Picture this: on a regular day the earth starts shaking beneath your feet. The sounds of the earth grumble as smoke and ash billow out into the sky. Without a moment to collect your thoughts, you must brace yourself for what’s about to happen next: a volcanic eruption so big it would leave your city encased in 12-20 ft of ash and pumice:
One fateful day back in AD 79, a Roman city endured that exact story. As a result, Pompeii remains a snapshot in time. This week’s Geocache of the Week takes us to the day the world stopped turning for one major city: A walk in the Pompeii ruins (GC5A7PB).
Located in the Campania region of Italy is the Roman city of Pompeii. The eruption of Mount Vesuvius completely overtook the ancient city, while also preserving it in a unique way. The city remains virtually untouched and is one of the most popular UNESCO World Heritage sites to visit today. So strap on your walking shoes and get ready to embark on a tour through the ruins of the city frozen in time.
To begin the 5-stage Multi-Cache proceed to the ticket office at the gate to pay a small entrance fee. Grab your pad and paper because note-taking is essential as you wander through the city. Stage one is a virtual location at the Amphitheater of Pompeii, which requires you to fill in the missing word on one of the engraved plates. You can practically hear the crowd scream as they watch the game unfold in front of them.
Next, make your way to the second location where you find the House of the Europa ship. At the entrance, you are looking for a number; this will be used to move on to stage three. The tour continues with the Thermopolium Lucius Vetutius Placidus. In front of you is a counter; you can almost picture all of the drinks and hot food served here and the chatter of the landowners of those with high status fill the air. Gather the number of asses and the number of sestertii before moving on.
Make your way to the Thermae of the Forum (Terme del Foro), this is the space where Ancient Romans bathed. The gate of this building provides you with the next information to move on. However, do not pass up the opportunity to admire all of the details here. Walk down the long corridor to the back of the bathhouse, where well-maintained curved architecture still stands in all its glory.
As you start to near the end of your walk through the ruins, one last stop remains. You are now in front of The House of the Faun (Casa del Fauno). This is one of the biggest houses in Pompeii. It contains the Alexander mosaic which depicts the Battle of Issus in 333 BC between Alexander the Great and Darius III of Persia. Take some time to appreciate the beauty and allow yourself to imagine what life was like living in this historic house.
Step outside, and find a statue of the Faun; this is the final information needed for the physical geocache container. With this, you are ready to find the geocache!
Now that you have spent a few hours exploring the city and taking in all of the sites, compile all of the answers to calculate the final coordinates of the cache. Look for a small cache container near the gates of old Pompeii; if you get stumped, a hint is available for you on the cache page.
As the day comes to a close, you reflect on all of the stories you heard and have a newfound sense of what life was like just before Pompeii was unexpectedly forced to stand still in time.
Continue to explore some of the most amazing geocaches around the world. Check out all of the Geocaches of the Week on the Geocaching blog. If you would like to nominate a Geocache of the Week, fill out this form.