Pictures from Turkey and Greece

Turkey and Greece

Following the Footsteps of St. Paul

Led by:

The Rev. Sam Craven

Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church

Houston, TX

March 1 - 17, 2011

Trip map

DAY 1, Tuesday, March 1, 2011 - Depart from Houston International Airport for the overnight flight to Munich, Germany where we will connect to our flight into Izmir, Turkey. M

DAY 2: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 - Arrive in Izmir, meet the driver and guide and transfer to our hotel in the beautiful coastal town of Kusadasi where we will have a “welcome to Turkey” dinner and overnight. MD

DAY 3: Thursday, March 3, 2011 - Today we travel to Selcuk where we visit the 6th century Basilica of St. John, built over a second century tomb generally believed to be the burial place of St. John the Evangelist, “the disciple that Jesus loved.”  We will visit what is considered to be the last home of Mary, mother of Jesus.  Now we travel on to Ephesus, route of the crusaders and the probable city of Paul's writing his Epistles and John's writing his Gospel and John’s death.  See the Celsius' Library, a Stadium where Paul preached (Acts 19), the ancient theater, and the site of the third Ecumenical Council held in 431 A.D.  Here at the Double Church of St. Mary, we celebrate Eucharist before we return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 4: Friday, March 4, 2011 - This morning we travel to Aphrodisias to visit the ruins and then continue to Hierapolis, (Col. 4:13), located near the Turkish spa town called Pammukale.  One tradition holds that Philip was martyred here.  Mineral-rich spring water cascades over basins and natural terraces, crystallizing into white curtains of solidified water seemingly suspended in air.  We will walk the Necropolis and the Avenue of Tombs.  We will have time to relax in the mineral rich waters and overnight in Pammukale. BD

DAY 5: Saturday March 5, 2011 - Today we continue north to Bergama, the modern name for the ancient Greek-Roman site of Pergamum (Rev. 2:2-17).  Here we visit the Pergamum Acropolis and Aesclepion before departing for Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire.  Enjoy a thermal bath at your deluxe hotel.  Overnight Bursa. BD

DAY 6: Sunday, March 6, 2011 - We explore Bursa, known as Yesil Bursa because of its many parks and Yesil Cami, the Green Mosque and Yesil Turbe, the Green Tomb.  We visit the Yesil Cami, thought to be one of the finest mosques in Turkey, and see the sea of fine blue and green Iznik tiles.  We visit the Grand Mosque, the Green Tomb.  We depart for Istanbul today with a stop at Iznik, ancient Nicea, location of the First Ecumenical Council of 325 A.D., which produced the Nicene Creed, and the Seventh Ecumenical Council of 787 A.D., which completed the division between Rome (the Roman Catholic Church) and Constantinople (the Eastern Orthodox Church).  We take a ferry into Istanbul and visit Topkapi Palace, the seat of government of the Ottoman Empire from 1453 to 1923.  We visit the Treasury, the provocative Harem room and view the world’s largest collection of Chinese porcelain.  Overnight in Istanbul. BD

DAY 7: Monday, March 7, 2011 - We visit the Yerebtan Saray, the Basilica Cistern built by Emperor Justinian.  There are 336 marble columns inside this cistern.  We visit Suleiman Mosque and then the Blue Mosque.  Now we board our private boat for a ride along the Bosphorous to the beginning of the Black Sea.  We have a fish lunch at Sariye, a lovely fishing village on the Bosphorous.  Overnight Istanbul. BD

DAY 8: Tuesday, March 8, 2011 - Today we visit the Arkeoloji Muzesi (archaeological museum) and then continue to the magnificent Hagia Sophia (Church of Holy Wisdom).  At one time this was the largest church in Christendom and then it became a mosque and is now a museum.  We drive to the Kariye Museum, also known as the Church of St. Saviour in Chora Monastery where we will see glorious mosaics and frescoes.  Overnight Istanbul. BD

DAY 9: Wednesday, March 9, 2011 - A full day free in Istanbul to shop, revisit favorite sites or just relax. BD

DAY 10: Thursday, March 10, 2011 -We depart for Greece today and just before we enter Greece, we will stop at Edine for a visit to the mosque which has the largest dome in the world.  We cross the border to Kavala, Greece where Paul landed after sailing from Troas in Turkey.  We continue to Philippi, the city to which Paul wrote his Epistle and visited twice on his missionary journeys.  Overnight Philippi. B

Day 11: Friday, March 11, 2011 - We explore Philippi and see where Lydia, Paul’s first European convert was baptized (Acts 16:12-16) as he opened the continent of Europe to the Christian faith.  We see the Roman Baths, the Agora where Paul was dragged before the magistrates, the 5th c. Basilica and the possible prison from which Paul was set free (Acts 16:19-24, 35-40).  We continue to Thessaloniki for overnight. BD

Day 12: Saturday, March 12, 2011 - We explore Thessaloniki, Greece (Acts 17:1-13).  This city has seen the rise and fall of many civilizations:  Macedonian, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, that of the Jews and of the modern Greeks.  We see gold artifacts of Alexander the Great in the Museum, then on to Agios Georgios and St. Demetrious Church, probable sites of Paul’s preaching.  We travel to Pella where Aristotle lived as he tutored Alexander the Great and to Veria (ancient Berea) where Paul preached the new faith.  We will see the monument to Paul and return to Thessalonica for overnight. BLD

Day 13: Sunday March 13, 2011 - We proceed to Kalambaka near the Hanging Monasteries of Meteora which were built 1356-1372 on strangely shaped pinnacles that rise out of the Peneus Valley.  In the 9th c. ascetic hermits lived in the rock crevices and formed religious communities.  Overnight Kalambaka/Meteora area. BD

Day 14: Monday, March 14, 2011 - We continue to Delphi, one of the most evocative and enchanting sites in Greece and home to Apollo and to the most famous oracle of antiquity.  We explore Delphi:  the Temple of Apollo, the Greek God and in later times the Roman God of sunlight, music, prophesy and poetry, the Athenian Treasury, and the Stadium.  We visit the Delphi Museum and continue to Athens overnight. BD

Day 15: Tuesday, March 15, 2011 - We travel to Corinth along a coastal highway and arrive at the Corinthian Canal, a stunning deep cut pathway for ships to travel between the Ionian Sea and the Aegean Sea.  We visit Ancient Corinth where Paul wrote his Epistles and see where he preached, visit the museum and ruins and then travel to Mycenae, described by Homer as being “rich in gold”.  The Mycenaean civilization spread over Greece and by 1400 BC, the mainland and the Aegean including Crete were controlled by the Mycenaeans.  We return to Athens for dinner and overnight. BD

Day 16: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 - Today we take a panoramic tour of Athens and see the Olympic Stadium and the Presidential Palace.  We visit the famous Plaka district, the main shopping and dining area, and the extraordinary Acropolis, the beautiful temple begun by Pericles.  We visit Mars Hill where Paul spoke to the people and have some free time for shopping before our farewell dinner and overnight in Athens. BD

Day 17: Thursday, March 17, 2011 - We depart from Athens for our flight to Frankfurt, Germany where we will connect to our final flight that returns us to Houston.  We arrive at Houston International Airport in the early afternoon.  B in our hotel and meals on the aircraft. BM

Price: $3,399.00 per person.  Air from Houston, TX 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 $500.00 and may change.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $699.00

Pricing is based on exchange rate of 1.39 Euro to the dollar.  If rate changes, price may change.

Deposit of $200.00 per person due with application.

Final payment due December 1, 2010

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until November 30, 2010: $100.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After December 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, M Meals on Aircraft

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