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Day #13: Naples, Italy

We docked in Naples and headed off to catch a taxi for the train station in order to visit Pompeii. I’d debated the merits of the taxi/train pairing vs. just taking a taxi, but I didn’t like the first two taxi drivers we’d met (as they had little interest in our modest custom for a ride to the station). Indeed, that’s why we kept meeting other taxi drivers.

In contrast, Luigi agreed to take us to the station, seemed like a nice enough fellow, and offered us a deal (80 euro) on the private trip — 10 euros below the government rate. This would save time (at least an hour… maybe up to two) and only cost 30 euros or so more than the taxi/train option. So, Luigi become our driver for the morning, and we set off to a soundtrack of 70s slow jams.

We arrived at Pompeii a bit before 9am and agreed that we’d meet Luigi at 11:15. For a guy that’s always so-so on touring antiquity, I have to admit that the scale of Pompeii was impressive. It also required far less effort than other sites to imagine what ancient Pompeii looked like as it had been. That said, it was still sort of “meh” for me. Two things did strike me:

First, I was disappointed by the overall lack of graffiti. As a teenager, stories of Pompeii’s graffiti were one of the few time I wasn’t bored in Latin class. In hindsight, it seems my imagination overran the facts at Mr. Peet’s innuendos.

Second, without a doubt, I was struck by the casts of humans in the forms as they had perished. While crude forms of people, these objects carried so much humanity. You could almost sense their mental state of what had to be terror and panic or perhaps, in some cases, resignation. This was the only part of Pompeii that was truly “alive” to me.


We returned to Naples and explored a little of it on foot, as the ship docks right at the foot of the historic city center. We then found a restaurant and grabbed some pizza, which ironically wasn’t the best of our trip (though I blame the pizzeria, clearly not Napoli). Afterwards, I picked up some sfogliatella for everyone to enjoy back aboard the ship, which were crispier than I expected but not as beloved by me as the prior day’s cannoli.


After lunch, we returned to the ship to pack, while Emerson went to Splash Academy for the afternoon. At some point in the afternoon, I started to feel, well, bad… very lethargic. Packing was a struggle. By evening, I’d lost all of my appetite, and I developed a fever by the time I feel asleep (or passed out) around 8pm. I had a fitful night, but at some point my fever broke. By the next morning, I was more-or-less ok again, just a bit fatigued.

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