|Foggy start to the day so decided to get down to the coast road for the drive down to Naples & Pompeii. The roads are mostly in a pretty poor state apart from the toll roads & the major roads. Some of the driving is pretty unusual as well, especially in the fog, but somehow we haven't seen any accidents, yet. The fog cleared after about twenty miles & we could see the mountains to our left & in front as we drove along South East. As we neared Naples we could make out Vesuvius, the only active volcano on the European mainland.
We skirted around Naples & Vesuvius & stopped at a camp site in Pompeii close to the entrance to the historical old Roman city that was buried in ash when Vesuvius erupted in AD79. A very large area of the city has now been excavated. I did come here in 1960 on a school trip & I am keen to see how much more has been uncovered, not that I can remember much from nearly 55 years ago.
Anyway by the time we had set up,had a late coffee break & wandered over to the entrance gates we decided that it wasn't worth getting tickets for the few hours left today before they close so we opted to take the train from the nearby station & go into Naples. I hadn't planned to visit Naples but this would mean we could have a full day tomorrow to go round the Pompeii excavations.
We spent the afternoon wandering around the streets of Naples, mainly in the old historical area. It turned out to be more interesting than I anticipated, especially in the narrow back streets with their shops. One street was filled with shops making & selling nativity & religious items made from cork. Some really impressive pieces.
We had lunch in a small pizzeria in one of the old streets. Naples is renowned for its style of pizza oven or cooking. I'm not an expert on pizzas & don't really go for them but as we are in the land of spaghetti & pizza it seems only proper that we partake. The place that we had chosen was a real gem with a big open pizza oven at the front & tables at the back. We were served by a waitress,who we found out came from the Ukraine, & she helped us pick from a long list of pizzas. However I spotted the guy on the next table with a massive puffy pastry concoction which looked spectacular so the waitress offered to change my order to one of the same so I took the plunge & went for it.
I still don't know what it was called but it was a lot better, in my opinion, than the large pizza that Viv received. It was huge, puffy & filled with melted cheese, ham & whatever. I would thoroughly recommend it if I knew what it was. It was so big I couldn't manage it all & we ended up taking half of it plus half of Viv's pizza with us & eating it for supper in the evening back at the camp.
Late in the afternoon as it started to get dark we were sitting on a bench in one of the many piazzas when we treated to the most amazing display of what I believe is called a "murmur" of starlings, at least I presume they were starlings. Huge clouds of them were sweeping around in ever changing formations that wheeled & turned & swept over the rooftops. People were standing & staring up at them in awe with many of them capturing the flights on mobile phones & cameras. It was a truly marvellous sight.
We eventually made our way back to the central railway station by bus & thence on the train back to Pompeii where we arrived just after 8pm. There we ate our 'doggy bag' of pizza,& whatever it was I had saved from lunch, for our supper. Another interesting day.
Mileage today - 103
Total Mileage to date - 1,755