Exploring the ancient times in Pompeii, Italy

Pompei

Pompeii

Here I’ve written about, how we like visiting the ancient cities and play the “Pretend to be” game, like the picture above, pretending to cross a pedestrian road in a busy Pompeii street. After the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Ad 79, everything and everybody remained still, under soil and it was not discovered until 17th century. That’s why, everything is very well kept and a whole city remained untouched in Pompeii, and that’s what makes this cite more interesting.

Our visit to Pompeii started with scanning a map we had and deciding, how our route should be. We (me and my husband) did not have a plan to go trough all streets, but skip many and visit some important points. However, with an 8-year-old, you never have your own plans, because our son did want to visit every bid of the streets, houses. So in the end that’s what we did. The best part was, finding an ancient house, sit on a fine stone and guess how they must be living in there, play the game of “pretend to be”.

It took us more than 3 hours to walk all around, including some breaks in some buildings or open areas, relaxing. Good part was, the weather was so nice, calm, sunny with winter coolness.

We were already very tired and hungry, when we got out of Pompeii, so we decided to visit a tiny town of Sorrento Coast: Vico Equense which was about half an hour drive from Pompeii. Finding Vico Equense was not so hard but it was harder to find a parking place. But, it was much more harder to find the famous Pizza a Metro restaurant. So it was late afternoon, when we finally reached there and ordered our meals.

Starters at Pizza a Metro

Starters at Pizza a Metro

Unfortunately, I do not have the photo of the Pizza, as we must be so hungry to eat as soon as we got it.

Narrow lanes at Vico Equense

Narrow lanes at Vico Equense

After lunch we took time to wander around the lanes and streets of Vico Equense. The streets were full of surprising views. That is, at the end of a narrow road, you would come across to a wonderful view of Mediterranean sea, with some banks to sit on and watch the old Italian ladies feeding the birds. A pale red painted green window blinded house in the back and a lonely pine tree escorting the old lady to enjoy the view.

Mediterranean smell cooling the narrow lanes

Mediterranean smell cooling the narrow lanes

Next: Climbing the Visuv

Athens, Greece from the eyes of our son

Acropolis

Acropolis

3 years ago we wanted to go somewhere reasonably priced, somewhere convenient and somewhere warm in November and did a long weekend trip to Athens, Greece. I have written about how our son loves to be in ancient cities here. Athens/Acropolis would be probably on top 10 list of ancient cities to visit.

Actually Athens was a bit of disappointment other than the Acropolis. A day in Acropolis, with a good walking and climbing and an evening in Pire, a day trip to outskirts of Athens including Kifisia and Rafina was more than enough for a weekend.

Acropolis

Acropolis

Although we had a rental car, once again we preferred to get on a hop-on-hop-off bus, to go around the city and know what is where. So we understood that Acropolis is our only attraction point, as our son hates shopping, and father hates ordinary museums. Therefore, we got off the bus at Acropolis and played our typical ancient city game “pretend to be”.

Acropolis

Acropolis

Athena Nike tample, Proplylaia (the entrance), Parthenon, Dionysos Theater, Heredos Atticus Theater and lovely views of city of Athens from various angles, were all nice to visit on a warm autumn day.

View of the city

View of the city

Afterwards we walked down hill to the Plaka area, to find a local restaurant and some shops for a relax afternoon.

Finishing the city before 5:oo pm, we decided to get our car and drive to Pire maybe to find a restaurant or for a sunset view at a cafe, but maybe it would be better to get some idea from locals, as we could not find a nice place to sit, and there were almost nobody around except us.

Next day, with the advice of our eyewitness book of Athens, we decided to drive some other towns nearby. We started with Kifisia in the morning, which is said to be preferred by locals for summer season mostly. Nice houses, some shops and a natural history museum were what we saw, nothing close to History Museums in New York, Vienna or London.

Animals in Natural History Museum

Animals in Natural History Museum

Some insects, some butterflies, some animals and minerals were interesting maybe not for us, but for our son.

For the afternoon we went to the east coast to Rafina, another advice of our eyewitness book. Again not much to see, except some fish restaurants to have lunch by the port and to watch the ships coming and going.

So that was all for us in Athens. We simply did nothing on the third day. Had a long breakfast in our hotel – Hotel Novus, with the most lovely pie we have ever had- and drove around the city with our car before going to the airport.

Do you remember game:

Me: What do you remember of Athens.

Our son: Our hotel with the view of Acropolis.

Me: And?

Our son: And the Acropolis.

Me: And?

Our son: More Acropolis

 

PS. All photographs in this post are taken by our son.

Visiting Ancient Sites

Visiting ancient sites

Visiting ancient sites – Pergamon

It always has been amazing to see how our son’s imagination work in the ancient cities. While we intent to see just “stones”, our son loves to do shopping in an “Agora”, do some cooking in a “kitchen”, play a game in the “amphitheater”, pretend to be a statue, be a king, be a slave, be a carpenter or be soldier… Ancient sites are really good places to play the old “pretending to be” games.

When we visit an ancient site he never wants to skip any bit of the “stones” and wonders the story behind every stone. Good way to teach the history and let him know that there were thousands of years people lived without their ipads, or PSPs. Hard for him to believe.

The best ancient cities we have been were in Turkey, Greece and Italy. The story behind the ancient cities are more amazing than the sites itself. How people cured themselves in the very first hospital of Asclepion, how people died of diseases, how they have been to the toilet all together in Ephesus, where the gods lives in Athens, and how people could not escape from the Visuv volcano in Pompei.

Pedestrian crossing on a busy street of Pompei

Pedestrian crossing on a busy street of Pompei

To get the most from an ancient city, when we finally finish all our walking, we love to stop at the souvenir shop and buy a little souvenir or postcards to remember the site. After a fine walk in the ancient sites, we also love to relax in a fine restaurant and talk about what we just saw, what we will remember and sometimes our son draws some pictures about the details of the stones and I am always amazed how he can remember such things in such details.

Pretending to be s statue - Ephesus

Pretending to be a statue – Ephesus

Remember me to write about our little “Do you remember?” game later on.