July 27 2018
Up early to catch the train to Naples and then on to Pompei where we booked three nights at a B & B.
We got to the train station and found that most of the trains in the morning cost over E55.00 per person. The first train in the afternoon (12:26) the price dropped by half, no idea why. We waited in the train station for three hours and then caught the train to Naples, a two – hour train journey.
When you take a train in Italy you buy your ticket and then validate it before getting on the train. The tickets are then good for four hours. We had validated our tickets on every train we have been on, even the short 10 minute journeys in Cinque Terre. Every other train no-one checked the tickets, although the conductors wandered through the train. Well guess what happened to us this time. Yep, we forgot to validate the tickets and there were two conductors checking the tickets. We were both having mini-heart attacks. I had read that if you didn’t validate your ticket you could be fined on the spot about E200.
The fella checked the ticket, checked the seat we were sitting in and gave us the tickets back. OMG he didn’t check to see if they had been validated.
We arrived in Naples and asked where we could get the local train to Pompei. Downstairs – Circumvesuviana, a different train line. We bought our tickets – E8.00 for a half hour trip. The train was a very local train, no air conditioning, hard plastic seats and no announcements to let you know what station you were arriving at. Fortunately, it did have a map of the route and the stations, Ralf counted the stations and the train trundled along to Pompei. The graffiti along this line and in Italy in general has been very prevalent. Every wall that could be tagged was tagged, and at some stations even the station signs were covered with graffiti, so much that you could not read the name of the station.
We found our B & B very easily, and had a nice shower before heading out to explore Pompei. The room is clean and big. We had initially booked for two nights, then decided we needed an extra night to see Vesuvius, Herculaneum and Pompei. It is difficult to modify your bookings on Bookings.com, Ralf booked an extra night separately. Because we had two separate bookings, we have two different rooms. Our second room is not quite as big!
We were very surprised to see that Pompei is a really clean Town (except for the Train Station). There is a large church where the priest has been beatified for his good works with the orphans of the area.
There was a wedding at the church and the guests were waiting outside for the bride and groom to come out of the church. The guests had sprinkled grain on the floor and the pigeons had landed, the bride and groom ran out of the church and the pigeons all took off. I am sure it looks better with white doves!
The square around the church is large and clean, with lots of bars, restaurants and ice-cream stores surrounding the square. On Friday evening, the square and bars were full with people watching people, meeting friends and strolling the square or sitting and relaxing on the numerous park benches.
We decided to book a bus tour to take us to Vesuvius and Herculaneum tomorrow. We have to pay the entrance fees to both sites. I asked the tourist office if we got a deal for booking two trips and surprisingly he gave us E10.00 of the price.
We had a nice meal and then sat in the square at a small bar with a drink and watched people for about an hour. We retired back at our air-conditioned room at about 10:30.