Bright memories – 9

Moving the clock forward a couple of years and we were back in Italy, this time in the sunny south. The presence of Vesuvius across the Bay of Naples was a powerful magnet, but we never did make it to the summit. You can try to cram too much into a holiday. I remember it being hot as Hades in Pompeii, so we opted for a cooler day to take the train to Ercolano. Although it was 22 years ago, I can still recall the awe we felt in the presence of this survivor of the volcanic eruption of AD79. Fragile as it was, so much was still intact. The beautiful frescoes and mosaic tiled bath houses of this former seaside resort had survived being buried in ash.

The day was hotting up by the time we’d finished our visit, but the ascent of the volcano was just 12km away. Too tempting, we caught the bus for the panoramic ride up the mountain, only to find that we still had an hour and a half of rough uphill walking ahead of us. There wasn’t time to reach the summit and return for the last bus down again. So near and yet so far! We were running out of holiday and I never managed to look into that caldera. I think the experience would be very different today.

I started this series as a way to take part in Becky’s Bright Squares, but I’ve been swept along on the tide of memory. I’m hoping that you’ll be happy to carry on with me. Meanwhile, many thanks to our lovely hostess.

95 comments

  1. You’re raised memories for me too. I much preferred Herculaneum to Pompeii. More atmospheric somehow. And it was hot as Hades in Pompeii when I was there, but I confess never gave a minute’s thought to climbing Vesuvius!

  2. I visited Pompeii in the mid-seventies and still remember how awesome it was. I’ve enjoyed your memories, Jo. Isn’t it wonderful to have such good ones? I’m happy to read about the easing of restrictions. Perhaps France in fall will be possible.

    janet

    1. Baby steps, Janet! Fall is too far ahead for me to think (and you’ve probably noticed, I’m going backwards 🙂 ) And yes, if I had a rocking chair I might be the old dear sitting in it!

  3. Great memories but I am undecided about the photo. In some respects it looks like a lino engraving or wood block print which is rather clever. Never made it to that part of Italy, in fact I haven’t made it to Italy much despite the fact that I think I like the country (and the food) more that anywhere else in Europe. Too late now.

    1. I felt undecided too. That’s what happens when you’re a cheapskate and don’t pay for processing, but I also thought it gave it that engraved look so I thought I’d chance it. You know I’m a chancer 🙂 🙂 I actually love the original, which I may well include at some point, but cropped to skware it lost something so I went for dramatic effect.

  4. That is so cool you got to see Vesuvius! I have read so much about and saw tv shows, but have never seen it. That’s a beautiful photo you took of it too 🙂

  5. Interesting effect in the photo. Sounds like a full day, too. Your memories stirred some of my own. I remember hiking, with a couple of other people, up Volcan de Pacaya in Guatemala, which was active then as it is now. We camped just below the summit and I have a photo somewhere of me sitting on the edge with the active cone down in the crater below. Next night, from a village near the foot of the volcano, we watched as the eruption grew, throwing lava up above the rim! Someone went through our tents and took some cash when we were up there, too. Golden days!

  6. Hi Jo, You are quite a hiker. I’m sorry you didn’t make it to the top, but you captured a beautiful photo of the moment. You inspire me with your walks. I might consider one hour and a half of hard walking let alone ANOTHER hour and a half of hard walking. Anyway, here is the end of our one – two mile trek on Old Soldier Pass Trail #66, however long it was. We made it to the 7 Sacred Pools. https://tchistorygal.net/2021/04/30/bright-square-30/

    1. Bless you, hon. We had our son with us – he would have been 9 that year – and were more worried about heatstroke or not making it back down in time because of him. We’re probably not so hardy these days. 🤣💕

      1. Our neighbors just climbed Thumb Butte yesterday for her birthday. I think she’s probably 60 or just under. I was super impressed, but maybe it’s doable, so that will be one of our adventures. You seem super hardy to me, R. Jo.

      1. The freedom is finally beckoning, Jo! Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that Covid-19 restrictions will ease from May 10th and intercounty travel will resume! 🙂

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