Pictures from Turkey

Paul and the Roman Empire

A Pilgrimage to Turkey

Led by:

The Rev. Canon Marianne Borg

Dr. Marcus Borg

Dr. John Dominic Crossan

May 2 - 16, 2010

Trip map

DAY 1, Sunday, May 2, 2010 - Depart the Newark, NJ for an overnight flight to Germany with connecting flight to Izmir, Turkey.  Meals on board flights. D

DAY 2: Monday, May 3, 2010 - We will arrive at Izmir, Turkey, clear immigration and meet our driver and guide.  We will then drive to Kusadasi, located on the shores of the Aegean Sea where we will have a “welcome to Turkey” dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 3: Tuesday, May 4, 2010 - After breakfast, a morning meeting at the hotel and then to Selcuk, where we visit the ruins of the 6th century Basilica of St. John, the traditional site of St. John’s grave, and then visit the museum in Ephesus.  Return to Kusadasi by early afternoon for rest and relaxation. BD

DAY 4: Wednesday, May 5, 2010 - We visit the ancient ruins of Priene and its important inscriptions to “imperial theology”.  Priene was once located on the Aegean Sea and was an important port city but, like the port at Ephesus, the harbor silted over.  The ruins here are from the Greek and Roman periods.  The bouleterion (council chamber) and theater are particularly well preserved.  Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 5: Thursday, May 6, 2010 - We have an early departure to Aphrodisias, one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Turkey and yet located slightly off the beaten track for tourists.  The temple to Rome and Augustus is a dramatic illustration of Roman imperial theology, as is the museum, which we will also visit.  Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 6: Friday, May 7, 2010 -Today, we visit Didyma, a sacred site since time immemorial.  Early Ionian settlers arrived here in the 11th century BC and, in the 4th century BC, a vast temple with more than 100 columns was built to protect the holy spring and the laurel tree (sacred to Apollo).  This extraordinary Temple of Apollo and the beauty of Didyma were famed far and wide.  We continue to Miletus, where Paul met with the elders of Ephesus on his final journey to Jerusalem (Acts: 20:15-38).  Return to our hotel in Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 7: Saturday, May 8, 2010 - We drive to Izmir, ancient Smyrna.  After a visit to the museum and other ancient sites, there will be time for lunch on the Aegean seafront.  Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8: Sunday, May 9, 2010 - Today we visit Ephesus, the best preserved ancient city in the world.  Once on the sea, Ephesus is now about 3 miles inland.  Ephesus was a major center of Paul’s activities (see Acts 19), as well as one of the seven cities of the book of Revelation (Rev: 2.1-7). Many of Paul’s letters were written during the years he lived here.  We see the Odeon, the Theater, the Library of Celsus, and many other ancient sites.  We will also see the “terrace houses,” the villas of the wealthy, a special exhibition only recently opened to the general public.  Also today, we visit Mary’s House a few miles away, a site sacred to both Christians and Muslims.  There we hope to celebrate the Eucharist in a small chapel.  Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9: Monday, May 10, 2010 - We travel from Kusadasi to the ancient city of Sardis, one of the seven cities of Revelation (Rev 3:1-6).  Here we see impressive ruins, including a well preserved Jewish synagogue.  Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 10: Tuesday, May 11, 2010 - Today, as an overnight stop on our way to Istanbul, we take a long drive to Bursa, the capital of the Ottoman Empire until the Ottomans conquered Constantinople in 1453. BD

Day 11: Wednesday, May 12, 2010 - We begin our day in Bursa with a visit to the 14th century Green Mosque (the Yesil Cami), one of the finest mosques in Turkey.  We then travel to Iznik, ancient Nicea, where the Nicene Creed was formulated in 325 AD.  We visit the ruins of the church of St. Sophia and then travel across the Sea of Marmara to Istanbul by ferry.  We arrive at our hotel and have dinner and overnight in Istanbul. BD

Day 12: Thursday, May 13, 2010 - We begin with a visit to the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Cami), a grand and beautiful monument to Islam.  The mosque has 6 towering minarets and many semi and mini domes.  The mosque is still a place of worship and requires modest clothing and respect for the worshippers.  We see the ancient Hippodrome where 100,000 could be seated to watch chariot races and other forms of entertainment.  We continue to the Yerebatan Saray, also known as “the underground cistern.”  Built in the 6th century, it was part of the underground water supply that served ancient Constantinople for centuries.  Afternoon free.  Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. BD

Day 13: Friday, May 14, 2010 - Today we visit Hagia Sophia (Church of Holy Wisdom), Christendom’s most important church for 900 years before it was turned into a mosque in 1453.  Although the mosaics were covered with plaster, they have since been uncovered and are on display here.  We visit Kariye Museum which occupies what was once the Church of the Holy Savior in Chora.  The 14th century mosaics and frescoes depicting biblical scenes are considered to be among the finest Byzantine works in the world.  Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. BD BD

Day 14: Saturday, May 15, 2010 - This morning, we will board a private boat for a cruise up the Bosphorus to the beginning of the Black Sea.  The Bosphorus which divides Europe and Asia is one of the busiest waterways in the world and has held strategic importance as the only waterway connecting the Mediterranean with the Black Sea.  We will have a fish lunch at Sariye and then return to Istanbul where you will have some free time to shop or visit other sites.  We will have a gala “farewell to Turkey dinner” and overnight in Istanbul. BLD

Day 15: Sunday, May 16, 2010 - We depart for the Istanbul Airport to board our return flights to the United States.  Meals will be served on the flights.

Price: $4,399.00 per person.  Air from Newark International Airport

Price is based on double occupancy without airline taxes and fuel surcharges, which will be added to your final invoice.  Taxes and fuel surcharges are currently $373.00 and may change.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $700.00

Deposit of $300.00 per person due with application.

Final payment due February 1, 2010

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until November 1, 2009: $200.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ November 2, 2009 - January 31, 2010: $300.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After February 1, 2010: 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.