July 10, 2013

Pompeii


Full Disclosure.
We are back in the States! We are so ridiculously happy to be home. And to finally be catching up on some much needed Zzz's. However, I still have a treasure trove of good stories to share about our European adventures! Each time I hopped onto a plane, train or bus, I would pull out my tiny toy-like computer and go mad typing about the day's wild experiences. So with that being said, I have a few more tales I'd like to share with you... like this one:

Pompeii.
We had a big day. Traveled from Rome, stopped in Naples for a hot minute (and for a pizza!), and then trained down to Pompeii to see the oldest preserved city in the world. Post-Pompeii, we drove further down the coast to crash on the Amalfi Coast for a bit.

But for now, let me just tell you about Pompeii. Because wow.



History.
In 79 A.D., Mount Vesuvius erupted and emptied itself out over the city of Pompeii. Because of this shocking and unprecedented event, the entire population was caked in lava and thus, has been preserved for mankind to explore for over 2000 years. Absolutely incredible. I mean, really really sad (I would never wish for a people group to get wiped out by a volcano eruption), but incredibly informing about life back then. It's an archaeologists' playground. It's also holds many amazing and strange parallels to the world as we know it today. Back then, people lived in big houses. They had kitchens. They had gardens. Fireplaces. They decorated with mosaics. I mean, we do all of that today! It was really amazing to see such OLD ruins and think about the hundreds and thousands of years of life that have gone on, all the while that pile of rubble has just been sitting there. Baking in the salty air and sunshine. It just blows my mind.

So we explored the giant preserved city. It was hot. We found some gelato (praise the Lord for SOME updating to Pompeii) and we cooled off. I'm not a scientist or a serious history buff, but I was fascinated by this site and learning about the people back then. Being able to see where they walked (those cobblestones are seriously worn), how wide their doorways were (not very, ha), what kinds of kitchen utensils they used (all preserved!) was just really humbling.

// Don't freak out. These are casts made from the erupted material found in Pompeii. Excavators found that there were hollow spaces in the debris (where bones and flesh of people once were) that were long disintegrated. The air space formed a hollow, a "mould" which allowed archaeologists to fill the mould and see what peoples' last positions were. Kind of freaky, yes. But incredible, too. //
// Mmm we rocked our Merrells and Rick Steves Audio Tours with pizzazz. //


Mmm Reflections.
This rambling tour made me realize that all people, well, they are just people. No matter which era they lived in, no matter which language was spoken or which deity was honored. Whether it was 2000 years ago or 20 years ago or 20 minutes ago, we all need air to breathe. Water to drink (sometimes wine, let's just be honest.) And a good laugh, for the love of God. Oh, I am so thankful. Pompeii has made me thankful for this gift I often take for granted. Go ahead, take a deep breath and hold it in. Just for a moment. Feel your full belly and hear your heartbeat. Think of the few, most important people in your life and how truly beautiful they are. Now exhale. Realize, this tiny bit of life is an absolute miracle. Go on now. Enjoy your God-given day!

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