Jul 30, 2006
The next morning we were off once more, this time we went to the station to find a tour of Mt. Vesuvius. 22 euro each included an all day ticket on the circumvesuviana train, bus to the top of the mountain and guided tour of the crater. We took the train to Ercolani Scavi for the start of the tour, but we were a few hours early so we walked around and found a nice shop where they make the famous cameos out of seashells and sculpt jewelry from the red coral found in the Mediterranean Sea. This is also the stop for Pompeii, so we walked around there a bit as well (Had the best slushy ever at the entrance to Pompeii -choice of orange or lemon... definitely go w/the orange!). We headed back to the train stop for our 1pm tour when a flood of Japanese tourists (probably over a hundred) Lyn thought we signed up for the wrong tour and asked the ticket agent. They thought it was pretty funny, and the Asians were soon on the train back towards Naples. The roads were pretty narrow and the road up to Vesuvius had some phenomenal views from Naples down to Sorrento including the islands of Ischia and Capri. The bus let us off at a parking lot near the entrance to the path up the mountain. It was a 15 or 20 minute hike up the hill. It was a wide trail with many switchbacks making it an easy incline to tackle. No large rocks and the soil did not make your shoes black like Mt. Etna. Once at the top there were, of coarse, souvenirs a plenty. We were right on the edge of the crater and able to walk around to the southern side. Usually you can see steam rising from within, but we did not see any. It was an interesting perspective to see the mountain and I guess it is only natural to wonder if the mountain was going to erupt on this day.