One of the reasons why I wanted to visit Naples really bad was because I’ve always been fascinated by Pompeii. Ever since watching a documentary about it when I was younger, ever since hearing my sister talk about it and ever since I got history lessons about it in school. Pompeii is fascinating – while her story is both sad as astonishing. The remains of Pompeii are still very intact, and every house, every street and every found item tells you a story. When you walk on the streets of Pompeii you feel what has happened so many years ago. It’s undeniable.
It took me a 2 hour bus ride to go to Pompeii from out the busstation of Naples. In those two hours I’ve learned a lot about Italian driving maners, and to be honest – I’m glad I wasn’t the one driving. The bus drives a road that goes around Mount Vesuvius, the vulcano that erupted so many years ago – leaving Pompeii with nothing but ruins. You also drive along the new city of Pompeii – the modern, rebuild city. Finally I noticed signs of the actual historical sight of Pompeii – we were getting close. I saw more and more tourists gathering. In rental cars, tour busses, in my bus and in taxis. It didn’t take long before my bus driver yelled ‘Pompeii!’ with his Italian accent, through the bus. I, and a handful of other tourists and families got out, excited. Still, I was nervous visiting it, because this would be my first activity to do solo.
‘One ticket’, I said it in confidence, but I did keep an eye on the lady trying to find out whether she found it strange that such a young girl asked for only one ticket. She didn’t seem to find it strange, so, I thought to myself, it’s probably more common to visit Pompeii on your own. And with that attitude I walked onto the sight, forgetting that I was traveling solo overall. After only seeing a couple of ruins I was blown away. I was actually there. I walked the steps of Pompeii.
Pompeii is massive, and when you don’t have a map you WILL get lost and you WON’T see everything there is to see. The sun was burning in my face, my camera hang heavily around my neck and I tripped over the stones in the ground more than a couple of times. Yes I’m blonde. It took me about 5 hours before I finally felt like I saw it all, and before I felt comfortable enough to leave. Bye Pompeii. I’ll never forget you. I finished my day of Pompeii with a pizza – as you do in Naples. I walked around in the giftshops and enjoyed the weather, preparing for a long trip home.
Visiting Pompeii is definitely something you must do when you are in Italy. Pompeii is one of the most valuable history lessons you’ll get in Europe, and no tourist should miss it. However, if you don’t like the touristy side of it you should consider visiting Herculaneum, a smaller, lesser known village that also got victimized by the eruption of the Vesuvius.