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Pilgrimage To The Seven Churches And Cappadocia

Led by Fr. Andrew Harrison

June 2014

Day 01 Depart Chicago – Fly to Istanbul.

Day 02 Arrive Istanbul
Your tour guide will meet you after the customs and baggage claim with a “AMI TRAVEL” sign. Meet and transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)

Day 03 Istanbul
Full day tour in Istanbul. Visit the St Chora Church, Hippodrome Square, St. Sophia Church, and the important Istanbul Archaeological Museum containing the Gezer Calender, the Titus Inscriptions, City Walls from Babylon, and other important items. Dinner at an outside Sea Food Restaurant in Kumkapi district. (B,D)

Day 04 Istanbul Airport - Fly Cappadocia
Transfer to Istanbul Airport for TK 07:00/08:25 flight to Kayseri. Meet and transfer to Cappadocia. You will visit Göreme where you will see remains of several hundred early churches, with rooms hollowed out of the cones of volcanic ash. Some of them are decorated with scratched frescoes depicting scenes from the Bible. You will drive through the Zelve valley on your way to Kaymakli, an underground city which was an early Christian center that extended downward in the earth for at least eight floors and housed several thousand people in the eighth and ninth centuries. You’ll continue to Uçhisar, another of these early Christian communities, before returning to your hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 05 Cappadocia – Konya
After breakfast you will have an early departure to drive to Iconium where Paul and Barnabas used the synagogue as their forum to address the local people. They angered the authorities there and were warned in time to escape being attacked. You will continue to ancient Lystra twice visited by Paul. It was here Paul healed a lame man and later was raised after being battered with stones. Here also Paul met Timothy who later accompanied him on some of his travels. You will visit the Shrine of Mevlana before going to the hotel in Konya (ancient Iconium) for dinner and overnight.

Day 06 Konya – Laodicea - Pamukkale
After breakfast you will drive to Laodicea, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation, and Hierapolis where you will visit the Tomb of St Philip, thermal baths and the theater with its well preserved stage. Dinner and overnight will be in Pamukkale.

Day 07 Philadelphia – Sardis – Izmir (Smyrna)
After breakfast you will travel to Philadelphia ,now called Alasehir. We’ll see remains of a Byzantine basilica as well as some eleventh century frescoes. Philadelphia and Smyrna were the only two churches among the Seven about which nothing bad was said by John. From there we’ll travel to Sardis , one of the most picturesque areas of any of the Seven Churches. You’ll see the remains of the Temple of Artemis as well as a small Byzantine church. Finally, you will proceed to Izmir (ancient Smyrna ), one of the Seven Churches and one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities of the world. You’ll check in to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 08 Ephesus – Izmir
After breakfast you will leave Izmir and drive to Ephesus , the first of the Seven Churches, for a visit. You will see the amazing ruins of this great city: the theater, the library, the Temple of Hadrian and the Basilica of John. Dinner and overnight in Izmir.

Day 09 Pergamum – Alexander Troas – Canakkale
After breakfast today you will leave for Bergama which is the site of ancient Pergamos, one of the Seven Churches of Revelation. You will visit the acropolis there and see the impressive theater, the Temple of Athena, and other ruins of former civilizations. You will continue to Odun Iskelesi to visit the site and the port of Alexandria-Troas where Paul raised the boy, Eutychus. Paul visited this area at least twice. You will then go to Canakkale for dinner and overnight.

Day 10 Canakkale - To Istanbul
Cross the Dardanelles Strait by car ferry. Drive to Istanbul for Farewell Dinner and overnight. (B,D)

Day 11 Transfer to Istanbul Airport for flight back home.

Let Father Andrew know if you are interested oandrey@stlukeorthodox.com