Checking Off the Travel bucket List: Mount Vesuvius & Pompeii, Italy

Italy is one of the countries that holds so much history, even dating back 3000 years, that one would need to spend years to discover and learn even a small part of the history it holds. It’s one of the reasons returning to Italy for the 3rd time was an easy decision. High on our bucket list was Mount Vesuvius and Pompeii.

Mount Vesuvius and the destruction of Pompeii is known all over the world and, dating back thousands of years, so standing in the foothills of this great, and very active volcano was a little hard to grasp how huge the moment actually was. But before I try to convey this momentous event just a little, through my photos let me take a moment to set the tone of the day.

One of the days we stayed in Sorrento we went on an excursion to the volcano and Pompeii. It started at a small port outside of Sorrento which was such a postcard area, but it took our taxi driver several 3-point turns just to get down the very steep cliff-side winding road to the port.

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A very cute little boat called The Mickey Mouse. Yes, that’s right, named after the Disney character. It was small and cute, and all of the seating was outside. As we sailed along the cliff-side of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the port of Castellammare, we soaked in the beautiful morning sun, breathtaking views and chatted with the other travelers.

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Once we got to Castellammare we were bussed off to Pompeii where we met a very well-informed tour guide that took us around the grounds of Pompeii. The grounds were much larger than expected, and I believe that spending 3 hours in this area we didn’t cover it all.

Here is a brief walk through the ancient city of Pompeii and what remains there. (Click on any image below to view larger version in the gallery.)

After a lovely lunch outside Pompeii, with vendors serving fresh squeezed OJ and fresh pizza we headed off to Mount Vesuvius. The rest was much needed for what was in store next.

The regular bus only took us a few kilometers up the mountain. We then boarded very large wheeled, military type vehicles to take us up another 9km towards the top. (Notice in this image, the top view of the winding road and one of the military vehicles in the bottom left corner.)

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The last 1km we had to hike up. At this altitude, now entering the clouds, the hike was not only difficult because of the steep climb but also because the air was getting thin. Frequent stops were not only necessary to rest, but also necessary to take in the views that we had no idea we were going to see. Simply breathtaking.

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Once on top of the volcano, you could not see anything as we were deep in the clouds. But the view inside the crater was clear. We had made it. We were now standing on top of an active volcano. Proof of activity is the small puff of smoke coming from the edge of the inside of the crater.

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Once we explored the crater area, and had a short rest, we headed back down and started our journey back to Sorrento. Once back on The Mickey Mouse the fantastic crew and guides served us some ice cold Limoncello, we sipped in exhausted enjoyment while taking in the rocky scenery once again along the cliff side coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea.

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Stay tuned for the next travel post from the little towns on the Amalfi Coast.

 

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