We arrived from our sleeper train at about 6 am in Naples. We just hung out at the train station and got breakfast and waited for our tour bus to come get us. We signed up for a tour of Pompeii and Mt. Vesuvius. We figured there would be a lot of history so the best way to understand it all would be through a tour. Unfortunately, our tour guide’s english was quite broken, so I would say we understood MOST of the things we learned about Pompeii. In 79 A.D. Mt Vesuvius erupted, you can see the volcano in the background of some of these photos. It’s said that the volcano was twice the size before it exploded. It covered Pompeii and pushed the sea out further. The water used to come right up to the city of Pompeii. The city was covered in ash and debris. 1,500 years later, excavators started to uncover it. They are still excavating today. The city was preserved so well because there was no moisture or air in the 10+ feet of ash covering it.

They had a class system, so the lower class lived at the bottom of the hill and the richer you were, the higher up on the hill you lived.

Because they used animals as their transportation, the roads got messy with animal droppings, so they would open their water drains at the top of the hill and let the water rush down and wash the streets. So they had these stepping stones so they could still cross the street. And you can see the wagon wheel marks in the stone.

 {a pizza oven}

 This was a water fountain, they didn’t have street signs so they used these faces as the street markers.

 {the last mosaic left that is still intact}

 I think it would be scary living this close to a huge volcano..

While excavating, they found some vacant spots in the ash where the people were. Their bodies had decomposed but the ash acted like a sort of cast, so that was still intact. They filled the space with plaster and then had these molds of people’s bodies.

Then we ate lunch with our tour group. Naples is famous for its pizza and it was delicious. Then we hiked the top of Mt. Vesuvius.

It was a mile long hike to the top. We had hiked so many mountains in the past few days, why not add a volcano to our repertoire. I’m pretty sure most of our tour group didn’t make it to the top because it was kind of difficult. I kept thinking how mad I would be if I spent all that money on the tour and couldn’t even make the hike.

 It was cool looking down in the volcano, but it was so big we couldn’t actually see the bottom.

 {the direction where Pompeii was, but it was too hazy to be able to actually see it}
 {looking down into the volcano}
 {Naples and the Mediterranean}

Then it was a mile back down. We walked a lot on our trip but were able to see some amazing places that not too many people in the world get to see. And we were glad we weren’t any older because of how exhausting it was for us. It was so interesting learning about the history of Pompeii and thinking that these structures were around when Christ was on the earth. Between here and Rome I learned a lot about the way of life in that ancient time. I feel like it has given me a new perspective when I read the scriptures. It helps me to understand why they may have done certain things.

Then we took a train from Naples back to Rome where we flew out early the next morning. We were so glad to take this trip together but missed our kids so much by the end. We just kept planning all the trips we will take with our kids now 🙂

See other stops on our trip to Europe: CopenhagenBrusselsVatican CityRomeVeniceMurano/BuranoCinque Terre, Pisa

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