Day 15 - Wednesday 13th July 2016
13.07.2016 - 13.07.2016 30 °C
After our tiring day and big night we took our time getting up and having breakfast today. We set course to see the ruins of Herculaneum - the entire town was submerged in 16 metres of lava from the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in 79AD. It was built over the top and it wasn't discover there was a town underneath for 1700 years. You can clearly so the line around the top of the city where the lava fill topped. The town was on the coast at the time, people tried to flee by getting to the water but lava flowed at up to 70km per hour. The first sight on the tour shows some concrete shelters where they housed boats and where they found 300 skeletons of people that hid there sheltering from the lava. It looked eerie to see the skeletons, many with their mouths opened as if screaming. I had thought these were the original skeletons but heard a tour guide say the originals were in a museum and these were all replicas.
The town itself was not very big, it had 3 main streets but the things unearthed were well preserved as the lava hardened around it. We spent the next couple of hours walking and looking and we all had audio guides to hear the stories behind the places.
Another hot sweltering day, we rushed the last little bit and headed back to the car. We drove then to Pompeii which is on the other side of Vesuvius and found parking and ate lunch. By the time we entered the ruins there it was already 4pm, we had an audio guide which had to be returned by 7pm so then we spent the next three hours looking through this city. Unlike Herculaneum, Pompeii was not consumed by lava but instead it was destroyed by the volcanic ash and fire and debris that fell on the city. Pompeii was a large city for that time, I heard someone say it spread over 1600 acres. The streets were all paved with large rocks so you had to be careful not to twist your ankles. A large number of the exhibits were closed off but we still saw a lot of buildings that remained. When our time was up we headed back to the car for the drive home.
We showered and came up for dinner later than normal at around 8:30pm. There seemed to be a few extra people dining tonight so service was a bit slower, it was quite late by the time we retreated to our rooms for well deserved sleep.