(April 9, 2014)
Breakfast was as late as we could get away with, and then across the street into the ruins.
Let me just say that if you are interested in archeology in any way, you must try to see Paestum. It’s huge, open — and I mean OPEN — and full of things to look at. We took a ton of pictures here, and wandered all over for hours.
Here are a few:
This last picture has an interesting story: it seems that the people of Paestum drove out another tribe and this was their sacred space. They respected the fact that it was sacred, so they buried it completely, but then built a wall around it so that nothing else would get built on top. Graceful solution, I thought.
Worn out, we had lunch across the street (not bad) and then drove up the road a bit to a place south of Salerno — Hotel Olimpico. Here we were upgraded to a Deluxe room that had one important feature: a bathtub. Inside of an hour I was soaking happily and loving the luxury.
A digression: I’m not one to complain about small bathrooms in Europe. It’s basically how things are done here, and I mostly don’t mind. But when you can’t bend over in the shower to pick up the dropped soap, it’s annoying. And when there is literally no place but the floor for your shampoo bottle, it’s a little ridiculous.
This place is really a resort, with tennis courts, a swimming pool, 50 meters from the sea, and most rooms have sun decks. It’s kind of cool and swanky. The food was 100% tourist friendly — even presented in a menu with pictures of each dish. Most of the other patrons were from a tour group that was going through, and I get the feeling that those groups were the lifeblood of this place in the off-season. Dinner was all right, not the best we’d had, by far, but still not very ‘institutional’ like you might find in tourist traps.
I miss that bathtub.