Pictures from Turkey

PAUL:  ANATOLIA AND THE AEGEAN

A BORG-CROSSAN PILGRIMAGE TO TURKEY

Led by:

Marianne Wells Borg and Marcus J. Borg

Sarah M. Crossan and John Dominic Crossan

May 7 – 21, 2012

Trip map

DAY 1: Monday, May 7, 2012 - Depart the United States for a nonstop flight to Istanbul.  Meals on board flights. M

DAY 2: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - Arrive Istanbul and connect to the flight for Antalya.  Drive to our hotel in Antalya for dinner and overnight. MD

DAY 3: Wednesday, May 9, 2012 - We begin our first full day with an orientation meeting after breakfast.  We are in (very) modern Antalya, ancient Attalia, port for Perge/Perga (Acts 14:25), capital of Pamphylia, and one of the great cities of Greco-Roman antiquity.  We continue our day with a visit to the Antalya Museum with its magnificent statues from ancient Perge, especially in “The Gallery of the Perge Theatre".  Return to Antalya for some afternoon rest, dinner, and overnight. BD

DAY 4: Thursday, May 10, 2012 - Today we have two major sites to visit.  First is Perge/Perga from which Barnabas and Paul set out across the Taurus Mountains to Antioch in Pisidia (Acts 13:13-14).  They traveled most likely on the Via Sebaste, the longer but safer and “easier” route, constructed under Augustus as these regions became part of the new Roman Province of Galatia.  Next, we continue eastward along the coast to visit Aspendos and its theater, the best preserved one from antiquity and used until very recently for modern performances.  Return to Antalya for some afternoon rest, dinner, and overnight. BD

DAY 5: Friday, May 11, 2012 - Following the Via Sebaste, Barnabas and Paul swung rather far to the west around Lake Burdur (then Ascania) before reaching the northwest shores of beautiful Lake Eğirdir (then Limnae).  We, however, will travel almost due north to visit ancient Sagalasssos, once besieged by Alexander the Great but presently the site of a major excavation and restoration project.  It is a magnificent site and, climbing to 5000+ feet, will make you appreciate the Taurus Mountains.  Drive to Eğirdir for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 6: Saturday, May 12, 2012 - Our hotel is on a causewayed peninsula in the southwest corner of Lake Eğirdir.  We travel from there to Pisidian Antioch so identified because there were many cities named after Antiochus—along the western shore of the lake and return along its eastern shore.  Antioch of Pisidia is surrounded on all sides by distant mountains and, on its eastern side, the Anthius River flows through a deep ravine into Lake Eğirdir. Read Acts 13:14-51 and think how well Barnabas and Paul knew—by foot—this striking mix of lakes and mountains.  Return to Eğirdir for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 7: Sunday, May 13, 2012 - We travel today to the ancient city of Hierapolis, a healing shrine established in the 2nd century BCE—although its huge northern necropolis would seem to indicate that its thermal pools were not always successful.  That necropolis is important, by the way, for understanding the image on which Paul based his answer about martyrs at the parousia in 1 Thessalonians 4:15-17.  Note that Colossae, Laodicea, and Hierapolis form an urban triad in Colossians 4:13.  Drive to Pamukkale for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 8: Monday, May 14, 2012 - We visit two post-Pauline sites today, both—like Hierapolis— in the valley of the Lycus, a tributary of the Meander.  The first one is Colossae which is not yet excavated although surveys have been taken of the site.  You walk on a mound knowing that layers of ancient city are just below your feet. We also visit nearby Laodicea which is presently under excavation.  The city is mentioned not only in Colossians 2:1; 4:13,15,16 but also, as one of the Seven Churches, in Revelation 1:11 and again in 3:14-22.  Return to Pamukkale for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 9: Tuesday, May 15, 2012 - We drive along the Meander valley, the major east-west artery to the mid-Aegean coast of Turkey—be it for river, road, or railway.  We will stop at Aphrodisias, one of the most impressive archaeological sites in Turkey and yet slightly off the beaten track for tourists.  Its Augusteum or Sebasteion, dedicated to Rome, Augustus, and “the Olympian Imperial Gods”, is a uniquely dramatic illustration of Roman imperial theology.  Many of its bas-reliefs are now beautifully displayed in the museum’s new wing—where we begin our visit.  We will also see the Jewish “God-worshippers” inscription from the ancient synagogue, dated around 200 CE.  The bus-trip will allow time for a review of where we have been and a preview of what still lies ahead.  Drive to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 10: Wednesday, May 16, 2012 - We are in transition from the first to the second week of our pilgrimage and from Paul’s Anatolian mission in Cyprus and Galatia under Barnabas to his Aegean mission in Corinth and Ephesus on his own.  Today is totally free of any planned visits or sites.  It is the half-way point of our pilgrimage and is deliberately left free for any individual activities, for absorbing what we have done and what is still to come, and for enjoying—we hope—the magnificent Aegean sunshine.  Evening meeting, as usual, dinner at Kusadasi, and overnight. BD

Day 11: Thursday, May 17, 2012 - 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 Theater, the Library of Celsus, and the “terrace houses”, the villas of the wealthy, a special exhibition only recently opened to the general public.  We also have a special visit to “The Cave of St. Thecla” with a 5th century fresco of her conversion by Paul—a site normally not open to tourists.  Then 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 12: Friday, May 18, 2012 - We visit Priene with ruins from the Greek and Roman periods.  We see an important inscription dedicating its main temple to Augustus as Son of God and God Incarnate.  The bouleterion (council chamber) and theater are particularly well preserved.  It also has one of the three ancient synagogues ever discovered in Turkey. Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

Day 13: Saturday, May 19, 2012 - 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).  We also see a reserved-seat inscription to the “God-worshippers” in the theater.  Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight. BD

Day 14: Sunday, May 20, 2012 - This morning we visit the 6th century Church of St. John, the ruins of the Temple of Artemis/Diana (one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World) and the Ephesus Museum in nearby Selcuk [if open—but usually not open on Monday].  Some free time in the afternoon.  Dinner at Kusadasi and overnight. BD

Day 15: Monday, May 21, 2012 - We depart from Izmir and connect in Istanbul to our nonstop return flight to JFK Airport in New York City arriving back in the mid-afternoon. BM

Price: $4,999.00 per person.  Air from JFK, New York City

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 $350.00 and may change.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $899.00

Tips for the driver and guide are NOT included.

Deposit of $300.00 per person due with application.

Final payment due February 2, 2012

Cancellation Penalties
◊ July 1, 2011 - December 1, 2011: $300.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ December 2, 2011 - February 1, 2012 : $500.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After February 2, 2012: 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.

Extension to Istanbul (Optional)


Day 16: Monday, May 21, 2012 - After checking out of our hotel we drive to the airport to catch our flight to Istanbul. On our way into the exotic city of Istanbul, we will visit, St. Saviour in Chora to see the magnificent mosaics and Kucuk Ayasofya Mosque. We will check into our hotel and then, in the afternoon, we will visit Topkapi Palace, the ancient Roman Hippodrome and the Blue Mosque. We will return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. BD

DAY 17: Tuesday, May 22, 2012 - We begin our day with a visit to the famous Spice Market and then we will board a ship to cruise the Bosphorus to the gateway of the Black Sea. We will sail along the European and Asiatic shores of Istanbul and disembark at Sariye where we will have a special fish lunch at the seaside. We return to the Asiatic side of Istanbul via the Bosphorus Bridge and climb to the top of Camlica Hill for a panoramic view of the city before we return to our hotel in Istanbul. You will be free for dinner on your own this evening. Overnight in Istanbul. BL

DAY 18: Wednesday, May 23, 2012 - Today we visit the world famous Hagia Sophia, once the largest church in Christendom, then a mosque and now a fabulous museum. We continue to the underground Cistern, the water reservoir of the ancient Constantinople during the Ottoman Empire. You will have some time to shop at the Grand Bazaar and then have dinner at a Turkish restaurant with a traditional folklore group of singers and dancers for dinner time entertainment. We return to our hotel in Istanbul for overnight. BD

DAY 19: Thursday, May 24, 2012 - Breakfast and then we board our coach and transfer to the airport where we bid our driver and guide goodbye and board our return flight to the United States. BM

Price: $799.00* additional.  Single supplement costs $349.00* additional. 

Pricing based on exchange rate of 1.45 euro to the dollar.  If rate changes, price may change.  The leaders of the Borg Crossan Pilgrimage will not join you on this extension.  You will have a private guide from your arrival until your departure as well as a private motor-coach with driver.  The price includes all entrances fees, roundtrip airport transfers, accommodations, tips for meals when meals are included, and hotel taxes.

Tips for the driver and guide are NOT included.

All terms and conditions, cancellation penalties and payment due dates remain the same as for the main itinerary.

Final payment due February 2, 2012

Cancellation Penalties
◊ July 1, 2011 - December 1, 2011: $300.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ December 2, 2011 - February 1, 2012: $500.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ After February 2, 2012: 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.