This is our long day in port, we stay until midnight here so I can catch up on the internet. It is so expensive on the ship ( it is $100 for 250 minutes and you pay while you wait to get connected to the net which can take 10 minutes or longer).
Travel tip: Almost all ports have free or low cost internet terminals. Some are right off the ship and some you have to take a shuttle bus to. The ones right off the ship are best because you can sight see then get on the ship, get your laptop, get off the ship and sit down to get caught up. That is what I am doing right now. We purchased all day internet here for 5 euros.
So we have been to a port every day except for one sea day. It does require a lot of energy to get up everyday and see someplace entirely new. The day in Corfu , Greece was the most difficult as we could not even read the signs which were written in the Greek alphabet. Poor David who prides himself on navigating for us was quite frustrated with his map reading.
Today was great Dubrovnik is beautiful. I have lots of photos to post but I have not had time to down load them or clean them yet. So I will have to entertain you with photos that I have had time to do.
So I will tell you about our visit to Naples, Italy. We decided to go to Herculaneum on this visit. It was a seaport resort for wealthy Romans that was buried in 79 AD when the volcano, Vesuvius blew its top. So it is a snapshot in time of what Roman life was like at that time. It was buried a day later than Pompeii.
We also decided to do it using local transportation ( an adventure that David loves). We got off the ship and purchased a bus and train ticket to Herculaneum from a tobacco shop on the corner by the bus stop.
Travel tip: This bus and train ticket costs 5 euros each for a round trip. The cost to get in at Herculaneum was 11 euros each plus 6.50 euros for an audio guide. Total for 2 people was 38.50 euros. The ship offered the same trip on a tour bus for 80 euros each, total 160 euros.
Now the local travel method that we took probably meant we spend more time getting there, an hour and 15 minutes. But that was all we were planning on doing that day so it was worth it. Just the fact that we could get there on our own was fun.
Herculaneum was wonderful. It is only 25% uncovered so you can see everything in a visit. We have been to Pompeii but felt that Herculaneum was better preserved. They were covered in pyroclastic surges, from the volcano which preserved bones and wood. In Pompeii they were covered in ash from the volcano and consequently no organic material survived there.
When they first found Herculaneum they did not find any bodies in the houses and they thought everyone had escaped. But then they excavated the warehouses which were located on the shore and found about 300 skeletons piled up behind the warehouse doors. Here are some photos I took of these poor people ( I believe these are plaster casts of the real bones).
You could walk into some of the homes to see the layouts and in some cases the remains of an upper story in the house. Here is a plaster cast that was in one of the homes. This shows a man being operated on for a wound. Ouch
Evidently, just like us the Romans ate their lunch out at fast food bars that were located at most corners of the streets. Here are a couple of photos of what they looked like. In the first one you can see jars set in marble counters. These held the food and drink that would be dished out and eaten in the street or in the back in a small garden with stone benches lining the walls.
This next photo shows a wall in a seaside villa of an important general. You can still see the paint on the walls and the pillars. We always think of ancient buildings as white but they were brightly colored. Here is an overall view of one of the streets from the bridge that leads into the site.
I will add more adventures the next time we have some internet time. Thanks for following along on our adventures. If you have any questions , just ask in the comments. Happy travels.