Pics for Naples/Pompeii are here. I have to say that this was probably the most disappointing part of the trip. It wasn't Pompeii itself that was disappointing, but rather the tour we went on. Our tour group comprised of English, Spanish and Japanese tourists, and as such when our guides were pointing out interesting sights, they explained them in English, then Spanish, then Japanese. It was a bit annoying, but I was surprised by how much of the Japanese I could translate from high school.
We had three guides over the course of the trip: a woman who took the Spanish and English speakers as far as Naples, an older man (Franco) who took the same group around Pompeii, and a Japanese guide who took the Japanese tourists off on a separate tour of the ruins. Franco was great. Rather like the guide on the Tivoli trip, he was entertaining and funny.
Our stop in Naples was brief, as there were some members of the group who chose to take a trip out to Capri and had to be dropped off at the port there. We stopped to take photos at the harbour, and then we continued on to Pompeii, with a brief stop at a cameo factory in Torre del Greco (where I bought a nice coral bracelet for mum). As you can see by the shots of the harbour, it was rather rainy that day. Our guide however promised fine weather by Pompeii and did deliver on it.
While we didn't see everything, what we did see of Pompeii was impressive. The preservation efforts of the archaeologists must be painstaking. Some of the mosaics and wall paintings were quite colourful. I hate that I didn't get to see the Villa of the Mysteries, but perhaps another time. I would've thought that a tour like this would've taken us to Naples' archaeological museum as well (where many artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum are displayed), but alas no. And a pity too, because the remarkable and well-known mosaic of Alexander the Great fighting the Persians is kept there.
We spent around two and a half/three hours looking around the ruins. We actually spent more time getting there and back than touring the ruins. This is probably what disappointed me the most (especially the delays it took to get us back into Rome- a three hour trip ended up taking four and a half hours) and made me decide that now knowing the area better, I'm more inclined to take a train there next time and wander about the ruins with a really good book on Pompeii as opposed to a guide.
The next day, we left Rome for Assisi and Florence. I'll try and get the photos of my time there up by tomorrow night. In other news? I got nothin'. Really looking forward to watching Doctor Who on Boxing Day though....only a matter of days until The Runaway Bride, though I'm not really as excited as I was last year (I blame Catherine Tate- I can't look at her without thinking of that damn schoolgirl and her 'Am I bovvered?' catchphrase). More interested in seeing Martha in action (yay for companion who is Not Rose!).