We headed out early from the port of Salerno for the ancient Greek city of Paestum. We were the first bus in the parking lot and practically had the enormous archeological area to ourselves. When we entered the city walls, what a view! Three enormous doric temples were largely intact in an enormous flat, grassy field surrounded by umbrella pine trees. One of the temples of Hera even included fragments of the roof. We were able to get close enough to each temple so that we could see and marvel at everything explained by our guide. Even though we had heard the explanation of how they lifted the enormous stones to form the columns, it was difficult to believe. There is still some disagreement as which god or goddess is associated with which temple.
We then walked down the main road of the old city and found archeology students measuring and sifting through areas not previously excavated. Imagine being the first to see parts of ruins that had not been seen since perhaps as early as 500 B.C.! Seeing painted frescos and other objects from tombs in the Paestum National museum completed our visit. A lot of the paint was original and in amazingly good shape. The main and best preserved fresco was a picture of a diver diving from a cliff into the sea.
We then proceeded to a family-run Buffalo Mozzarella Farm. We met the buffalo cows. Each cow wondered freely and seemed know which area (eating, sleeping) to be in. They were quite gentle and liked a quick pat. Our noses told us that we were definitely among animals. We also went to the nursery and saw babies. A few were just days old while others were several months on.
We were amazed at how labor-intensive a buffalo mozzarella farm is. All cows need to be milked twice daily. The buffalo barn needs to be kept clean. The buffalo cows about to give birth need to be cared for as well as the babies. Reproduction needs to be supervised. Then the milk needs to be processed and made into cheese on a daily basis. The corn fields that supply much of the buffalo diet had just been cut down and stalks hauled away the day before. Our farm also had a store, a restaurant and an area with some animals and playground for kids.
We had a light lunch in the farm restaurant and ice cream from their own buffalo before taking the bus trip back to the Artemis. That night we had more entertainment on our ship. A dramatic singer provided a wide range of Italian songs for our enjoyment.