Day 2 – Naples for Sorrento and Pompeii
We woke on Day 2 just before arriving in the port of Naples. Our cabin at the stern of the ship was the perfect place to watch as we backed into the old port of Naples with the ancient castle right behind us and all the buildings of the old city, it was quite a sight especially just as the sun was coming up in the morning.
The weather was fantastic for Day 2, about 24 degrees and sunny and we had booked a full day tour from the Ruby Princess which was to take us to Sorrento and then Pompeii.
We had an early breakfast then headed down to meet at one of the dining rooms for the tour groups. We were split up into groups – all done very efficiently, as there would have been 4 busloads just heading out on the Sorrento tour. We had an Austrian tour guide who was now living in Capri, who was very knowledgeable about the area and very good on the walking tour of Pompeii, with her archaeology background.
The bus drive down to Sorrento was spectacular, with beautiful views over the Bay of Naples and the little towns along the way. It was really intriguing how the bus driver negotiated the really narrow streets in the towns all with parked cars and traffic coming in the opposite direction.
The day was perfect, picture postcard stuff. We arrived in Sorrento at around 10:00 and had 2 and a half hours to ourselves to wander around the town and have lunch. What a spectacular little town Sorrento was! Beautiful, especially with the lovely weather. The views down to the beaches and sea from up on the cliffs of the town were beautiful and the water was crystal clear. We found a little Pizzeria for lunch and then made our way back to the bus to head to Pompeii.
Pompeii was a real eye opener. I was always intrigued by the story of the Roman town buried by Vesuvius volcanic eruption in 79AD and had seen pictures of the site, but nothing prepares you for the sheer size of the Pompeii and the scale of the restoration. It is huge and as you walk along the original Roman roads and see all the shops and houses it was really so impressive. Really remarkable being able to walk through one of the restored Roman homes still with the original plaster and see the colours and pictures painted on the walls almost 2,000 years ago – even down to how the pyroclastic cloud from the eruption had changed some of the colours from yellow to red from a certain level. Still moving to see the casts of the bodies of the people trapped by the eruption, there are a number on display.
After a 2 hour walking tour with our guide using WhisperNet radio headset which was good – so we could hear her commentary, we headed back to the bus and the Naples port. Back on board for a shower and dinner after a full first day. What a great way to start our holiday.