Today will be a special Sabbath as we worship the God who transformed the ancient world. It will be extra special since we will also visit one of the most important archaeological sites in the world—ancient Ephesus. Ephesus was once the most important commercial city in Asia Minor. The Apostle Paul spent nearly 3 years in Ephesus, before he was driven out of the city by a riot stirred up by Demetrius the silversmith (Acts 19:23-34). It is from this city that Paul wrote his letters to the Corinthians. In addition to walking the streets of this ancient city and visiting the theater, we will also visit the famous Terrace Houses, the place were the most important people of Ephesus lived. We will also visit the Church of St. John which was built in Byzantine times and dedicated to the apostle, the Ephesus Museum, and what remains of the Temple of Artemis. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi at the Charisma Delux Hotel.
This morning we visit Miletus, home of ancient philosopher Thales (640-546 B.C.), one of the fathers of Greek geometry, astronomy, and philosophy. It was here, in the first Christian century, that St. Paul, on his third missionary journey, called for the Ephesian elders and preached a powerful message to them (Acts 20:15-38). At the conclusion of his address he quoted an otherwise unknown saying of Jesus that has become famous, "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35). It was also here that St. Paul left his friend Trophimus, who was too ill to continue on his journey with Paul (II Timothy 4:20).
After visiting Miletus, we acknowledge the truth of the saying, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" by taking a break from our regular school work. In addition to being able to enjoy a little more sleep, we will spend part of our day relaxing at the Adaland Water Park. Adaland is one of the biggest water parks in Europe and has been voted by the New York Post as one of the best Water Parks in the world. And for those who are a little more adventurous (and willing to pay for it), you can even swim with dolphins. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi at the Charisma Delux Hotel.
Today we board our private boat that will take us on a special Sabbath journey to the island of Patmos. It was here that John was exiled for his faith, and wrote the book of Revelation. In Patmos we will visit the cave where tradition says he received his vision. We will also visit the monastery of St. John. Lunch will be provided on this day. Instead of returning to Turkey, we will take an overnight ferry (with our own private sleeping quarters) to Athens, Greece. Overnight Blue Star Ferries.