Herculaneum and Valencian Paella (and a little Sangria)

For our Saturday Excursion, we all piled into the vans and drove to Ercolano, then circled around a bit and located the parking lot. Once you get used to the traffic chaos, it’s not half bad riding around Campania in a car. Note that I said “riding” not driving. I would never do that. We spent a couple hours visiting Herculaneum, along with the new antiquarium, as well as the climate controlled museum for the boat. The boat was recovered from the beach, below the town. It was carbonized during the eruption, and subsequently buried under several meters of pyroclastic flow debris. I was very excited to see it. Since the theater is still not open to the public, I was at least able to get close to the boat.

After a quick gelato, overlooking the buried town, we piled back into the vans and headed back to the rental house. There, Llorenc and Ximo built a fire out in the garden, and brought out a huge paella pan that Llorenc brought from Valencia. They then proceeded to add ingredients to it, producing an amazing, bubbly, steamy concoction that we all shared at a long table, with glasses and cups of homemade sangria. I will not be forgetting that meal any time soon…. And, now that I have observed the process, I’m going to clear out an area in my back yard, stoke up a fire and try my hand at it. I will probably leave out the rabbit, and just go with chicken, but it looked like a fun dish to prepare. First, I need to go buy a paella pan.

Today, we slept in a little, and then piled back into the vans for a trip to the Villa Misteri train station. A few of us went into Pompeii: I got to play “Tour Guide” for the day, and the rest took the train back to Sorrento, to play in the water. It was hotter in the Scavi today, than last weekend, but it was still wonderful. I love seeing peoples’ reaction when they first walk up the Main Street and enter the Forum. It’s like watching someone look into the Grand Canyon for the first time — wonder, magic, excitement.

Tomorrow we begin our third and final week of work, for this season. Expectations are high that we’ll find a burial urn. We’ll see…

Carbonized boat
Seeing it for the first time
Il Vesuvio
The fire
The meat
The tomatoes
Add water
Lift and Carry
A little something to wash it down
Dinner with friends
My plate!