I'm currently reading "The Art of Pilgrimage" a very insightful book which is challenging me to look at travel in a whole new light. Today's excercise: "Imagine your first memorable journey, what images rise up?"
My very first memorable journey was back in 1978. I was very fortunate to be able to travel with a school group to Europe. We travelled to England, Italy, Greece & Turkey but I'd have say that the ruins at Pompeii was the most memorable portion of that trip for me. A journey back in time that sparks imagination.
It is in Pompeii where I first grasped the enormity of natural disaster. A whole city consumed by a volcano in 79 AD. I'd never seen anything like it before! and I was first puzzled at how the frescos on the walls had survived and amazed to see how the escavation had uncovered the city and all the petrified items. The pottery, household items and art that 'survived'. It was beyond imagination that anything could have been escavated and restored. I took a photo of a tiled 'door mat' at the entrance of what was someone's home. Who lived there? What did they do? so many unanswered questions. It was also eerie to wander the streets - what spirits still lingered here and what story did they have to tell?
What happened in Pompeii serves as a historical treasure and shows us what life was like in the ancient Roman Empire. The Basillica, the Ampitheatre, the streets, a temple and some villas have all been uncovered. If you get a chance to visit Pompeii spend some quiet time reflecting on its past and the people who lived there.
I still have a great fascination with Pompeii & its people and hope to travel there again someday.