About : Spin- Escaping the Volcano

I can’t tell you how pleased I am that you are interested in Spin, (Escaping the Volcano).

I had great fun writing this book. We travelled from South Africa to Exmoor, in the West Country of England, then on to the south of Italy during one beautiful summer.

We stayed in Sorrento, (which, in Roman times, was called Sorrentum) and visited Stabiae where Lily and Ben met Pliny the Elder.

We spent a long time exploring Pompeii, wandering through the streets and finding the temples and the baths where Ben and Joseph make their escape from Pomponius. The ruined houses still have lovely murals on the inner walls and fountains in the gardens.

Finally we climbed to the summit of Vesuvius where the silent crater sits black and threatening. Great rivers of larva, now hard and still, snake down the mountain, leaving long, black scars between the bright bushes of yellow broom that cover the slopes and fill the air with perfume.

There are still some houses and small farms on the lower slopes of Vesuvius. Small villages snuggle in the foothills and another large town has been built on top of the metres of larva and ash that still cover large parts of Herculaneum. Thousands of people now live in the shadow of the volcano. Vesuvius has erupted many times since 79AD. The last eruption was in 1944.

Will Vesuvius have a massive eruption again like the one that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum? Yes, but no one knows when.

A new town has been built on top of Herculaneum. Vesuvius can be seen in the background about seven kilometres away.

Part of the old city of Herculaneum which has been excavated is in the foreground.


Pompeii: Vesuvius is ten kilometres from Pompeii.
A pool and fountain still stand in a garden in Pompeii.
This mosaic floor is in the entrance of a house in Pompeii. Written under the dog is Cave Canem (Latin for beware of the dog).
A road in Pompeii.
The theatre in Pompeii.


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