One minute you’re going about your daily routine then all of a sudden
your life has been disrupted by something that man is not capable of creating.
Natural disasters have always seemed to amaze me.
I don’t know how many times as a young child we hit the basement at
my MeMe’s and PaPa’s or the cellar at the lake because the tornado sirens were blaring.
Gary England would appear on the news warning people to take cover because your
area is now under a tornado watch or warning.
It was normal growing up in Oklahoma to have these warnings.
One thing that I don’t ever remember hearing about
were tornadoes outside of tornado alley.
“Tornado Alley” is a region with the most common tornadoes, just east of the Rockies. The city with the most recorded tornadoes is Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, which also had the strongest winds ever measured, over 316 MPH, during the tornado of May 3, 1999. That tornado also holds the record for the most costly damage – over one billion dollars! But because of good weather forecasting, only 36 people were killed.
I’ve been a bit shocked to hear that so many tornadoes
are taking place outside of tornado alley.
You know if you move next to an active volcano it will
erupt at some point but apparently tornadoes are no longer concentrated in
We’ve witnessed many funnel clouds and tornadoes over the years, been
snowed in by a blizzard for a week while living in Denver, Colorado back in 2003.
While living in Coral Springs, Florida in 2004 we watched
two pallets of bottled water disappear
in less than thirty seconds at a local Wal-Mart due to Hurricane Frances.
While living in Hawaii, we awoke to an earthquake as our bed moved from
side to side back in 2006. Unfortunately, it was rainy grey day that day
and the whole island lost power. We’ve had our fair share of
natural disasters and thankfully the damage was minimal.
After viewing the ruins of Pompeii last weekend, “natural disaster” took on
a new meaning for me.
Now volcanic eruption is one natural disaster I hope we never have to witness
or experience while we are living overseas or ever.
At least with modern technology some natural disasters can be
predicted before the disturbance occurs.
Pompeii is a site I look forward to visiting again with family and friends.
We spent three hours at the site
and it wasn’t nearly enough time to cover the entire town.
We did a self-guided tour that Rick Steve’s
suggests doing in his Italy 2010 book. It is called the Pompeii Walk and it
highlights many of the city’s points of interest.
His self-guided tour hits the nail on the head because we crossed paths with
many groups that were being guided by a tour guide. They were all traveling on
the same route that Rick Steve’s suggested.
I won’t cover all the sites but will highlight our favorites.
Temple of Apollo
Baths of the Forum
Pompeii had 6 public baths and this one
is one for the men.
You enter through the door that will take you to a courtyard that
served as the gym area. After working out in an open courtyard, the
men would enter through this doorway that lead into the
first room that was used as a dressing room while you cooled down.
The holes in the wall had pegs that clothing could be hung on.
The next room consisted of these male figures, telamones, that separated the lockers where
personal items were stored. They would come in this room to warm up,
get a massage, and then proceed into the steam-bath room.
The art on the ceiling, which was not ruined by the eruption, is absolutely beautiful.
It’s hard to believe it is still intact.
We then made our way to the final room where the steam room and hot
bath were located. The Romans soaked in the large tub just
opposite of the large fountain that would pour
out cold water, the water would then hit the floor below that was heated.
Four windows were cut out, one on the north, south, east and west, so light could
always shine through no matter where the sun was in the sky.
There is lettering on the fountain that allows the ones who used the
bath forum to know who paid for the fountain. Two politicians during that time period
purchased it and wanted everyone to know how much it cost.
The Fast-Food Joint
According to Rick Steves, Romans didn’t cook for
themselves in their tiny apartments so
to-go places like the one below were very common.
The Streets of Pompeii
Everyday the streets would be flooded with
water so they could be cleaned.
The stepping stones that rise from the streets
allowed for citizens to cross the street without getting their feet wet.
They were placed to still allow for the chariots and various carts to pass through.
Adopt a dog from Pompeii and take him back home.
You can actually adopt one of the many
tagged dogs that call Pompeii home.
As I was trying to piece this blog together I kept finding
so many things we thought were fascinating that day but
I have come to the conclusion that I need to wrap this up.
It’s supposed to be a blog and not a chapter in a book.
There is so much to see at this site and I hope you enjoyed
this little piece of archeological history.
Back to my day to day routine.
Please Mt. Vesuvius continue to sleep.