Ride to Maiori

One way to relieve the load on a motorcycle, no matter where you are, is to mail stuff home. In this case, all the Roman souvenirs I picked up (with only a couple of exceptions) were packed into the box shown on my bed.
I was lucky. The Postamat was only a block and a half from the convent. The postmistress helping me spoke no English at all but I was also lucky that another customer stuck around to help translate and therefore I was able to get the package safely off to Canada.
By 9:00 am I was able to ride out of the convent gate. I went straight to the Autostrade and I was off to Pompeii.
A couple of hours later, I was in Pompeii but uncertain where the ruins were.
After speaking a bit of broken Italian, I got directions from the Santuario Madonna del Rosario to the entrance to the Pompeii ruins, only a couple of blocks away.
Next problem... parking... turned out NOT to be a problem. I stopped for lunch at this restaurant across the street from the entrance and the owner (pictured here) told me to leave my bike right where it was, next to his. Nice! BTW, the food here at the Corallo Ristorante at the Piazza Anfiteatro was delicious.
Right across the street... the entrance and information center to the ruins.
Immediately upon entering the site, I came to the Anfiteatro.
I studied Latin when I was in high school and it was neat to see it here. Of course all Roman-ce languages have much in common, especially their alphabets.
The outside ring of the Anfiteatro.
And here I could imagine standing to face the crowd before dueling with man or beast.
This building and others... so well preserved under its ash covering.
Palestra Grande
Here the roots of trees, parts of which are covered by hardened molten rock.
As you walk down the ancient streets...
... there are some areas which have been recultivated to show what life might have been like during this era.
These "bumps" in the road made me curious. Just why they are there, I don't know. The stones seem to be original ones as are the ones paving the streets.
Old pots which might have been used to store oils, etc.
Nice sinks!
How on earth could these frescoes have survived what they have?
A huge pot at the home of the perfumer.
I wondered whether the "stitch"-like repair job on the pot was modern or had been done centuries ago.
A garden has been regrown with herbal essences suitable for making fragrances.
An indication of just how much these stones have been through over many centuries.
Necropoli di Porta Nocera - since necropolis is an ancient burial ground, I assume these are some type of vaults or entrances to crypts.
Some statues that have survived.
Bricks are missing yet some of the intricate stonework is still there... interesting!
I've always thought of lizards living in deserts or tropical places but there are many in Italy.
Still walking through the Necropoli.
Hmmm... I wonder what lurks in the background, looming large over this peaceful, agricultural scene? Could that be... a v-v-v-mountain?
Italians have obviously restored many of the ancient lands tucked behind the stone Pompeiian walls to crops which might have been grown previous to the volcanic eruption which destroyed them.
Isn't this snake cool? I was now walking along a main drag, towards the Teatro.
A marble "countertop".
This house (Casa del Menandro) had many interesting things inside it.
There were two rooms having terra cotta pots inside them.
A couple of them appeared to be in good enough condition to actually hold something.
The atrium was outstanding.
AKA the peristyle (because it is surrounded by columns) was a lovely little maze.
This PROBABLY is the fresco of Menander, the Greek playwright, whom the house is named after.
This is the bath area...
... complete with mosaics of sea creatures.
Obviously these are artifacts belonging to the house but you can't get near them because they are roped off.
Big Daddy is waaatching!
Frescoes depicting the Trojan War.
Would this have been a small alter for worshipping their ancient deities?
Nice texture!
The front entranceway.
Stairs leading up to a second floor which no longer exists.
Hey! I finally made it to the Teatro!
These young people from Alberta took my picture, and I took theirs!
This is the "Teatro Piccolo", the small one. The large theatre was closed. Workmen were present so I assume that they were cleaning it, fixing it or disassembling it. I'd guess one of the first two.
A view towards the stage area.
I can figure out why these stepping stones would be here. You could avoid water rushing down the hillside after a very wet storm, right?
This water fountain has been updated so it still works.
Walking down the street towards the "Foro".
There were many interesting walking surfaces.
This diamond design might have taken quite a bit of labour.
Entering the Foro area.
I believe this is the Tempio di Giove.
The Basilica.
The Basilica was used to administer justice and for business negotiations.
Great view from the Basilica towards the modern Pompeii.
Evidently the granary (Granai del Foro) was never used. It was new at the time of the eruption.
It's used now to store artifacts from the historical site...
... as well as plaster casts of the victims of the eruption.
This was a dog caught in the lava flow.
This poor person probably just collapsed on the spot.
Of all of the victims, this one made me the saddest.
The person probably realized he couldn't escape but tried not to breathe in the poisonous gases. He obviously succumbed huddled in a corner somewhere.
What I didn't realize until I saw this plaster cast is that archealogists probably filled "holes" with plaster to get the outlines of fallen victims, but the bones of the victim remained.
You can clearly see the skull and teeth of this victim...
... and his hand clenched in pain, I'm sure.
This is one of a few dogs I saw on site. They are obviously pets (check out the collar) but of whom I don't know. Perhaps of one of the site's workers or perhaps a wandering fellow finding a cool place to take a nap.
Another surviving fresco...
... and an inlaid floor - just as nice as any carpet!
A skylight provided illumination for...
... this great three legged table made of marble.
Yet another lion...
... where are the wolves?
A bath...
... fairly elaborate for those times, I'd say.
A lovely finish of red marble.
Another fresco but WHY ON EARTH would someone deface such a remarkable piece of history with senseless grafitti??
I'm not sure why all the holes... They probably aren't sinks after all. Perhaps they were used to store grain? Could this be a bakery or something like that?
I simply LOVED the marble inlaid countertops.
I'm wondering how hard it would be to create one of my own!!
On my way out of the ruins, I saw things I hadn't noticed before.
To properly see everything on site, you'd need several days.
It's amazing that a place with such a sad history now is so serene and peaceful.
After leaving the site, I stopped at Corallo Ristorante for a quick (and early) dinner before taking off for the Amalfi coast.
As I drove towards the outcrop of land, I faced the mountains which make up the apex of the area.
I am fairly sure that is Mount Vesuvius in the background.
Along the road towards Sorrento.
Gorgeous view!
I'll bet you missed this in the first picture of this area (two back - I almost missed it myself)! Can you see the "tiny island palm tree"? I'm thinking that palm tree is NOT real. How could it survive out there? It is very cool regardless of whether it's real or not.
Now... although these look like sculptures, I think these ARE real... maybe!
A view towards Sorrento.
How's this for organized suntanning?
Time for some lemon refreshment!
A view of the marina from a hotel terrace.
Where's the hotel, you ask...
... across the street of course!
I'd dallied long enough. The sun was starting to set and I boogied it out of Sorrento and took the road to the other side of the mountain... the Amalfi Coast. First I had to deal with low lying clouds (slowed me down) then I had to deal with dusk and then DARK - on twisty, up and down roads with me riding on the outside lane of the road looking down sheer cliffs to the ocean (that REALLY slowed me down)! I got to my hotel JUST as they were closing up for the night... yes, family owned hotels can do that!
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