Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Vesuvius - Sept. 29th

Vesuvius from our B&B in Boscoreale

Vesuvius' caldera to prove that we were there

Pompeii from Vesuvius

Naples from Vesuvius

Breakfast at the B&B, then headed up to the Vesuvius National Park where we boarded a purpose-built all-terrain Mercedes bus that was clearly at home on mountains, deserts or tundra, and climbed the rough, tortuous road to the 1,000-meter mark. That trip is not recommended for anyone suffering from vertigo or motion sickness! The puny, two-foot high stone guard-rails petered out with the cobblestone road surface, and only flimsy, wooden railings lined what could charitably be called a path, the rest of the way. Hairy.

At the turn-around, we disembarked and began the 800 meter-long footpath (similarly vertiginous) to the summit at 1167 meters above sea-level. The view of Naples, Pompei and Boscoreale (where we’re staying) is stupendous. It’s clear why Pompei didn’t stand a chance when the eruption occurred.

An hour and a half is allotted for the climb up, sight-seeing, and the climb down to catch the return bus. We staggered back down in time to do so, took another hairy and somewhat faster ride back down to our car and scurried off to Naples to find a MacD’s for WiFi and if necessary, lunch.

Well! Naples is dirty, chaotic and hopelessly congested with endless tiny streets swimming in dented cars and death-defying motorcyclists, all determined to be in whatever unmarked lane you think you are in. Clearly half of the city is under construction or repair at any given time and though Mable tried valiantly to get us to three different MacDonalds, she was ultimately unsuccessful.  None were still operating.  After a completely enervating two hours, we accepted our fate and scurried off back to the Autostrade and Boscoreale. By now, of course, everything was closed for the usual 2-3 hour lunch break.  We managed a coffee and bun at a restaurant in Peace Square, where preparations were underway for the civic worker’s strike rally scheduled for this evening. Never a dull moment in Italy.

We decided, upon mature reflection, that we really didn’t want to see anything more that Naples might have to offer, but thought we might try for the ferry tomorrow from there to Capri, then to the Amalfi Coast and Autostrada home from there. Meanwhile, a nap is called for……

Pictures to follow - check again later


  1. By the way, "Boscoreale" means "Real Wood" or "Real Forest"

    I'm sure you knew...

    I guess French "Bois" and Spanish "Bosque" are from the same source!

    Your daily word origin info!

    Cheers, Perr

  2. Sorry - it most likely means "Royal Wood"....

    As everyhting belonged to the king/queen in the old days....