Today found us waking up in Thessaloniki, a major port during Paul's time AND now. As this post is being written our window is open and the sounds of a city on the streets below are being heard. Today the modern city of Thessaloniki is the second most important city of Greece and home to a million inhabitants.
Because Thessaloniki is an ancient city, it has a large wall surrounding the old city and an acropolis. The beautiful Aegean Sea comes up to the land and many restaurants and businesses line the coastline.
After driving through the city we headed northeast toward Philippi. We are enjoying the beautiful, green country.
Our first stop was an enormous marble lion that once marked the entrance to a major city along the Via Egnatia, the road upon which Paul most certainly walked as he made his way to Philippi from Kavala (Neopolis), an Aegean Seaport.
We spent a good amount of time at the site where Paul met and baptized Lydia. Below is a picture of our team as we sat above the location where baptisms are held today. You can see the church that was built to commemorate the location behind us.
This river is also where Paul most likely baptized the jailor and his family after his imprisonment and the earthquake which created the opportunity for Paul to witness to the family.
Next stop was Philippi, a current archealogical site. We were able to walk through the areas where archaelogists have unearthed the city. What an enormous task to put together this most difficult puzzle. But after seeing Ephesus, we are certain they will do so.
Driving along a road from Philippi to Kavala we could occasionally see the ancient road, the Via Egnatia. Paul travelled this road from Kavala, the port city, to Philippi.
Tomorrow morning we will begin our travel back to Athens for one last evening in this beautiful country.