Footsteps of Paul

Istanbul ~ Greece ~ Cruise
With Noel Whitlock, Dr. Frank Wheeler, and Kenneth Mills
April 16-29, 2024

At the Mövenpick Golden Horn in Istanbul we had individual cakes for all as we celebrated those who had April birthdays. Mine was coming up on the 24th, and Pinar (our guide) had celebrated hers on April 1.
The Bowlers and Kings visited during our first dinner in Istanbul.
The Hagia Sophia Grand Mosque has a storied history having been an Orthodox church, Catholic church, mosque, museum, and now again a mosque.
The Istanbul Archaeological Museum is a group of three museums housing over 1,000,000 pieces from virtually all periods of history.
The German Fountain was built to commemorate German Emperor Wilhelm II's visit to Istanbul in 1898.
Topkapi Palace was the royal residence of the Ottoman empire for almost 400 years.
Some of the folks on our tour
Tulips originated in Türkiye, and each April Istanbul hosts the International Istanbul Tulip Festival showcasing millions of tulips.
The massive walls and huge towers of Rumeli Fortress are on prominent display as you take a cruise on the Bosphorus Strait.
Pinar gave a good history of the various palaces, mosques, and museums in Istanbul.
As we traveled from Türkiye to Greece, we crossed the Maritsa River at the border.
As you view the port of Kavala (ancient Neopolis), you wonder what went through Paul's mind as he arrived here on his second missionary journey.
Kay and I enjoyed a great port-side lunch with Janelle Gray and Mark and Roxi Crews.
The dogfish shark was really good.
As you enter Kavala, there is a place where you can stop and view the ancient Via Egnatia which was the main road during Paul's time.
On Sunday, we gathered by the Zagakti River as Noel Whitlock led us in worship and communion. This is the traditional site of Lydia's baptism.
Mike Pruett did an excellent job of leading singing throughout our tour.
Dr. Frank Wheeler, Bible scholar and archaeologist, points out some of the current excavation techniques in use at Philippi.
We took a quick group photo in front of some of the ruins in ancient Philippi.
Our Houston folks, the Rosekes and the Millers, pause for a photo in front of the 4th century BC theater in Philippi.
This mosaic paying tribute to the apostle Paul is in the Octagon church in Philippi.
Christiana, our guide in Greece, points out some of the features of ancient Philippi.
One wonders if Paul saw the Lion of Amphipolis as he traveled through the area.

A physical therapist and rancher, Joe was always on the lookout for a dog to pet.


The ancient walls of Thessaloniki provide a formidable defense.
The Altar of Saint Paul sits in a small plaza in Berea. The three steps under the mosaic of Paul are believed to be from a first century synagogue.
Ryan Roseke challenged us to be noble people in his devotional at Berea.
This golden larnax was discovered in the royal tombs at Vergina, Greece.
Ruins of the Temple of Apollo at Delphi provide insight to the grandeur of the structure.
The Gallio Inscription discovered at Delphi help date Paul's time in Corinth.
Caryatids are sculpted female figures serving as supports for a structure.
Noel Whitlock and Frank Wheeler take a break on Mars Hill.
Suzanne, Colleen, Terrie, and Caryllee pause on Mars Hill in Athens.
Much of our group made their way up to the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens.
The relief fragment is from a 4th century BC structure honoring the tribe Leontis for their victory in Anthippasia, a cavalry contest.
Nighttime view of the Acropolis
On our cruise we stopped at the port of Kusadasi, Türkiye, for a visit to Ephesus.
After leaving Kusadasi, we sailed by Samos.
The Library of Celsus is probably the most recognizable structure in ancient Ephesus. However, it was not one Paul saw since it was built in about 135 AD.
On our stop at Crete, Mark Crews spoke about our need to love, care, and support each other.