting for the invisible bus…

What’s this, what’s this? Our bus? But it’s only 10.30… {Note to self: insert musical notes here…} We’re Of To See The Mountain… The Wonderful Mountain Of … Of…Of… Erm, Damn!! Nothing fits ๐Ÿ˜ฆ {more musical notes here} Italian Motorway here we come… Damn you heart, slow down a bit, I’m sure our driver is very good… no he won’t overtake that car… oh god, could you get any closer to that one?…

One thing that you do notice as you travel the public highways and byways of Italy is how much money and resources are wasted… The public buildings seem to be falling apart, covered in graffiti while the churches all boast fresh paint and new extensions… I even saw a motorway on/off-ramp that just ended in the middle of nowhere… and I mean nowhere… it was not connected to a road at either end… but as I said earlier I don’t think this is the right blog to criticize the Italian system… So I won’t ๐Ÿ˜‰

Truth to tell this driver deserves a medal… I have complete respect for somebody that can get a bus up these roads… [Isn’t about time you put in a photo? After all that’s what people come onto this thing for…]

Lot’s of hairpin switchbacks on the way up/own the volcano… all with art displayed ๐Ÿ™‚

{he’s probably right… So, here’s a photo}…

The summit of Vesuvius is approximately 1000 metres… the “carpark/dropping off point” is at about 700 metres and on a day like today, that is quite a climb… or it is until you see a couple of old ladies jogging past, nattering about kids today and the outrageous price of toilet paper… then it just becomes an afternoon stroll {shut up legs, it’s not that far!!!}. It’s an interesting climb, the rock is predominantly a rather fetching pink with dashes of granite grey… and the view is fantastic… one direction is the Bay of Naples (complete with dirty yellow smog over Naples proper), the other is a line of peaks heading away into the distance… below us is the scar left by the lava flow during the last eruption… Of course, this being a country still in the grip of the brain fever that is religion, about 200 yards up from the “Carpark” is a picture of some woman in a blue dress holding a glowing baby surrounded by bunches of dead and dying flowers… I will be generous and hope it’s a memorial for those that have lost their lives to the mountain but really a glowing baby? Photos are being taken by both of us…

One of Angel’s pics…

One of mine…

We did our best to avoid the souvenir shops… yes, that’s right shops;ย there were three of them beyond the “entrance”…

[I’ve got to ask. What’s with the quotation marks? The ones that have started turning up since we came up the volcano specifically…]

{Oh those? Well you see, when I say “carpark” I mean a wider piece of unmettled road that is full of vans with open back doors flogging the same cheap tat you find Everywhere in tourist areas, oh and burger vans… and the “entrance”? a fence/gate combo that wouldn’tย  be out of place around your average suburban semi-detached… and a big garden shed, inside of which, bored locals extort money from us…}

[Glad we got that cleared up. Are you having a bit of a downer on Italy at this stage?] {No, not really… Just a bit fed up with touristy tat… Pictures of the woman with the glowing baby, the bearded man that can somehow open his own chest to show an anatomically incorrect heart, Manchester United tee-shirts (Don’t ask) and shiney/glittery black rock cut into various shapes, often with a high-lighted area covered in blue glitter. It’s all just so sad and pathetic… It’s a horrible indictment of our current culture that we have people unenthusiastically flogging cheap (practically worthless) crap to people that don’t really want it and who will only throw it away in a few months (or drop them into a charity shop, but only after it is broken) simply to food on the table and a roof over their head – while there are buildings dedicated to an invisible beard in the sky that have gold coated ceilings and people paying the cost of a school for a fucking painting!!!} [ This is going in the wrong direction… get back to the funny… or at least the mildly amu{yeah alright}]

OK, so we get to the top of the volcano… We look into the caldera… we take some more photos… we don’t have much else to do… so we turn around and go down again… That’s about it really… There really isn’t anything to do. Back down and wait for the bus then…

We spend the rest of the day exploring modern Pompeii… And buying toothbrushes. Because somebody {I’m not saying who} forgot to bring the adapter for the electric one. We didn’t need to go hunting for dinner that night because our late lunch repast had been so filling and scrumptious ๐Ÿ™‚

Do you know… I think that’s about it for now… My grasshopper brain has already moved on… I haven’t left anything out, have I? No didn’t think so… I’ll let you get back to your lives now… ๐Ÿ™‚

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