This morning we sailed into the Bay of Naples with Mount Vesuvius looming in the distance.
Naples has been built up from the sea to the mountain over thousands of years upon many layers of different peoples and eruptions.
This crazy chaotic city is filled with cathedrals, castles and narrow streets lined with shops, cafes and restaurants. The mad rush of traffic, in a city where stopping at red lights is optional, makes for cautious crossings on its busy streets. It has buildings from ancient Greeks up to the present day.
Our last visit to Naples a few years ago was spent in long lines at the post office and were unable to visit Pompeii or Herculaneum and spent our time exploring the city. So this time we were determined to make our way on the train and tour the ancient town of Herculaneum.
The ship was 3 hours late so rather than organise our own tour and take public transport we decided to book a tour from the ship.
After boarding our tour coach we were taken through the streets of Naples and out towards Mount Vesuvius while our tour guide gave a very informative narration of the history of Naples.
Herculaneum was destroyed by the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, along with the town of Pompeii. Herculaneum was founded by the Greeks and at the time of the eruption was a small Roman seaside holiday resort. The city was totally drowned, along with its residents by hot volcanic mud.
Herculaneum was discovered early in the 18th century. The town had proved difficult to locate as it had been a coastal city and the search focused on the coastline.
We were lead through the cobbled stoned streets and into buildings with beautifully mosaic tiled floors, original fresco lined walls and marbled steps while learning the history of this ancient town, its people and their lifestyle.
The skeletons of three children huddled together on display are a graphic reminder of the horrible fate these people suffered that day, which ended their lives and destroyed their city.
Back at port we headed into the city to explore the shops in the short time we had left before boarding the ship.
Now dark we sailed away watching the city lights disappear as our ship sailed out of the Bay Naples towards Malta, the next port of call.
|Sail Away Naples|