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Dogs of Pompeii

As we made our way through the ruins of Pompeii, trees and greenery began to engulf our fields of vision.

Due for a proper feast and a well deserved rest, we found ourselves at the ancient stadium.

After noticing a dog introducing itself to all of the other stadium dwellers, it was as if we were chosen to play and hang with the furry friend.

The pup made itself part of our crew and did as we were doing.  Just hanging out and eating.  "Pomps" was named and a new friend was warmly welcomed to join us.

After finishing the meal, we stood up and told Pomps to "show us where we need to go".  Pomps understood this and began to lead the way.

The canine swerved away from the tourist attracted parts of the grounds and took us to the back where there were none.

This area was silent and seemed to have been untouched by any disaster.  It's as if this is exactly what this area was used for in 79 AD.  

We turned the faucet on for Pomps to have a drink and our four legged escort turned it's back and ventured off.  "Ciao Pomps! Grazie!!"

Duper and I continued our stroll and stumbled upon an excavation site.  Quite a find.

This bathhouse was one of the only structures in Pompeii with a roof that did not collapse.  Because of it's rounded top, the weight of the ash was dispersed and survived the room in nearly a pristine state.

The real kicker to Pompeii's "survival" is the way the excavators recovered so much material.  The ash buried the city, hardened and incinerated most things it had covered.  The scientists would dig and come to a void in the dirt.  They filled these holes with plaster and would then dig around it after it hardened. What they would find are perfectly "in tact" forms of statues, toys, loaves of bread still in ovens, cultural artifacts, etc.  Tons of waters pots are on display.

Even human bodies.  This is the most amazing part of Pompeii.  This is how the energy of a once thriving city is still very much apparent.  People laying on the ground covering their mouths from the ash, families laying together in their last moments, dogs on leashes dancing on top of the falling ash until no slack was left in the line, even prisoners chained by the foot have been recovered in the plaster molds.  It's as if one second the city was moving and the next second it just stopped.

The Heart of Pompeii Still Beats.

Napoli and Pompeii Lives On

After a long 6 hours, we exited the train in Napoli.  We walked out in to the midnight air and found ourselves surrounded by heaps of trash and Costra Nostra syndicates conversing in the streets.  I noticed a couple of ladies dancing to some tunes and decided to groove with em for a sec.  I started walking away and they were chanting for me to come back.  So I gave em some hips and moved on.  We had a hostel to check in to and needed to catch a bus to get there.  I was telling Duper how random it was that these ladies were so friendly and just chillin' in the street.  I thought that was tight!  Then we saw a beautiful bella just hangin out which again you don't really come across too often.  We were struck by the beauty of this lone ranger in such a garbage pail town.  We both looked at each other as if to crack the code of this phenomenon then noticed a bunch of short skirts on the horizon.  Then I focused my eyes and started seeing a bunch of these same types of ladies holding on for dear life on the back of Vespa's.  Code Cracked.  Time to find the bus.

We were in line for the bus with a bunch of guido's hollering at us for cigarettes and asking where we're from.  "Where the fuck is this bus?"

The bus came and toured us through the cobblestone roads of Naples, all the while listening to a skinny Italiano, eventually dubbed "The Goat", trying to rifle off a bumpy conversation on his cell phone at a volume trying to surpass the shreiking of the nuts and bolts of the chassis and shocks over the rugged terrain.  "Ci-a-a-a-a-o-o-o-o B-b-e-e-e-l-l-l-l-l-l-a-a-a...."

Empty diagonal alleyways lined with mountains of refuse greeted us at our stop.  "Where are we?" "I think the hostel's this way..."  We came to a mini door that opened into a partitioned alley.  We dreadfully entered into the hobbit door just wondering what was on the other side.  We walked towards the backlit glass door we saw at the end of the pitch black corridor.

"Is that stainless steel?"

Duper and I entered into the sterile reception area, staring at the metallic shine of the out of place cleanliness of the stainless steel walls behind the English speaking Bella that was greeting us to the hostel.  Talk about a diamond in the rough.  We honestly could not believe it.  This shit was shining!! I'm talkin' like the fuckin' sun!  We were given a key to our room and told to "Please enjoy drinks at the nightclub!"  Nightclub?  In the hostel?  Holy Shit. 

When we went in the club, it turned out it was some girls birthday party so the placed was PACKED with Bellas.  EVERYWHERE.  There was live music and super cheap beers.  Praises be to Jah!  It was incredible.

After this day of traveling we were due for a meal.  We were told to hit McDog's just around the way. How appropriate...

And it was dank...

The next morning we woke to good weather and clean streets.  The trash was gone and the shops were open.  This must be where the saying 'Night and Day' comes from.

Pompeii was the destination.  Another day, another train.

Other than eating pizza and drinking coffee, seeing the ruins of Pompeii was the only place I HAD to see in Italy.  In school, I was always so intrigued by the story of Pompeii and it's life.  I've been to exhibits in San Diego where artifacts have been showcased and was absolutely blown away by the recovery of such a lost city.  Ask and ye shall receive.  Here I was.  Viva.

Pompeii was a thriving Roman city that was abruptly put on pause by the eruption of nearby Mount Vesuvius in the year 79.  The ash cloud rained over the city and blanketed all the life there.  People were literally buried in their tracks.  The structures and culture was solidified as the molten ash hardened and the heartbeat of the city was muffled.  Not Forgotten.  A Roman engineer later found the ruins in the 1700s and began to dig it out.  Lucky us, we are fortunate to walk the streets.

As you enter the grounds, the energy of a moving, flowing city are VERY present.  The vibrancy of the paint on these walls are proof that the life still exists here.

It's incredible that this whole city was buried more than 20 feet deep in ash in an instant.  Most of the pillars are still standing and everything is so cleanly recovered.

The city hosts bountiful images of dogs embedded in the paint of the ancient artists.  There are dogs all over just roaming the town still to this day.  They are the residents of Pompeii.

Mount Vesuvius looms in the background.

Come on people...  Let's not....

I could see carts being pulled down this road whilst people stand on the sides waiting for merchants to pass.  Energy fields.

There was STRONG energy in this area.

Next level amphitheater.

Life is embedded in the rock.

These were used to hold hot foods.  Ancient Drive Thru.