Wednesday, 17 June 2009

V is for...


The Vesuvius is a volcanic mountain in Southern Italy. It's known best for the eruption in 79 aD which covered Pompei (which you can see in the foreground) and Naples (or as it was then known Ercolano). Pompei was covered in ash and people were suffocated to death. There are some really good accounts as to what happened on that fateful day, most notable by a writer called Plinius (the younger I believe), who was in Pompei, but managed to get out on time and saw the whole thing unfold while on a boat.

People in those days didn't know what a volcano was. They had never heard of one. The mountain smoked on occasion and there had been earth quakes as well, but the idea of a mountain spewing fire and ashes was completely novel to them and didn't enter their brains for a second. When the mountain finally erupted, most people thought it was angry gods and one in particular: Volcan, the God of Fire.

The Vesuvius hasn't died yet, there is still a very good chance of a massive eruption. In 79 aD there were plenty of people living in its vicinity (death toll then ranges between 10,000 and 25,000 people), in 2009 the death toll could be many times that number. Pompei is a small town adjacent to the old site and about 25,000 have their home there. Naples is many times bigger and according to official listings, nearly a million people call Naples home. It could be a massive disaster!!

However, when I was there, the mountain was quiet, no smoke to be seen, other than forest fires in the area and people climbed all the way to the top to peer into the crater. It's quite a steep and horrid road to get to the parking lot, but it is definitely worth doing.

For more V words, please check out ABC Wednesday and join in the fun!

PS: I promised in my U-post last week to post a photo of me in my bikini-uniform. Scroll down to Monday and you will find it!


  1. An amazing place that I would love to visit. Perfet choice for the letter V.

  2. Thanks for sharing the information of Pompei. I could not not notice the swimming suite photo "As Promised" by you. A summer like that was often featured in so many stories and movies. It is how we finally grow up. Thanks for sharing.

  3. This is my dream! I am longing to visit this site...Happy ABC Wed!

  4. Volcanoes scare the pants off me. I was taught about the eruption of Vesuvius at school, of course, and the burying of Pompeii and Herculaneum.

    Nevertheless, I have climbed to the summit of several (supposedly dead) volcanoes, and one dormant volcano, flown over an active (smoking) volcano in a light aircraft and stayed in a hotel on the slopes of another dormant one - all in New Zealand. I guess I was feeling reckless that year. LOL!

  5. Nice shot and a great V choice...the mountain towering behind the ruins is very impressive...I would love to see this...thanks for showing go to alot of interesting places...

  6. you are so lucky to have traveled the way you have gotten to

  7. Great V. I have a piece of rock/lava from the top of there which makes a nice memento, and it was amazing to look down into the middle of the volcano.

  8. I would love to vacation in such an historic place.
    Thank you for the photographs!
    Wonderful v post.

  9. Perfect V! It must be an incredible place to visit.

  10. A great V posting, - when I was a school girl I was always fascinated with the story of Pompeii and it used to give me shivers when I thought of all the destruction and loss of life...


Any weighty (and not so weighty) comments are welcome!