May 12, 2016

Pompeii View
Pompeii View

Pompeii was surprising.  I don’t know quite why, as I had no preconceptions.  The site was huge — “YUGE!” — and yet there were places that felt intimate and nostalgic.  How could it feel nostalgic?  I’d never seen anything like it!

There were grand structures and humble ones; there were homes and bars and streets and fountains.  There were rubble and near-rubble and nearly-intact structures.  There were storage areas piled with artifacts (photo to come, perhaps.)  And the best artifacts are apparently in a museum in Naples, which we did not have on our agenda.

So the above is not what most people would show you of Pompeii.  But it captures a quiet wistfulness that I felt, walking around with hundreds of other people, surrounded by and imbued with wonder at lives lived and cut short so many years ago.  Our trip’s academic expert told us that  “25% of everything the world has collected from the vast Roman Empire was discovered at Pompeii. ”  I got to walk around there, touch the stones, the walls, the art, breathe the very air, and imagine.

3 thoughts on “May 12, 2016”

  1. I, too, like the quiet wistfulness of the picture. But I especially love the way you describe things. So thoughtful, so insightful.

    1. Thank you both!
      Richard pointed out that Vesuvius is in the background of this shot, nearly obscured by the wall and tree. It is about 5 miles away, still active, and puts Naples and its surrounding population at great risk; Naples is a similar distance away.

      This was the first of many places that gave me the feeling I must be on a movie set. The iconic names and postcard-perfect views were tinged with an almost magical unreality. This hit me again at the other end of our journey, in Venice. Venice looks more like its film images than I thought possible; I kept looking for big cameras and crews!

  2. I agree with what Jan said about your photo and commentary. Some places exude a sort of wistfulness for what was and will never be again.

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