Friday, May 02, 2008

Italy Stop #3: Pompei

I'm not sure I can begin to describe Pompeii and even begin to do it justice. Maybe I hadn't really woken up from the 6:30am bus departure time to get there, but it made an impression on my slightly groggy mind. I think even stone awake it would have taken me in. It really was one of the most facinating places I visited the entire trip.

I didn't realize just how large Pompeii was until I got there. It's not just a building or two, its an entire city. Mount Vesuvius might have stopped the residents lives, but it did it in a way that perfectly captured daily life at a precise moment. I found it surprising how little day-to-day living has changed today. With the way things are preserved, I could easily visualize the people bustling about, the chariots rolling down the streets, people cooking, shopping, having a drink at the corner bar. Their homes were connected like modern day condos. Mosaics decorated the floors and walls, greeting friends or warning foes to beware of the family's dog. Just walking down the streets knowing many years ago someone else walked down this same street, just heading home after a busy day of work seemed almost surreal. The ruins here aren't like other areas in Italy with partial buildings, incomplete columns, broken tablets and the like. They're far more complete, creating an environment that I could immerse myself in and get a better sense of what life was like then, more so than with any other place I visited.

Groggy or not, Pompeii was very well worth early morning trip it took to get there.

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