Pompeii

One reason we usually avoid big tourist attractions is that it is a) very costly to park anywhere near and b) often not very safe. We circle around Pompeii a couple of times until we find a large Auchan shopping centre that has a parking spot for large vehicles. For the money we would have spent parking elsewhere, we go shopping for the next couple of days of food instead :-) Then we get on our bikes and cycle over to the archeological site of Pompeii.

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We human beings have a curious fascination for other people’s tragedy. So much so that scenes of great destruction like Pompeii become a huge tourist attraction. Of course in this case there is also the element that ancient historic monuments have been unearthed, with intact mosaics, wall paintings etc etc., What really attracts though is the sense of that sudden calamity hitting a town in one moment that one feels when walking through the streets, the shudder that goes down one’s spine when seeing the plaster casts of dead bodies in poses of flight or protection, and to imagine the terror that must have been released by the volcanic eruption, immediately buried in 8metres of volcanic material – ashes and lava, followed by a profound silence. This is the real attraction, I’m sure.

Not nice to admit it but there we go.

I wonder how people continue to live in such close vicinity to a volcano like Vesuvio – it seems like dicing with death, like making a bet. All is well until disaster hits. Apparently one of the greatest risks these days is the fact that a huge amount of toxic material has been buried in the flanks of Vesuvio, so that if there is an eruption, in addition to the Pompeii scenario one would also have to deal with a huge explosion of toxic material.

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We had a great day being tourists for a change. Check out our photos.


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