Monday, February 15, 2010

Friday, Feb 12..POMPEI!

The whole group woke up early to catch a train (8am departure). To my credit, I uncharacteristically did NOT sleep. bought a capaccino and dug into the assignments for the weekend. oh, so on this!!
When we were leaving, the snow started coming down in those big, wet chunks of snowflakes!! Jill and I were excited: but everyone seemed a bit melancholy (which is understandable since the plan is to be outside checking out pompei for the day). Not as good as 3 feet of snow.... but beggers can't be choosers lol. Outside the window, for a bit we could see the earth with a light dusting covering the grass. It soon dissapeared... but then we could see the fields that (despite being January) were GREEN! different shades. Some deep green, some faded and with a little blue. Some fields had empty orchards and vineyards, with quiet empty trees and trellises. (spring is going to be sweeeeet here)
During the over 2 hours on train let us see some of italy's countryside! First mountains!!! not impressive to peope who live around real-deal Mountains. but for Pennsylvania was jazzed. The farther south we went the bigger and and higher the mountains rose. You can see the liittle villages perched on the sides of the steep hills! (i sort of wanted to just drive up there and unroll my sleeping bag in some little old lady's bed and breakfast... I could take online classes right?)
As we got closer to naples (connecting train) the ocean came into view on the opposite side of the train. (Mountains and ocean!!! ocean and mountains! studying stopped about then..i was way too distracted by the windows. sort of like a little kid with her nose pressed against the window, breath fogging up the glass)

Pompei was incredible. we walked with Dr. Szabo for a little bit, snapping off pictures while she pointed out what various structures were.She is like a tour guide in herself. and ridiculously hilarious. molto amore (much love)

(above) tombs! (in the center) Dr. Szabo (purple scarf) and Kristin! they are at what would be like like a "fast food" style restaurant. It was called a Thermopolium. Please notice the different types of marble used as a "countertop"! (second to the right) here is one of the more narrow side streets in Pompei. with mt. Vesuvius in the background! the streets are made of big, giant, smooth (but uneven) rocks. The large rocks that are bigger in the center of the street (on the larger wider roads there would sometimes be two or three of these) are stepping stones so that when the roads were muddy or flooded so you could cross the street without getting your dainty feet wet. (farthest right) Jill standing at the bakery, next to her is where the grain was poured and a donkey would walk around and grind it. Behind her is the wood-burning oven.

(above left) one of the many arches over the street. (note the two goddesses on either side of the road. Oh, wait, that's Jill and me!). Arches are still standing after 2000 years!!! They were over the roads, and inside houses, and other buildings. The arch was more exciting than sliced bread. (center) is a little alter fountain (with statues on either side) made completely of colored pieces to make these mosaic designs. Also throughout the city are mosaics on the floors/entryways of wealthy people's homes, onthe walls! (above right) Jill standing by the pillars in one of the wealthy people's homes. This house even had a bath/pool thing in the atria/entryway...the one at this dude's house was wayy deeper/bigger than most. why yes i would bathe outdoors while inside my house with pillars and a garden about me! e tu? and you??

Above left is me in front of the remains of a fresca painting. The colors and details are STILL VISIBLE ON THE WALLS (did i already mention from 2000 years ago!? ok, i know i did, but i still find that incredible. I can't even get my nailpolish to stay on for a week...) Center is me, in a tomb. It was dark and creepy inside. But it's about the experience of doing it, right? ugh. The inside had hallows carved out in the stone, perhaps so the urns of the whole family could rest together? The right is just a pic (Jill and I took some seriously artistic ones among the ruins) of me on an ancient stair. Feelin the wisdom of ages as I sit on the stoop thinking...

above left is the whole group striking a stunning pose by the temple of Jupiter (Roman version of Zeus!) In the center pic is the Lupanare (*ahem* brothel )painted decorations above the doors. 5 rooms on the ground floor and an upper floor (what a business to have two story revenue.) The beds were stone, and a matress would have been on top. Most prostitutes (in latin.."lupa") were slaves of greek or oriental origin. Earnings went to the owner (Pimp) since the women there were without legal standing. Only giving this historical information so I can, hence, freely rant and rave about the injustices of women throughout history and how the sex trade is such a serious issue, even now, in modern day America. Some things don't change and, dangit, they should!
Far right picture is of me and Jill (do try to appreciate our flexing, strong, stances!) in front of the auditorium. (much like the colosseum) where inside were games and gladiatorial fights (among other things, occasionally somewhat nasty too).

above left is a whole series of archs...i know i know...enough of the arches anna! but for real, if they are boring...just look at the bricks! and the ultimate coolness that this stuff is still standing. I also have a almost aeriel pic taken from a corner of a house that had enough dirt packed that one could see above the ruins a little (with a little bit of manuvering and climbing). but it doesnt really look like much in the pic. It was awesome to see from that vantage point The pic on the right is the forum, which was the city's main square (no cart traffic!) surrounding it were political, religious,and business buildings. The first monumental arrangement there dates back to 2nd century B.C. Also, the city's administrative buildings were located in this area. Statues were most likely placed around the forum. Twas the hub. (like what penn state has...only with more power)


  1. Fantastic! This has to be the time of your life!

  2. Now that I have your blogspot, I'll look forward to this wonderful play-by-play on all your adventures! You have a way of making your reader feel right there with you!! Love ya, my sweet girl!
    Mrs. C

  3. Anna - we miss you soooo much!!! Sitting here at our table with your parents - we are having a slumber party1! Lydia is visiting PITT this evening and your folks are here with us! I love your blog - you are a wonderful writer; entertaining - I'm hooked! thanks for sharing - keep writing and posting:)