April 24, 2022 70°F/20°C
We arrived in Naples around noon today. Viking arranged a fabulous brunch on our open pool deck during the sail-in, which made our arrival that much more spectacular. I enjoyed chicken caesar wraps, salad, and fruit flavoured macarons, while Ted snapped pictures. He caught a shot of Mt. Vesuvius as we approached.
We’ve never been to Naples, or in fact to Italy until this cruise, so it was really difficult choosing between all the wonderful excursions offered in this port. In the end, “we” chose Pompeii, where the victims of the horrific 79 Ad eruption of Mt. Vesuvius were caught in the middle of their lives by the volcanic gases and 20 feet of hot ash that rained down and instantly entombed them.
Today the town, having been rediscovered in the 17th century, has been extensively excavated, and is a huge archeological site. Almost the entirety of the town that once housed perhaps 15-20,000 people is available to walk through and explore – everything from homes, shops, brothels, restaurants, bakeries, theatres, and a huge main square with its courthouse. Our tour duration didn’t allow enough time for us to get to the amphitheater, but that’s a good reason to return to Naples.
In 1860, Pompeii’s director of excavations Giuseppe Fiorelli developed a way to create plaster casts out of the voids left by the decay of organic materials in the hardened ash and pumice. Those people and animals are brought to life, in a sense, by those plaster casts. Sadly, those casts are no longer displayed in situ, thanks to disrespectful tourists who insisted on touching (and sometimes graffiti-ing) them, but we did see a few of them in the on-site museum/antiquarium.
This evening was the very emotional good-byes to staff who’ve made our journey so far so very special. There is a large crew turnover taking place in Rome tomorrow. Fellow passenger and all-round amazing person Candyce Traci has been taking photos of shipboard events every day, and shared her wonderful pictures of the crew and staff with our Cruise Director and tech team, who turned them into a slideshow accompanied by our entertainment team singing “They Work Hard for the Money” and “Hard Working Man”. It was both fun and touching.
In our case, we will especially miss Yoyo Hadianto, my Bloody Mary enabler; the amazing Ana-Lyn Orquin and Jeffrey Capalad whose voices and friendship have given us so much pleasure ; electric guitarist extraordinaire Heintje Berame; and pianist Enrico Agudo whose joy in being able to share his love for Chopin and infectious grin always pulled us into his performances.
All of these wonderful folks shared in our vow renewals earlier this month. We will never forget them.