Who'd not heard of Pompeii?
I've dreamed of visiting this place since I first learned about it in school.
My desire was stronger after seeing an exhibition that was touring Australia.
It's taken a long time to get here, and I'm so grateful.
When we started planning this trip, we worked out a way to get south enough to visit Pompeii.
After a very disappointing attempt (which is over and done with so not going to labour the point), we got there on our second booking via the hotel with the local travel agent.
I have no words to describe how it felt to SEE the outer wall of this incredible city.
I have no words to describe how it felt to WALK on the same cobble stones as chariots raced through.
There are no words to share with you what emotions fill you as you sit down in the amphitheatre.
How can you explain the gladiators school arena?
What must it have been like to go to the Forum and do your banking or vote in an election, or go to the market?
The raw sadness that envelopes you when you see, for the first time a cast of a person who lost their life that night, cowering from the ash and dust that filled the air.
G, MissM and I, and goodness knows how many millions of others have walked in the streets, and houses, and temples and business areas of the city of Pompeii, home to thousands ... then it's gone.
In an instant.
Mother Nature took it all away.
What's left is a true GLOBAL treasure.
We learnt so much.
We felt more.
We've talked about it ... and probably will continue to do so for a long while to come, and when MissM comes to study it in school one day, she'll know first hand what it was like.
Entry to Pompeii is €11 per person, school age kids are free, as are senior citizens and various EU categories.
There's one restaurant behind the Forum, so it's best to take bottles of water with you, and something to nosh on the way as the shop is very expensive and crowded as you can imagine.
We saw people sitting in the shade of columns, having a packed lunch which was a good idea if you can keep the food cold as it's extremely hot!
There's no way a wheel chair or pram could survive the cobble stones; flip flops are a safety hazard. Very comfortable, solid walking shoes and a hat (or parasol) are absolute musts.
Sadly none of the images used in this blog are ours. The hotels' WIFI is slow and won't let me upload pics but we have the exact same ones!
If you ever get a chance to visit Pompeii, you simply must