One reads about it, one sees it on TV and in movies. One knows bits and pieces of its history and one’s heard everyone else’s stories about what it is like. But only when one is there and experiences it for oneself does it sink in that this all happened in 79 AD. And it’s all so amazingly well preserved that one is transported back to that age and sanding at the foot of Vesuvius one almost understands the enormity of what happened that fateful day.
Lady Helen was about 10 years old when she first heard about Pompeii. Her school reading book – Wide Range Reader – had many stories of historic interest and each of them had left a lasting impression on her and the one about Pompeii was particularly fascinating. And now here she was more than fifty years later seeing it all for herself.
The admiral and the captain had done Pompeii on a previous visit so The Earl and Lady Helen took the 30 minute train ride and met their host, Roberto who is an archeologist and a tour guide. One probably needs two days to see all of Pompeii but in the heat of an Italian Summer that would be suicide. Roberto showed them the most interesting parts in their two-hours spent there.
During early excavations of the site, occasional voids in the ash layer had been found that contained human remains. These were spaces left by the decomposed bodies and so plaster was injected into them to recreate the forms of Vesuvius’s victims.
It was a very informative and interesting visit and when they were done, Roberto kindly drove them home.