If you are finding this site slow to load please come back in a day or so by which time I'll have the problem fixed. At the same time I'll add a few more images. And please excuse all my typos. While the iphone 6 is wonderful, I find writing and editing challenging on such a small device. Of course when you think about it, it is amazing technology, eh?
And now back to Italy.
In 1709, a hundred years after the discovery of Pompeii, a well digger encountered a buried structure in an area just south of Naples. This was later revealed to be part of a town. That town, Herculaneum, turned out to be smaller and more well-to-do than Pompeii. While not as extensive, the ruins of Herculaneum are better preserved because they were buried by volcanic mud which hardened into rock. Even some wooden structures were preserved.
Not ones to pass up a chance to see some more ruins, we take the Circumvesuviana train to Ercolano then walk about 500m west to the ruins of Herculaneum. Unlike Pompeii, which is at grade level, Herculaneum is below grade so as we approach the ruins we look down to see a surprisingly complete looking city in a hole, surrounded by the nondescript buildings that make up much of the Naples ' suburbs.
We quickly find Herculaneum to contain a more interesting ruins experience than Pompeii. The buildings are more complete, some even have intact ceilings and wooden doors. The most interesting are the colorful walls, colorful columns, and wide variety of mosaics on the floor. We spend a few hours and are able to cover the whole town.
I'll add more text to this entry, and more pictures, but i must stop for tonight. If all goes well tomorrow we'll be in Taormina.
At the moment the most important article of clothing on Vancouver Island is a good raincoat. It's not cold, just wet.
I've added a number of shots to the Herculaneum and Palermo photo galleries. A few are copied here: the first six are the ruins - I don't know why I'm surprised at the colors - and the rest are Palermo. The last is of a group of students who insisted on posing.
Palermo and Naples are similar.Block after block of narrow streets squeezing between old stone buildings. So much detail! And you often feel you've seen this before, because it fits some idealized or maybe television or movie sourced brain picture of how Italian cities are supposed to look. Despite their similarities Palermo seems more prosperous, youthful, and energetic.