Pictures from Turkey

The Second Holy Land

Paul’s Missionary Journeys

Led by:

The Rev. Jim Nixon
St. Catherine’s Episcopal Church
Marietta, Georgia

March 26 – April 8, 2011

Trip map

DAY 1, Saturday, March 26, 2011 - Depart the USA from Atlanta Hartsfield AirportDinner and Breakfast on board the aircraft. D

DAY 2: Sunday, March 27, 2011 - Arrive in Frankfurt where we change planes and continue to Istanbul and finally to Kayseri, Turkey.  We will have dinner and overnight at the Dinler Hotel in Neveshir. BD

DAY 3: Monday, March 28, 2011 - We will stop at Nigde, a quiet provincial town with Hittite roots.  We will visit the church of Eski Gumus (Old Silver) which has magnificent frescoes of Christ, Mary and the saints.  The adjoining monastery has been hollowed from rock.  Our journey will take us to Abzikarahan where we will visit the old caravansary built in 1239.  The restoration efforts have brought it back into its full splendor.  Then on to Ihlara, where the Melendiz River has carved a rift into the sheer tuff cliffs.  The cliffs are pierced by thousands of churches, chapels and caves.  We will visit Sultan Hani, Anatolia’s largest caravansary and a place of rest and shelter for travelers in ancient times.  We continue through the surreal landscapes of volcanic ash that was formed over 3 million years ago and return to Neveshir for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 4: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - Those who choose can take the optional hot air balloon ride this morning, weather permitting.  We will be picked up very early at our hotel and then returned to a designated area where we will meet our coach.  Ballooning in Cappadocia: Welcome.  The price is 90 Euro per person and can be paid directly to the balloon company.  Then, we will have a full day excursion of Cappadocia to view the fairy chimneys which were formed through years of erosion.  Today we will visit Selime, where you will again find the violet-gray fairy chimneys.  We also visit Goreme where the paintings in the ancient churches have a special place in Christian art as the effects of both the East and West are discernable.  We will see Zelve where the entire village was carved into the rocks as a hiding place during the period of Christianity.  We will have a chance to see Uchisar and the Peribaca Valley before we return to our hotel at Neveshir Cappadocia for dinner and overnight.  After dinner we will see a performance of the world famous Whirling Dervishes. BD

DAY 5: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 - If weather did not permit our balloon ride previously, we will try again this morning.  We travel to Konya, one of the fastest growing cities in Turkey.  Here we will see more Seljuk architecture than anywhere else in Turkey.  Saint Paul and Saint Barnabas delivered sermons here in Konya and it was the location of one of the ecumenical councils in 235.  We will visit the tomb of Mevlana Turbesi, the founder of the mystic order of the Mevlana dervishes.  After exploring the city of Konya, we will continue to the beautiful area of Ergidir where we will overnight. BD

DAY 6: Thursday, March 31, 2011 - We will continue to Pamukkale where you will see the ruins of the Roman baths.  St. Phillip was martyred here in 80 AD.  We will walk the famous avenue of tombs and the Necropolis which has more than a thousand cut-stone sarcophagi spilling all the way down the hill.  We will have the possibility of a relaxing soak in the mineral-rich volcanic spring water at Pamukkale.  Dinner and overnight at Pamukkale. BD

DAY 7: Friday, April 1, 2011 - We will drive to Aphrodiasis, the city of Aphrodite, goddess of love.  The archaeological site is huge and the ruins are breathtaking although only a portion of the site has been excavated so far.  We will visit a location where the famous Turkish carpets are made.  There will be a demonstration of the techniques of dyeing the wool yarn as well as the intricate art of hand weaving the carpets.  We will continue to Kusadasi, where we will spend the next two nights.  Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. BD

DAY 8: Saturday, April 2, 2011 - We will visit Selcuk where we will see the ruins of the Basilica of St. John which ranked with Hagia Sophia as one of the largest Byzantine churches.  The grave of St. John the Divine is located here.  We will visit Mary’s House, thought to be the last home of the Virgin Mary and Ephesus, the best preserved ancient city in the world.  Once on the sea, Ephesus is now about 3 miles inland.  Paul preached at the Stadium (Acts 19) and the Theater and wrote some of his Epistles here.  We will visit the Double Church of Mary where we will celebrate Holy Eucharist before returning to our hotel in Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9: Sunday, April 3, 2011 - Breakfast and then worship together followed by a free day to enjoy the beautiful beaches and relax.  Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi. BD

DAY 10: Monday, April 4, 2011 - After breakfast we travel to Bergama, the modern name for the ancient Greek-Roman site of Pergamum, another of the Seven Cities of Revelation and a magnificent architectural and artistic center in its heyday.  We visit the Acropolis, Asklepieion, and the ruins of the ancient library which once contained 200,000 books.  We will continue Bursa for dinner and overnight. BD

Day 11: Tuesday, April 5, 2011 - We will visit Yesil Cami (the green mosque) and Yesil Turbe (the green tomb) before we continue to ancient Nicaea, modern Iznik, where the two great Ecumenical Councils were held, one in 325 AD and the other in 786 AD.  These councils had profound effects on the practice of Christianity and resulted in the Nicene Creed.  Afterwards, we will take a ferry to Istanbul where we will have a “get acquainted tour” and visit the world famous Grand Bazaar for some great shopping.  Dinner and overnight in Istanbul. BD

Day 12: Wednesday, April 6, 2011 - We begin our day with a visit to Topkapi Palace, located on Seraglio Point where the Bosporus meets the Golden Horn.  The palace was home to the sultans and their harems until 1868.  The museum within the palace contains breathtaking jewels, robes and other riches from the time of the sultans.  We will continue our day with a lunch along the Bosporus.  Then we visit the 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.  View the Constantinian Walls, built by Theodosius II in 413 AD.  The massive walls are 10 to 20 feet thick and protected ancient Constantinople from attack.  We will have dinner and overnight in Istanbul. BLD

Day 13: Thursday, April 7, 2011 - We will visit the Hippodrome, once a Roman stadium and the Yerbetan Saray (sunken palace) part of an underground network of waterways.  We will explore the great Blue Mosque, a grand monument to Islam and then 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 will have a “farewell to Turkey” dinner and celebration and overnight in Istanbul. BD

Day 14: Friday, April 8, 2011 - Return to the USA. BL

Price: $2,799.00. Price is based on double occupancy with roundtrip air from Atlanta's Hartsfield Airport without airline taxes and fuel surcharges.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $599.00

Cost does not include airline taxes and fuel surcharges currently estimated to be $400.00 +

$200.00 per person deposit due with application

Final payment due December 15, 2010

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until December 15, 2010: $200 per person plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After December 16, 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.