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A DAY IN POMPEII

It was a case of long pockets and short arms this year when it came round to holiday time. I had shelled out my family fortune on a new second hand MPV which was very much needed since the old one had died a death at its last MOT test.

We were just going to cross the channel for a few days camping in the MPV while  my eldest a was at Army Cadet Camp and the Twins at my Mums. I told my best bud Chris what I was up too and he suggested that if he was to come along with his girl of the moment the trip cost would be halved. Nobody really knew where we were going but we decided to see how far we could get in a week and use the second week getting back. We must of been mad! we took it in turns driving and eating only autogrill when we gassed up, we visited Switzerland, up and over the Alps in to Italy where we stopped in Venice, Pisa, Pompeii, Monte Casino & Rome. No prizes for guessing my choices Then into the South of France where we had a couple of days rest in Niece and a visit to Monte Carlo. Back on the road into Northern France where we done Paris, The Somme and City de Europe.

We put cost of the whole trip onto my credit card and split it 4 ways when the bill came in. To our amazement it worked out to only £500 per head.  We will be planning another road trip next year.

 

Yours Truly on one of the many street corners in Pompeii note the Volcano Vesuvius in the background

The Text in bold type is from the guide book.

The devastating eruption of  Vesuvius in 79 A.D Covered Pompeii with a thick layer of volcanic material. It was due to the mixture of non hard material like ash, lapilli and pumice that kept the city of Pompeii buried yet preserved for 1500 years

It was a sunny morning on August 24, and all was normal in the bustling city of Pompeii, when a deafening crack sounded through the peaceful atmosphere. Everything stood still as if in slow motion. Those who were outside peered up at the tall volcano as molten lava and burning stones flew out of its summit and plummeted down to the cities of Herculaneum and Pompeii. Almost immediately smoke concealed the sun and lava engulfed the city like hot gravy on mashed potatoes.

A little over 1,500 years later, under twenty-three feet of ash, a local farmer from the nearby town of Resina was building a well and came upon some extravagant pieces of marble. He thought he should get a large sum of money for these pieces. So he took them into the town and sold them to the marble worker. At that point in time the Austrians were occupying the area around Pompeii. The Prince of Elbeuf was about to get engaged when he found the marble pieces in the shop. He was going to build an extensive villa for his fiancé and wanted beautiful sculptures and stones to surround it. He asked where the marble was found, and went to the site. There he offered a large sum of money for the land on which the stone was found, and the farmer accepted gladly, totally unaware of the riches that lay beneath the soil
It was there that Elbeuf planned his elegant villa. When he was starting to dig the foundation, he kept coming across pieces of sculptures and even some columns. He finally realized that there had been some ancient building around the area. What he found was the remains of the Theater of Herculaneum which he mistook for a temple. After thinking it was a temple he was disappointed and decided to abandon further excavations. However, when the Austrians were forced out of Naples and the surrounding area in 1734, King Charles the Third, a Spanish Bourbon King, displayed an interest in Elbeuf's discoveries. He continued the abandoned excavations and finally reached Pompeii.
There they found intact buildings and sculptures. As the dig continued, excavators found proof that this was the city of Pompeii. There was a statue found of a man in a toga, and on the base, inscribed in Latin, it said, "In the name of the Emperor and Caesar Vespian Augustus, the Tribune T. Svedius Clemens has restored...to the public procession of the Pompeiians those places which belonged to them and had been taken into private possession." This statue led to the find of the layout for the whole city.  
One day, an archaeologist discovered a cellar containing a skeleton and directly outside of the complex, they found a skull. Following the discovery of the skull, archaeologists realized that the remainder of the body was hidden beneath the layers of preserved ash. Of course it was not the actual body; it was the impression of the body that left an outline under the ash. Archaeologists discovered that if you pour liquid plaster plaster of Paris into the imprint in the ash, you could get a plaster cast of the body. Pompeii was the first excavation where this technique was used, and the archaeologists found many figures of victims using this method. They also cast a figure of a guard dog outside one of the houses in Pompeii.
THE AMPHITHEATER: The Amphitheater is an open space in the shape of an oval surrounded by seats for spectator sports. The Amphitheater seats 10,000 people. There are two entrances and exits on opposite sides. An excavator named Alcubierre started digging up the amphitheater in March, 1748, and thought that he had found the old town of Stabiae. As soon as he discovered the rows of seats, he knew that his belief was incorrect. He did not find the town of Stabiae, but the Pompeiian Amphitheater. He did not tell the rest of his team in fear that they would quit, so he named it the Stabian Theater. After a while, the excavators realized there were no silver or gold treasures and abandoned the site. The Amphitheater is one of the few buildings that has been completely restored.

 

So much for our display of Gladiatorial skills ! I think it is time to move on to another part of the City.

Just check out these roads, see the ruts from years of heavy carts and chariots passing along the way.

Note the stepping stones in the distance, these were all over Pompeii and would of marked a safe place to cross and keep you out of the water when the rpad was flooded.

Most of the houses were built from local found stone, Here you can see chunks of coral and such from the sea shore.

Look how ornate the outside of the houses were

If only modern day paint would last as long as this stuff !

It looks like I was here in a previous life !

Above each door in the Brothel are paintings of  what pleasures could of been had  within.

 Not a lot of give in this bed !

I think I will give it a miss

Ah Now that's what lights my candle, the ancient god of noodles "Dolly Bird"

Ok. A couple of jars in the local pub and on with the tour.

Here we have some water pipe made from Plumbum.

This is where the word to "Plumb", "Plumbing" and "Plumber" came from.

Not a lot of people know that !

A close up of the Pumice layer that buried Pompeii

A renowned Relic Hunter taking as much Pumice his pockets will carry.

See the For Sale Page for details

The Emperor Jay De Digger
Looks over Pompeii for the last time as the day draws to an end

I honestly felt that if I had been there for a week I would not of seen all the things I wanted.

Pompeii was certainly one of the highlights of the tour and a memory that will be in my heart for ever.

Well That's the end of another crazy adventure.

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