As soon as we booked Rome, Emma said that she wanted to visit Pompeii, so we figured that the best way to do this would be to search for a company offering a full day tour. We've used Gray Line a number of times, particularly when we visited Iceland, so they were our first port of call, and rightly so, they offered a tour called 'Pompeii and it's Ruins'. Details of the tour can be found by clicking the link above.
We were picked up from our hotel at 6:45am, and taken to the Gray Line office in central Rome, where our tickets were checked and we changed over to a large coach, which would take us to Pompeii via Naples.
The journey to Naples was relatively quick down the highway, our guide just introduced himself at the beginning and then said nothing so that people could sleep until we made a breakfast stop about an hour down the road at a service station. After grabbing a croissant and some coffee, back on the coach and on to Naples were the guide provided us with a panoramic like tour of the city while passing through.
Stopping at the marina in Naples, we hopped off the bus to grab some pictures of the surrounding area for 15 minutes or so. It would have been cool to spend some more time in Naples, but Pompeii was the main thing on the itinerary, so that's where we headed.
Mt. Vesuvius from Naples.
When we arrived in Pompeii, we were treated to a typical Italian style lunch at a nearby restaurant, and then once lunch was done, it was time to head to the entrance to Pompeii's ruins and get our tickets.
Our tour guide Juan Carlos who had been with us since departing Rome, now handed us over to Wilma, the craziest woman I've met wearing a poncho in 40 degree heat for no apparent reason, and she would guide us around Pompeii's ruins.
Upon entering Pompeii ruins, whether as a group, or just on your own accord, you'll notice that there are thousands of visitors, and it gets a little crazy at times. Luckily, our guide Wilma done her absolute best to make sure we seen all the main parts of the ruins that you read about in the news or see on TV, as well as taking us to some of her favourite areas that are a little less known.
The next few images are from a large house that our guide took us too, which she said was one of her favourites and wouldn't be so crowded, and rightly so, when we arrived, it was near empty, and pretty much stayed like this the whole time we were there.
This gave us valuable time to learn about the history of Pompeii, as well as to check out the various rooms in the house in a lot more details, whereas we wouldn't of had that opportunity if it had been overrun with other visitors.
When you hear stories of Pompeii, and you plan to visit the ruins, one of the big things that always gets brought up is the remains of the bodies that they have there, and below are the three main ones: the baby, the sitting man, and the dog.
However, our guide explained to us that these remains are in actual fact just replicas, as all the remains have been subsequently removed from Pompeii. They have discovered a little over 1000+ bodies, but none remain at the site. Hopefully in the future they will at least bring back a few of the actual casts.
Even though we were aware that these were replicas, it's still a pretty eerie thing to look at.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Pompeii, and would love to go back and explore more, and maybe even take a trip to Herculaneum to explore there. I'd have loved to have been able to take more or better pictures, but the biggest issue and one that I try my absolute best to avoid is other people in the shots, and if you ever make it to Pompeii, you'll realise that this is a big challenge!
Here are the last two shots from our trip to the ruins of Pompeii, with Mt. Vesuvius overlooking the ruins, and the ruins to your left as you exit the site.
After a little bus swapping, we were on the road to Rome again, and a big thanks must be said to our tour leader, our tour guide, and also our driver of the return journey, who performed some crazy crazy crazy manoeuvres to get the bus out of a service station which was definitely not meant to be for buses. Honestly, it was outrageous!