Tuesday, June 28, 2011


After leaving Turkey, we headed to the island of Patmos. Patmos was an important place in early Christianity. The Apostle John was on the island of Patmos when he wrote the last book in the New Testament, The Book of Revelations. We had the option of going to the Cave of the Apocalypse to see the place where John received this revelation, but we opted for the beach instead. I know, we're heathens.

I love the beach!!

Kusadasi, Turkey

On the second day of our cruise, we left the country of Greece (and even the continent of Europe) and headed to Kusadasi, Turkey.

Yay, Turkey!!

Me and Kusadasi

Very Modern Looking Turkey

More Traditional Looking Turkey

Beautiful Buildings and Flowers

The first place we visited was The House of the Virgin Mary. Many believe that the Virgin Mary was taken to Turkey by Saint John and that she lived out the rest of her life there. In the late 1800s, the foundation of the house was found, along with a baptismal pond. Later, a house was built on the original foundation.

The House of the Virgin Mary

It was beautiful and surrounded by gorgeous foliage.

The Baptismal Pond

After the House of the Virgin Mary, we went to Ephesus. Ephesus was an important city in Ancient Greece, Roman Times, and Early Christianity. It was the site of the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. It was the 2nd wonder we had visited so far (we ended up visiting a total of 3 of the 7). Ephesus was also the place where the Apostle Paul wrote the 7th book of the New Testament, 1 Corinthians, and also the 10th book of the New Testament, Ephesians.

The Temple of Hadrian

Nymphaeum Traiani built between 102 - 114 AD

Hercules Gate

The Public Toilets!!

They literally sat cheek to cheek.

Check out this amazing mosaic from the 4th Century AD.

The mosaic hallway was super long.

The Library of Celsus
The Library was built in 135 AD and contained 12,000 scrolls.

I love libraries!!

On the way back to the port, we stopped by the bazaar to do a little shopping and to see the Turkish rug weavers.

The Turkish Bazaar

Turkish Rug Weaver

Monday, June 27, 2011


After touring the mainland of Greece, we jumped on a cruise ship to visit some of the Greek islands. Our first stop was Mykonos. There were several islands I was excited to visit, but this was not on my list. I'm so glad we went to this island because it ended up being my favorite stop on the entire cruise. Mykonos is a gorgeous island covered in picturesque white buildings with bright trimmings. I loved it and want to go back and stay exclusively there on vacation. If you're looking at a Greek cruise, make sure this island is one of your destinations!!

Amanda and Me as the ship approaches Mykonos.

Beautiful View of the City.
This picture just doesn't do it justice.

Me and the lovely beach.

This part of the island is known as "Little Venice."

The doors and windows were so colorful!!

Overlooking the city from the windmills.

Mykonos's Famous Windmills

The girls on a narrow Mykonos street (more like a hallway)

It's hard to tell, but this was taken at dusk.
The sun had set and it was almost dark.


After our day in Athens, we drove up to Delphi. I was super excited to go to Delphi. It was my favorite place I had visited the first time I went to Greece. I was not disappointed. Not only did I love it 10+ years ago, I loved this time around as well.

On our way to Delphi, we passed two interesting places. The first was a monument dedicated to the Greek Resistance Fighters from WWII. The second was the ski resort of Arachova. This resort town was beautiful and we began to refer to it as the Park City of Greece.

Monument dedicated to Greek Resistance Fighters

Me with the town of Arachova in the background.

The mountains surrounding Arachova

After driving three hours from Athens, we arrived in Delphi. The ancient city of Delphi was believed to be the spot where the God Apollo slew the giant Python. Because of this, Delphi became a major site of worship for the God Apollo. It also became the sight of the Pythian Games which began in 586 BC. Like the Olympic games, these games where held every 4 years. Unlike the games in Olympia, the Pythian Games were held in honor of Apollo not in honor of the God Zeus. The winners of the Pythian Games were awarded laurel wreaths. A list of Phythian winners can be found inscribed on the Athenian Treasury with a depiction a laurel wreath under the name of each winner.

The Stadium where the Pythian Games were held.

Another view of the Stadium

The Athenian Treasury

The Athenian Treasury from another angle.

The depiction of laurel wreaths and the names of the Pythian winners.

Delphi is most well-known for housing the Oracle of Delphi. The Oracle was presided over by a priestess, known as the Pythia. The ancient Greeks believed that Apollo spoke through the Pythia. Apollo would inhabit the spirit of the Priestess of the Oracle and that Priestess would then give prophesies to all those who sought them. There are over 500 written prophesies that have survived from various sources.

Temple of Apollo ruins.
This is where the Oracle gave the prophesies.

Only 6 columns remain from the Temple of Apollo.

Another shot of the columns.

Me above the Temple of Apollo.
I was on my way up to the stadium
which is located at the top of the mountain.

The Theatre of Delphi.
The Theatre contains 35 rows and can sit 5,000 people.

Another view of the theatre.

The Sanctuary of Athena is located about 1/2 mile from the center of Delphi. I had already hiked up to the top of the mountain to see the stadium, but I really wanted to also see the Sanctuary of Athena so I then had to run down to the Sanctuary. Running down wasn't so bad, it was running back up that nearly killed me. It was definitely the most tiring day of the trip!!

The Sanctuary of Athena.

Me in front of the Sanctuary of Athena.


The day after visiting Epidaurus and Mycenae, we toured Athens. Although there has been an excessive amount of news coverage about the protests and unrest in Athens, I found it to be rather uneventful. Yes, the country is in a huge economic downturn and the people are upset with the government over the cuts caused by austerity measures, but at no time did I feel in danger or threatened. I know several people were nervous when I told them I was going to Athens, but rest assured, there was no reason to be so.

Us in front of Parliament with a dog who was searching for shade.

Greek Parliament Building

Protest Signs

More Protest Signs. Protesters had camped out
across from Parliament in a tent city.

After visiting the Parliament Building, we went to The Acropolis. The Acropolis was still as impressive as it was the first time I saw it 10+ years ago. Most of the remaining building were built 2,500 years ago in the 5th century BC.

A picture of the Acropolis taken from Mars Hill.

A picture of Mars Hill taken from the Acropolis.
It was here that the Apostle Paul preached to the Athenians,
calling them to repent from idolatrous ways and come unto Christ.
(Acts 17)

Walking up to the Propylaea, the Gateway to the Acropolis.

Entering through the Propylaea.

The Parthenon, dedicated to the Goddess, Athena.

Amanda and Me sitting in front of the Parthenon.

The Erechtheum

Amanda and Me on the other side of the Erechtheum.

Me with the city of Athens and the Temple of Zeus in the background.

A closeup on the Temple of Zeus