Pictures from Turkey

In the Footsteps of St. Paul During His Jubilee

A Pilgrimage to Turkey

Led by:

The Rev. Dr. David Cottrill
Ms. Karen Ander Francis

May 14 – 24, 2009

Trip map

DAY 1, Thursday, May 14, 2009 - Depart the United States on a wide-body jet for a trans-Atlantic flight with superior in-flight service.  Dinner on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Friday, May 15, 2009 - Arrive in Izmir/Smyrna (Rev. 2:8), one of the Seven Churches of Asia Minor/Turkey to which St. John wrote in Rev. 11:1.  With prayers of thanksgiving and welcome chai/tea we meet our Turkish guide.  Then we board our luxury motorcoach for an orientation of Smyrna, including the Church of St. Polycarp, Bishop Martyr.  We end the day with a “welcome to Turkey“ dinner in our hotel in the seaside resort of Kusadasi.  Overnight Kusadasi. BD

DAY 3: Saturday, May 16, 2009 - Depart for Laodicea.  St. John condemned this city in Rev. 3:14-22 as being "neither hot nor cold".  The water pipes that brought this charge are still here.  This site is an amazing archaeological work in progress!  On to Hierapolis/Pamukkale (Col. 4:13), noted for its magnificent hot springs.  Mineral-rich spring water cascades over basins and natural terraces, crystallizing into white curtains of solidified water seemingly suspended in air (Pamukkale means cotton castle).  Hopefully, we will get to soak in the ruins of the Roman baths.  We will walk the Necropolis and the Avenue of Tombs, which have more than a thousand cut-stone sarcophagi spilling down the hill.  We return to overnight in Kusadasi. BD

DAY 4: Sunday, May 17, 2009 - There will be a celebration of Holy Communion today.  We take our best step back 2000 years visiting Selcuk and Ephesus!  At Selcuk there is the 6th century Basilica of St. John the Divine, which ranked with Hagia Sophia as one of the largest Byzantine churches.  Here is the traditional burial place of St. John, “the disciple that Jesus loved.”  We will visit the spiritually inspiring St. Mary’s House-Chapel, thought to be built on the foundation of the last me of the mother of Jesus.  It is believed that John provided a safe haven for Mary here in her later years.  On to Ephesus, the probable city of Paul's writing his epistles and John's writing his gospel and experiencing death.  Ephesus is the best preserved ancient city in the world!  See the Celsius' Library, a Stadium where St. Paul preached and was nearly lynched (Acts 19), and the ancient theater.  The Third Ecumenical Council was held here in AD 431 at the Double Church of St. Mary, where we will celebrate Eucharist.  We return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 5: Monday, May 18, 2009 - Today we continue north to Bergama, the modern name for the ancient Greek-Roman site of Pergamum (Rev. 2:2-17).  It is referred to as the site of the gleaming white “Satan’s throne.”  The Aesclepion is the first “full service” (body, mind, spirit) health center.  Asklepios, the god of medicine and recovery, is the origin of modern medicine’s symbol of the snake and staff, still seen on a column here.  There will be exploration of the 200,000 volume library, where parchment was invented (Latin:  Pergamum-charta); the tunnel of healing; the acropolis; and the great theater, reputed to be the steepest in the world.  Depart for Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire.  Enjoy a real Turkish thermal bath at your deluxe hotel.  Overnight Bursa. BD

DAY 6: Tuesday, May 19, 2009 - In Bursa we will visit the Yesil Cami, thought to be one of the finest mosques in Turkey, and see the sea of fine blue and green Iznik/Nicaea tiles.  We depart for Iznik/ancient Nicaea, location of the First Ecumenical Council of AD 325; held under Constantine the Great and producing the Nicene Creed.  Also, this is the site of the Seventh Ecumenical Council of AD 787, completing the division between Rome (the Roman Catholic Church) and Constantinople (the Eastern Orthodox Church).  At the newly restored Haghia Sophia we will renew our faith vows.  We take a ferry (time for a simple lunch) across the Sea of Marmara to Istanbul/Constantinople.  Be prepared to be awed by this “Great City of Mystery”!  Upon arrival our bus will take us on an overview of Istanbul/Constantinople, including the Roman aqueduct cutting across major streets and the Constantinian Walls built by Theodosius II in AD 413.  They are 10-20 feet thick and protected Constantinople until 1453.  Overnight Istanbul. BD

DAY 7: Wednesday, May 20, 2009 - Our first Istanbul visit is to the Great Haghia Sophia (Church of Holy Wisdom), Christendom’s most important church for 900 years.  Today it is a museum.  From 1453 to the 1950’s its magnificent mosaics were plastered over; then archeologists from Boston University recovered their splendor.  Next stop is at the Eastern Orthodox Patriarchate, centered here since the time of Constantine the Great; we may be fortunate enough to see The Archbishop of Constantinople and Ecumenical Patriarch of Orthodox Christianity.  We travel to the Kariye Museum, the former Church of the Holy Savior in Chora.  The 14th century mosaics and frescoes depicting biblical scenes are considered among the finest Byzantine works in the world.  Returning to Istanbul, we again see the massive Constantinian Walls, built by Theodosius II in AD 413.  The massive walls are 10-20 feet thick and protected Constantinople from attack until 1453.  You may enjoy dinner and the evening on your own.  Overnight Istanbul. BL

DAY 8: Thursday, May 21, 2009 - We visit Topkapi Palace, the seat of Ottoman government from 1453-1923.  Here, we will find the spoon diamond, the world’s largest collection of Chinese porcelain, sultans’ robes, and other priceless treasures.  Next we see the great Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, also called the Blue Mosque due to the beautiful blue Nicaean tiles which adorn it.  We will have an opportunity to walk the ancient Hippodrome and visit the Roman Cistern/Yerbetan Saray (sunken palace) which is part of the ancient underground water cistern where we will view ancient columns and stroll to classical music.  We may even have time to visit the legendary Pera Palas Hotel, built for travelers on the Orient Express.  Founder of the Republic, Ataturk, and mystery writer, Agatha Christie’s, rooms may be visited.  Also, the patisserie serves irresistible cakes and coffee!  Then you will be free to enjoy one of the many restaurants on your own.  Overnight in Istanbul. BL

DAY 9: Friday, May 22, 2009 - Today we take a private boat cruise on the Bosphorous to the beginnings of the Black Sea.  We will have a fresh fish lunch at Sariye, a lovely fishing village.  The afternoon will be spent in The Archaeological Museum; it has one of the world’s richest collections of classical artifacts.  Especially notable is the sarcophagi collection, including porphyry Byzantine Imperial 4-5th century and a fabulously carved one of Alexander the Great in peace and war.  If time permits, we will visit “Little Haghia Sophia,” Sts. Sergius and Bacchus Church, a quirky little church built in AD 532 with a floor plan slightly off kilter.  Then we may continue to the Galatssaray Square Area to visit the Horan Armenian Church, a surprising sight of crosses and haloed Christs.  Your evening is free to enjoy.  Overnight Istanbul. BL

DAY 10: Saturday, May 23, 2009 - Next we consider “bringing home the boon.”  A visit to the 17th century Grand Bazaar, the mother of all malls with 4,000 vendors, should be of great help.  The bus will meet us to return to the hotel or the historic district for the rest of the day free to explore Istanbul on your own.  You may choose to remain at the Grand Bazaar, visit some of the wonderful rug or ceramic shops or pay a return visit to some of the other sites in Istanbul.  The day ends sharing a festive “Farewell to Turkey, OUR Second Holy Land” dinner in our hotel.  Overnight Istanbul. BD

Day 11: Sunday, May 24, 2009 - Time to bid our guide and driver, “God-be-with-you” as we return HOME!  Thanks be to God! BL

Price: $2,999.00 .  Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Priced with air from Cincinnati, OH.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement $499.00.

*A $20.00 USD Cash Only Payment (Exact amount) due upon arrival into Turkey for your Visa.  *Price for Turkish Visa subject to change without notice.

Final Payment due March 14, 2009

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until February 13, 2009: $200 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ February 14, 2009 – March 13, 2009:  $300 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After March 14, 2009: NO REFUND

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, S Snack

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.

This pilgrimage involves moderate physical activity, including the ability to walk a mile or two at a time, to climb a modest number of stairs, and to be “on one’s feet” for an hour or two at a time.