We hired a car in Rome for the day to drive down to Pompeii, near Naples and visit the ruins. It was a 2hr 10 min drive along the Autostrada past the imposing Mt Vesuvius.
Pompeii, which is thought to be about 66 hectares, was buried with ash and rock when Vesuvius erupted in 79AD.
The eruption was so powerful that it blew the top off the mountain and within a couple of hours there was 3m of ash on top of the whole city. They believe many people died as their roofs collapsed under the weight. In the next days jets of superheated air and gas travelling at 80km/hr and probably at a temp of about 250C killed everything in its path. With the ash continuing to fall this city was buried, and so began the exceptional preservation of the city.
They found spaces in the now hardened ash where bodies had decomposed and have made plaster casts of their shapes, some showing horrified expressions.
Of the 50 of the 66Ha have been excavated so you could spend a couple of days here exploring these amazing ruins.
Our flight from Rome to Hong Kong was uneventful in all its 11 1/2 hrs and we arrived at our hotel and had a sleep for a couple of hours before going exploring.
Hong Kong is a bustling Asian city with all the wonderful smells of Asian food.
We got a ferry across the harbour and caught the mid levels escalator park way up the hill. This 800m length of escalators starts on Connaught Rd passes through the central market to the mid levels central district. It is the longest outdoor covered escalator is the world.
we went for a walk north to the Markets between Yau Ma Tei and Mongkok to see the Jade market, the fish market, the goldfish market, the flower market and the bird market. Rows and rows of shops selling exactly the same thing! It is amazing they can survive.
On Friday night we got a babysitter and went out with friends to the tallest building in Hong Kong for a drink on the 118th floor. As we tried to get our bearings looking down on the streets below it was a bit like viewing a google map!
Then it was on to dinner at another place with a great harbour view, but what was more spectacular was the chilli chicken!
Today we headed over to the south side of the island to go for a walk around the reservoir and then to lunch on middle island at the yacht club, where you close your cut of meat chicken or fish, they put it on a tray and then you BBQ yourself. Perfect for Australia Day.
Now we are at the airport again at the end of a most wonderful holiday. Tomorrow we are home, although none of us ready to return to the real world but we are looking forward to seeing everyone and catching up on all the news back home.
See you soon!