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Lydia
Lydia of Thyatira was the first recorded convert to Christianity in Europe. She is described in the Acts of the Apostles as follows: 'One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. "If you consider me a believer in the Lord," she said, "come and stay at my house." And she persuaded us.' (Acts 16:14-15)
Athens, Corinth, Delphi, Meteora, Thessaloniki, Philippi and Kavala
10 Days - Greece
Itinerary
Day 1: Depart the USA on an international flight to Athens, Greece. Meals will be served on the overnight flight.
Day 2: We arrive in Athens and transfer to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 3: We embark on a city tour of Athens, which takes us to the Acropolis and the splendid ruins of the Parthenon, Mars Hill, the Erchthelon, the majestic Propylea, the Temple of Zeus, the Panathenaic Stadium (home of the modern day Olympics), Adrian’s Arch, the Agora and other ancient sites. In the afternoon, we will continue to Corinth, where St. Paul lived and preached for nearly two years, as reflected in his letters to the Corinthians. Walk the marketplace where St. Paul preached then visit the Archeological Museum and the Temples. Here Paul founded the first church consisting entirely of Gentiles. Return to Athens by way of the Corinth Canal and the Roman seaport of Cenchrea; St. Paul sailed from this site to Ephesus. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 4: We travel north to Delphi, the "navel" of the earth, where the ruins of the Hellenic world can still be seen. We will walk to the slopes of Mount Parnassus and view the ruins of the sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. See the Treasury, the Archeological Museum and the first monument built in the ancient world dedicated to "One God". Dinner and overnight in Delphi.
Day 5: Today we visit the world famous Byzantine Monasteries, the Meteora, or "suspended rocks", one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. The monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly. The Metéora is home to six monasteries and is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. We will ascend these huge granite rock formations to view architectural wonders over 700 years old. We will visit one of the monasteries with its church and museum containing many priceless religious and historic treasures, and learn about the art of iconography. Why not sample some ouzo! Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 6: Travel to Berea to view the famous steps where St. Paul preached and continue to Thessaloniki, a city built in 315 BC where you view the old walls, white tower of the 5th Century St. George Church, the Galerius Arch rising over the famous Via Egnatia. Visit the very beautiful churches of St. Dimetrius and St. Sophia. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 7: Enjoy a day trip to Philippi, the place where St. Paul preached his first sermon in Europe and also where he was imprisoned. View the Roman Forum, the Market Place, the Basilica, and the Theater. It was in Philippi that he baptized Lydia, the first convert to Christianity in Europe. Then we travel to Kavala, once known Neapolis, the biblical port city where St. Paul first landed with Timothy and Silas. Dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 8: We return to Athens today where the rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 9: A free day to do as we wish. Optional day cruises to the surrounding islands of Athens may be requested. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
Day 10: We bid farewell to Greece as we prepare to return to the U.S. or join an optional extension on a 5-day Greek Island Cruise which leaves only on Mondays.
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