Today our group began our day on the sea... After docking in Bari, Italy around 10am, (and after a short-lived "passport scare" from Shea, we de-boarded and met our new bus driver, Carmine, to begin our journey to Pompeii. As we drove, the students kept commenting on how beautiful the countryside is... It is so lush and green right now - a nice contrast to our landscapes back home this time of year. Most of our travelers had a good night on the boat, with a few managing mild motion sickness.
When we arrived in Pompeii, we had our first Italian pizzas and pasta with gelato for dessert, then we shopped and wandered about. Shortly after, we entered the ruins of the old ancient city of Pompeii that was destroyed by the Vesuvius volcano nearly 2000 years ago, then preserved for millennia under over 60 feet of volcanic ash.
there were several lovely moments as we toured the ruins - my personal favorite being when the local guide asked me if we had any good singers - I immediately thought of Ellie, and he requested (with some pressure) that she sing in the ancient theater so that we may all experience the lovely acoustics of be ancient structure as the people of Pompeii no doubt once did.... She did a lovely job on the spot under pressure!!
We wandered through the old city streets, shops, and houses, observing the unbelievably preserved frescos on many of the walls, as well as mosaic tiling, several phallic images which some of our students found especially amusing, and big open courtyards with statures. Perhaps most amazing was the collection we viewed in the end of the pottery, housewares, and furniture that was found within the ruins. We also saw the somber images of a few bodies that had been casted by the ashes and lava from the explosion two thousand years ago.
It is so great to watch our students stare around in wonder and awe at such an incredible icon of human history. After spending four or five hours in Pompeii, we boarded our bus and set out for our next destination.
We are now only moments from arriving at our destination for the night - romantic and restless Rome!
From flirtatious exchanges with Italian boys at a gas station to a pigeon nearly scaring Pake to death, we have also had a ton of simple, fun moments along the way as well.