In what is becoming something of a regular occurrence we were once again on the Circumvesuviana this morning stopping at Pompeii. However, it wasn’t to go back to the site again but to pick up a local bus to Vesuvius. The cause of all the trouble in the first place.
Outside the station were some scammers trying to sell over inflated tours for €10 when the local bus only cost €3.10. I don’t understand why they are allowed to operate so close to the station and so obviously rip off naive tourists. It really doesn’t reflect well on Italy at all.
We weren’t so lucky with the bus queuing today and despite arriving first several people just stood right in front of us in the road oblivious to the fact that we were there and Helen’s hard stares. She was having none of it though and made sure she got her rightful place (almost).
The journey took 50 minutes up a steep and winding road and took us to within 200m (height not distance) of the rim. It was a strenuous walk from the stop to the top taking about half an hour.
And there it was. We’d paid €10 each to look at a big hole! It was an interesting view of what was basically a large bit of missing mountain and we know where that missing bit ended up! We walked around half of the rim and sadly there wasn’t any bubbling magma to be seen but I did collect a little more lava rock to add to my “volcanos of the world” rock collection which now includes Vesuvius as well as Etna.
Looking away from the rim you could see all the way to Naples and all the houses and people potentially at risk from another eruption. It would scare the begeezers out of me but they all seem to be going about there business and not worrying too much about it. Perhaps they haven’t heard about Pompeii?!
As usual the train was absolutely rammed with standing room only and very little of that too. However, they clearly don’t care much about security in this part of the world and so had the door between the driver and our carriage wide open. This had two effects: one to let though a nice cooling and welcome breeze and two to let me stand so close to the driver that I actually felt that I was driving the train. It all looks pretty simple to me and in an emergency I think I’d have been able to step in just fine!
It’s our last full day tomorrow and we are off to Herculaneum.