We started the day headed toward Mount Vesuvius. Google maps and the car GPS showed us two different routes. I decided to follow the car GPS. Bad decision that turned out relatively well. We followed the GPS to the entrance of the Parco Nazionale del Vesuvio. From there it seemed we were still in an urban area with a lot of houses on both sides of the road. Finally, we eventually reached an area where the road was blocked and hikers were getting out of the their cars and headed up the closed road with their walking canes.
Since the girls were hungry we took a right turn to a restaurant/hotel. It was 10:30 and we learned they were not open till 12:00. We started up the road to Vesuvius and Ella was not up for the walk. She was car sick and not feeling well. To be fair on the way from the coast to the Parco we did many, many switchbacks that would make anyone queasy. Marcia and Ella stayed with the car while Sarah, Rachel and I headed up a closed road to the Vesuvius carter.
When the road ended there was a trail that we assumed would take us to the crater. Sarah took the lead on the steep trail. She powered up at a strong pace. Eventually, Rachel took the point and was keeping the same pace. It was hard for her dad to keep up. Once Rachel reached a point where there was a swarm of bugs, she decided it was her dad’s turn to lead. We fell into a pattern of taking turn at the front. We walked for at least an hour and half straight up. About three quarters of the way up, we found a spot to sit. Rachel commented, “Dad, you are glistening … You sparkle like a vampire.” To which Sarah said, “It is sweat, and you are sweating too.” Rachel denied sweating. Sarah disproved Rachel by trying to feel under her arm. Finally Rachel admitted to sweating a little. Bottom line we had worked up a sweat.
The walk down was brutal. We were tired, thirsty, and had to use different leg muscles to keep gravity from have its way. The path was a mix of dirt, loose rocks and large random rocks. I was afraid that one of the girls would twist an ankle or slip and hit hard. The thought crossed my mind that I might do the same. I worried about Marcia’s potential reaction. I also worried whether I had the strength to carry one of the kids if there was fall.
Rachel, Sarah and I eventually made our way back to the restaurant parking lot where we left Marcia and Ella. The restaurant, Capriccio, was way off the beaten path, but quite nice.
When we finished lunch we fired up our trusty Renault Gran Scenic and retraced several switchbacks and wove our way through tight city streets. About 45 minutes later, we arrived at Pompeii. The challenge at Pompeii was finding the entry gate and a place to park. After a second pass we found a pay parking lot.
Link to the Youtube video of Pink Floyd playing at the Pompeii colosseum. Although the stadium had a capacity of 20,000, Pink Floyd played the venue without an audience. They were seeking the acoustics with perhaps a bit of marketing/publicity.