Our GCSE classics students recently returned from their residential visit to the historic site of Pompeii in southern Italy, famous for being buried in ash following the devastating eruption of Mt Vesuvius in AD79.
This article was written by Amar Babhania in 11S
It was an early start on Wednesday 7th March, at 3 o’clock in the morning to be precise. We all arrived at the school half asleep and seemingly dreary, but still ready for the 4 day adventure that lay ahead in Pompeii. At 7 o’clock, we boarded the plane, growing ever more tired as the journey continued, but the tiredness was most definitely overwhelmed by the sheer excitement we experienced, due to our anticipation for the adventure that lay ahead. When we reached Italy we went straight from the airport to the Naples Museum, which was filled with frescos, sculptures and mosaics of unparalleled artistic beauty. After sifting through all of the fascinating artefacts in the museum we eventually made our way to the hotel in Sorrento, which is a beautiful coastal town on the Bay of Naples. We then proceeded to acquaint ourselves with the comfortable rooms and tried to figure out the best way to organise ourselves for the next few days of discovery. After a long and arduous day we had time to relax and indulge in some sublime Italian cuisine for dinner. This was then followed up by some work in preparation for our visit to Pompeii on the Friday.
The next day began early again, with breakfast at 8 o’clock, which slowly drifted to 08:15 as everyone slowly emerged from their rooms, some still in their pyjamas. We were all clearly very drained! We then began our coach journey to Mount Vesuvius, which we ascended with relative ease apart from those just wearing a t-shirt (myself included – perhaps not the best decision of my life). However, the discomfort of the cold was then very much appeased by the exquisite views of the landscape from the top of the volcano. It was quite an experience! After this, we soldiered on to Herculaneum, where we were greeted by the remains of some 2 millennia old architecture, which seemed to captivate all of us, as we were finally able to see first hand what we had studied back at school.
Then, on the Friday we were again up early, with absolutely no one having caught up on lost sleep, this left us all utterly exhausted. Nevertheless, we pushed on to Pompeii, where all the planning we had done was given the chance to pay off, as now we, the students, were expected to take the teachers on a tour of Pompeii, which proved quite a challenge, but also a great learning experience. We really immersed ourselves in the experience of being there. After inspecting the ruins and the amazing architecture it finally began to sink in that we had finally finished the work aspect of the trip, and now we had the whole evening to have some fun and do what we liked in the picturesque town of Sorrento. We had a great chance to explore the town and even indulged in some delicious ice cream!
As we woke up the next day, we realised that we were now going to leave this beautiful area, and a feeling of sadness seemed to overcome us. The journey back to the UK was very smooth, partially due to the vast amount of normally loud students plunging into a deep slumber. We arrived back at home safe and sound, and perhaps pleased to be back, despite leaving some great memories behind.
Overall, the trip was a very enjoyable as well as educational one and on behalf of the students, I would like to thank all of the teachers involved in organising this amazing visit – Mrs Andrews, Mrs Wharton and Mr Wolters.