With Internet connection being very weak on our ship as we visited several Greek islands in the Aegean Sea, posts haven't been as timely as hoped. But tonight we are back on the mainland of Greece and staying at a beautiful hotel at the foot of Hanging Monasteries perched on top of the some unusual rock formations. Finally in a place with internet connection to post some of our experiences these last few days.
Apr 17, 2015
We woke early on Friday, April 17th and began our three day cruise to visit several of the Greek islands and Ephesus, in Turkey. First stop the island of Mikanos.
What a lovely little island. Small narrow streets wind in and around the city, and restaurants line the waterfront. Getting away from the shore provided the opportunity to see the lives and dwellings of the people (as opposed to the tourist sites) and was a wonderful opportunity to experience the island life of the locals.
This was a “catch your breath” kind of day and we all greatly appreciated the slower pace and chance to enjoy the sunshine, warm weather, beautiful water, and kind culture. Tomorrow we visit Ephesus in Turkey and the island of Patmos.
The island of Mikanos
Apr 18, 2015
We woke early (are you seeing the pattern here!) and boarded buses that took us up to the
ancient city of Ephesus in Turkey. Much has been uncovered but much more remains below the hillsides. This is the town where Paul of Tarsus visited and stayed for over 1½ years, telling people about Christ.
Look at the picture below. Can you imagine Paul walking down the path, approaching the city? We could almost hear the voices of the people of the day, as they wondered about this man, Jesus Christ; about whom Paul taught. Even at the risk of losing his own live, Paul proclaimed Christ’s death and resurrection.
Later in the day we cruised over near the island of Patmos and then took a tender boat over to the island. This is where John was imprisoned and wrote the book of Revelation. We went into the cave of his imprisonment. There is a natural ledge in the cave where he may have stood and written the book. After a very informative, touching visit we then drove up to the Monastery of St. John and toured the grounds and the areas accessible to the public. Beautiful setting.
The island of Patmos and the visit to Ephesus will definitely be a highlight of this trip!
One entrance into the city of Ephesus. Picture Paul walking into the city here!
Listening to our guide in front of the Library at Ephesus
Apr 19, 2015
The island of Crete is the largest of the Greek islands. After waking early :), today we had a short trip over to the island and toured the ruins of the Palace of Knossos, built thousands of years ago and probably the ceremonial and political center of the island. Mythology was alive and well in ancient Greece and very apparent here. This was the site of the legendary Minotaur and upon which a large palatial palace and grounds were built.
Later today, we got over to the island of Santorini. Beautiful location. This is the island you see on picture postcards of the Greek Islands. The white buildings and blue roofed churches stand out on the hillside upon which the towns of Santorini sit. Once again getting away from the tourist sites for a bit provided a very unique opportunity to be among the people. The Greek people have been most charming and welcoming.
The next morning would find us cruising back to Athens to finish up our tour on the mainland of Greece.
"Let the children come to me"
Here are some children on the island of Santorini. How wonderful it must be to grow up on an island, especially a small one, where it was mentioned that the islanders have little concern for safety.