Thursday was our last day in the Naples area, so I arrived again in the afternoon to take them to the ancient ruins of Pompeii, a city destroyed suddenly by nearby Mt. Vesuvius several thousand years ago. They had watched the movie on Netflix before coming.
But first–the hussle. We approached a sign for free parking, and two older Italian men rushed toward us and spoke rapidly about taking us to the entryway so we had less walking to do–for only 15 euro. We reluctantly did so, but I challenged the driver before exiting the car. “What are all these other cars doing up here, parked right by the entrance?” I demanded.
“It’s better this way, I tell you! You don’t want to be walking back and forth. You’ll see!!!” said the driver. I felt better after the challenge and handed him the money.
“Give me a kiss, beautiful,” he stretched his 70-year old lips toward mine, but I quickly turned the other cheek. Ha!
I left the car and joined my parents who were already walking toward the entryway. My father, a history buff, looked around eagerly, readying his camera.We came to the amphitheater first and began trekking toward the middle of the old city when Mama’s feet began to hurt. She had brought house shoes and now put them on. As she shuffled along in her long flowing skirt, I imagined that she actually lived there in the village and had somehow escaped the lava flow.
Of course, we temporarily couldn’t find our car upon our exit two hours later, but by God’s grace we finally found ourselves standing right in front of it and finally headed back to the welcoming (but dead) volcano hotel.