Moby Obie Memorial Mediterranean Cruise, Days 8 & 9 (Part I)

NAPLES, POMPEII, AND THE AMALFI COAST

margherita-pizza

[When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s . . . Napoli!  🙂  We left Mykonos for a two-day voyage to Naples, home of the pizza!  And the Margherita pizza, above, was one of the two original pizzas invented in Naples.  Needless to say, when in Rome (well, close enough), do as the Romans do.  Whenever we ate out on the Italian economy (always lunches), we always ordered a Margherita pizza and a Peroni (see “The Grape Stomp” post).]

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[So, Thursday, August 29 (Little Mayo Johnson’s 66th, exactly one week ahead of mine), was a day at sea.  Likely spent around the swimming pools, probably wondering what colors the Russian “models'” bikinis would be that day.  😉  I seem to recall I read a lot of “Bad Monkey.”  The photographic evidence (above) indicates we had another formal dinner that night – and once again I had to crash it with a short-sleve shirt.  “The March of the Baked Alaskas” must be a cruise ship staple – I remember the chefs did this on our Alaska cruise as well.]

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[Obviously dinner once again came with a fine wine . . .]

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[And fine violin music.]

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[The ladies looked lovely as we repaired to the atrium for some after dinner entertainment.]

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[The International Café, just off the atrium.  One of the supervisor’s favorite haunts because it had . . . pastries!  She often stopped there on the way “home” at night to pick up a little goodie to take back to the room in case she got hungry in the middle of the night – which, of course, is always a major concern on a cruise ship (?)]

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[Bill and Anne called as soon as they got back the their room.  Come on over, we have lots of lights here.  We were about to join them when we looked out our deck.  On their side, they were looking at the “toe” of Italy; we were looking at Sicily.  🙂   ]

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[Ciao, Italy!]

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[We awoke the next morning to another beautiful sunrise off the ship’s aft.  Please bear with me here as I’m a sunrise fan.  😉 ]

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[And on the left was an object that would be featured for most of the day – Mt. Vesuvius.]

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[As we entered the Gulf of Naples, that’s the Sorrento Peninsula on the left and the Isle of Capri on the right.  There’ll be a quiz on this later.]

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[So, let’s just sit back and enjoy the sunrise over Vesuvius.]

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[Napoli]

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[This was actually our first port port – a place for cargo and stevedores.]

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[One could almost hear Dean Martin wafting over the morning light . . .]

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[Oh, there was another cruise ship here.]

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[We alit for our tour at the Castel Nuovo, built in the 13th century it is now a museum.]

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[We would not spend any time in Naples.  We boarded a bus and headed for Pompeii, which you’ll all recall from your history, is up close and personal with Vesuvius.]

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[Capri, in the distance.]

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[Entering Pompeii (hmmm, the sign spells it with only one “i”?)]

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[We assemble for the assault on the ruins.  And you meet our guide, Maria (looking at us with sunglasses), for the first time.  Like all of our women guides to date, she was statuesque (see they could seen above the crowd?) – that would change in Pisa/Florence.  😉 ]

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[I see a soldier in a tunic!  (Hmmm, I bet they’re comfy in hot weather!)]

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[The one little glitz on this tour was that the company hadn’t arranged for passes in advance, so we had a bit of a wait in line.]

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[The later arriving tour groups with passes could bolt right past us.  😦 ]

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[We’re in – restrooms on the right!]

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[Bill discusses some of the finer points of volcanology with Maria.]

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[Bill begins our photographic expedition at the outer walls of the city . . .]

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[As do the supervisor and the Joaquins.]

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[A beautiful promenade walk to the entrance of the ancient city.]

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[Maria ‘splains some stuff before we enter.]

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[And we’re in!  This is the city upon which Vesuvius ladled about 60 feet of ash in 79 AD.  I did not know until this trip that the city was not done in by a lava, but by a pyroclastic flow.  And Pompeii was much larger than I thought.]

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[And we begin the tour.  Many of the photos herein require no further explanation beyond the visual (mostly because I have nothing further to add).]

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[Maria was obviously telling us something about this area . . . but I forgot.]

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[Here you can see the proximity of the city to Vesuvius.  The mountain has the densest population in its environs of any volcano in the world – 3 million people.]

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[The guy in the white hat on the left is from Brisbane, Australia.  Just thought you wanted to know that.  Oh, and we appear to be in some sort of arena.]

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[Whatcha got there, kid?]

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[A larger arena.  The Shankar sisters once again “agree” to be models.  Well, they’re young and could . . .]

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[Bound up the stairs.]

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[Early graffiti?]

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[Pompeii is noted for its erotic frescos.  Unfortunately, Maria did not show us any of them.  😉 ]

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[A major thoroughfare.]

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[Looking down the hill . . .]

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[Climbing up the hill.  Upon further review, that is Maria’s arm.]

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[Suspected to be an early fast food restaurant . . .]

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[With it’s buffet line food containers.]

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[Heading for the upscale part of town.]

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[This was some rich guy’s house!  Don’t know how’d it do in today’s market – probably have to subdivide it into condominiums.]

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[Nice art on the walls.]

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[Nice skylight over the living area.]

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[Just a little nook art?]

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[More art.]

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[The bath . . . or sauna?]

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[His interior courtyard.  He must have been an original pizza franchisee!]

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[Definitely, the bath.]

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[More frescos.]

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[The courtyard, again.]

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[A really well-preserved fresco.]

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[The Vesuvius victims.]

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[A ceiling sample.]

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[Back out in the neighborhood.]

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[Another fast food joint?]

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[Do we have everyone?]

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[Another rich guy’s place?]

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[The supervisor in a crosswalk.]

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[I don’t think it would meet today’s ADA requirements!]

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[The Ruizes, as we continue down the long road to . . .]

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[Well, whatever it is, we’re getting closer.]

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[Ooops, a couple more stops along the way.]

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[Another rich guy’s house, with a view of Vesuvius.]

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[The wine cellar?]

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[Another interior court.]

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[The ceiling work was like a cathedral.  Amazing!]

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[A bath, would be my guess.  😉 ]

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[A discussion of . . .]

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[This is what our mind’s-eye sees when we think of Pompeii.]

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[Friezes.]

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[We don’t know the original nationality of “Obert.”  When I checked the Ellis Island website for the years of the big European immigration (1890 – 19-teens), most of the Oberts came from Italy?  So, a distant relative?]

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[Forgot to ask, I wonder if Maria is an Obert (OK, or knows of any).   🙂 ]

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[Our destination, Pompeii’s forum which at one time contained temples to Apollo and Jupiter, among others.]

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[And there’s Vesuvius, to get your bearings.]

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[Let’s just walk around the forum, a huge place.]

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[Statuary to the delight of the Shankars.]

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[The statue of the guy once known as “Lefty.”]

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[Ciao, Vesuvius!]

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[We’re heading out, back to the gate from whence we started.]

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[Back down to the obligatory touristy commercial area.]

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[The ladies go in search of . . . the water closets?]

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[Waiting for the bus – fellow cruisers, or locals?]

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[Selfies!]

Break time!  We’re a little over half way through this busy day’s venue, so I think it behooves me to cut it off here.  Take a potty and beverage break and return when you’re well rested.  So, we’re done with Pompeii . . .

Next up:  Part II, Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast.

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