The Apolline Project | Week One

July 09, 2015

It's already approaching the end of my second week here in the heat of Naples, and I am yet to upload a post about my time here. When it comes to the choice between gelato and iPad, roof top and iPad, sleep or iPad, I'm sure you'll understand why I've had to put my blog on the back burner, despite previous promises of regular posts. That and the very dodgy wifi connection, which has made communication nearly impossibly at the best of times. But here I am, ready to update you on my first week, with regretfully, a lack of photos - yet to come. 

Is it tan or is it dirt? Has been a question that has been asked far too many times. And the majority of which, from my mouth. Those who know me will understand my desire to get my pale scottish skin nice and bronzed in my time here, which is why it's the opening of this post. I have gotten a tan- albeit a very tanned back and arms while my legs remain nice and pale, but nonetheless, a tan. A workers tan, as I like to call it.

I've been absolutely loving my time here at Pollena, where I've been excavating a Roman bath and villa.  If you've followed my wee blog for a while then you might remember my post from last year when I joined the Poulton Project; this year I decided to take the huge and scary plunge of going abroad by myself. What can I say but it's worked out. Archaeology is literally my favourite thing ever, and I've loved being involved here. So far, I've done a lot of clearing (as we've waited for the permit for digging to arrive), some washing of pottery and assorted finds, as well as some actual excavation of one of the rooms in the villa. I know that this is definitely what I want to go into in the future, so I've been taking the bull by the horns and been asking lots of questions to the supervisors,,who are all,friendly and chatty and armed with stashes of energy drinks to help the endless numbers of collapsing people on site. Yes, I did collapse twice, but what can I say when I'm not used to the weather reaching above 10 degrees Celsius - we're a weak bunch for sure. Next week we should be getting to do more excavation, but in the mean time I've been enjoying learning the ropes at this new site. 

Pollena Trocchia is a small village, and all of us students have been staying at kappa, a house where the 20 of us share two dorms and cope with the issues of sharing two showers, three toilets and some blocked pipes. While it may not be the most glamorous place, it's starting to feel like a somewhat disfunctional home and these people are becoming really great friends. Being in a small living environment, and seeing each other 24 / 7, you're forced to get along with everyone. However any fears and nerves that I had were immediately quashed when I arrived and found how easy is to get along with them. It's so interesting getting to know people from different countries & different walks of life, and I honestly think I'd be friends with these people had we all gone to the same uni. Dinner times and evening jokes are interspersed with quips about mythology and Roman timelines, a total change from what I'm used to, but I really feel like I fit in well. 

The town itself, while basic, has some lovely spots as well as being a stones throw from some of the best gelaterias around. I will definetly come back a few pounds heavier, what with Leo's pizza being 2 minutes down the road and selling pizzas for €3. It's so idyllic watching the sun set over the surrounding towns and Naples bay while sitting on the roof, with Vesuvius creating a stunning back drop. 

All in all, I can't wait to see what the next five weeks have to bring - both on site and while exploring this amazing area. 


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  1. Wow how exciting. Thanks for sharing going to play catch up with your other postings.