Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Report from Pompeii

(Click on picture to enlarge)

Vesuvius from Pompeii
Watercolour and crayon
©2011 Charlene Brown

We left Lago di Garda planning to get as far south as we could so as to have an easy day’s drive to Sorrento the next day.  Here is what happened instead… We found a perfect place overlooking Lago di Balsena, quite by accident. Driving right through the town we’d planned to find a B+B in because nothing was quite right, we continued on only because there was nowhere to turn around… and there it was, hanging off the top of a cliff!  We had our own huge balcony with a panoramic view of the sunset over a couple of islands, and the place had a great restaurant too. As my husband said, over the best scaloppini I’d ever tasted, “They’re going to have to come up with a pretty awful breakfast to get me to leave this place after only one night!” We did in fact stay an extra day before heading south again.
We by-passed Rome and Naples and sped directly down the Autostrada del Sole to the base of the Bay of Naples… and what a horrific traffic malfunction the whole Sorrento Peninsula turned out to be! We discovered we had an air re-circulater in the AC, so managed to avoid asphyxiation in the tunnels, but the air outside wasn’t much better, what with all the scooters, trucks, and tour buses, with everyone else operating on the flying wedge principle.  And that was a Thursday! What was the weekend going to be like? We not only didn’t stay there, we didn’t even slow down much as we did a U-turn and headed back to Pompeii.
Pompeii was pretty impressive, especially with Vesuvius still looming in the distance. I took lots of pictures, but no painting as we headed back north after just one day. 
I just painted ‘Vesuvius, from Pompeii’ this week. using a couple of those photos. It reminds me of a picture of the Jebel Akhdar at a similar ruin at Ptolemais in Libya.  I wrote about that one a couple of years ago