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August 25th

We’ve now finished our educational series on Roman history, culminating today with a visit to Pompei. I’m sure the kids will be pleased. We’ve dragged them out in 95 degree heat almost daily for the last week to look at rocks, rocks and more rocks. At night we fill them up with Youtube video’s on volcanoes, romans, and ancient civilizations.  We’re pretty sure they’ve both gained a lot from the experience as evidenced by their new boat names – Gramicus and Aethani. They also want to be Gladiators now instead of warrior Ninja’s.

We started in Gaeta on Aug 17th – After hitting the mainland after a month of Island hopping, it was nice to be on a continent again. We took the train to Rome and spent a very hot day sorting through the ruins of the Pantheon, Forum, and Coliseum.  We went back to Rome (after a rest day) to walk through Vatican city. We climbed the copula of St. Peters cathedral, and toured the crypt where most of the popes are enshrined. While we’ve seen plenty of beautiful churches so far this trip. The Basillica in Vatican city is definitely the most opulent.

After Rome we sailed to the Island of Ischia and anchored at the base of a castle (Aragon) that was built in 500BC, then later added to in 1500AD. The area is rife with volcanic activity which we saw by snorkeling through Fumarella’s (Little bubble fields trickling up CO2) Very pretty experience – like swimming through a diamond field.

From here we decided to make our way into the Bay of Naples (against the advice of other sailors) so that we could get close enough to Pompei and Vesuvius that the day visits would not be as taxing on the kids. We spent one night in Baia and were able to snorkel through an underwater city that has been buried for 2000 years. (They experience negative Bradyism here – which is a sinking of the land due to volcanic activity, as opposed to positive Bradyism or heightening…) Of course we ‘didn’t know’ that we were supposed to have a park guide before swimming around this archeological site, so we got away with a free tour.  We ended up getting kicked out of Baia (coast guard) and left late at night. Fortunately we found a completely secluded cove about 6 miles away, which was a crescent shaped bay about 100 meters around with a narrow opening. I was nervous, Janet was not – so we snuck in and strung a stern line and settled in for the night. It was extra special as there were cave ruins around the shore that we explored.

From here we motored past Naples to a town called Torre (Tower) de Greco on the east end. Dirty, dirty, dirty. We paid a modest $110! for a single night and were crammed onto the end of the dock with barely enough room to jump ashore. That’s okay we had all the water we could use, and we had electricity which meant we could plug in the air conditioner.  Can you say miracle of modern times!

After berthing up, we immediately jumped on the train/bus to climb mount Vesuvius. Great experience  for the kids and precursor to seeing Pompei  the next day. Advice- before going to pompei, watch all the youtube video’s and do a google maps walkthrough.

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