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Day 9/10/11 – Mykonos, Ephesus, Patmos, & Rhodes

May 3, 2017

Hey friends!

WiFi costs money on the ship (and you can imagine that it’s not that cheap), so I’ve found a Starbucks in Rhodes that I can send this off with!

On Monday we woke up in Athens and made our way to the port where our Celestyal Cruises ship awaited us. Our tour now takes us across the Aegean Sea into Turkey, down to Rhodes, Crete, and Santorini, and then back to Athens. Even though we haven’t had formal events for the last two evenings, our days have still been jam packed with excursions and ports.

Our first stop was Mykonos. If you search for this small Greek island in Greece, you’ll see that it’s pretty much right in the middle between the mainland of Greece and Turkey. This little island was the stereotypical “Greece island” with white-boxed buildings and blue and teal window frames, etc. (well, I’m colourblind, so maybe they were something else).


We were there for a few hours in the evening. It was extremely windy on the island, but we enjoyed it. There was also a point when my coworker Jim and I jumped on a fake donkey statue to get a picture, but were immediately called off by a nearby waitress at a restaurant. We did, however, get a picture, but for the sake of your eyes and mind, I won’t show that here.

I should also say that that evening I ate some octopus. It was good!

The next day (Tuesday) we arose early and prepared for our excursion in Turkey. We were on our way to ancient Ephesus in the morning, and then the island of Patmos in the evening. Full day!

Here are a a couple pictures from Ephesus.



Two years ago I had the great privilege to help Back to the Bible Canada on a tour to Israel. In Israel I was greatly impacted by the geographical understanding of where everything was. That way when I read the Bible I would have an understanding of where things were in relation to one another. I feel the same way about Greece – and now Ephesus. Ephesus was a massive city. Only 15% of the ruins have been uncovered; we were barely scratching the surface. It was interesting to note that Ephesus was tucked in between two mountains. It was also accessible by an inlet that led to the Aegean.

The second picture you see of Ephesus above is the library. This is the third largest ancient library, behind Alexandria in North Africa and Pergamum in Turkey. They’ve done some work on this so we can get an idea of how large this library really would’ve been.

Just a few hundred feet away we get to a massive theatre. Back in the ancient times, this theatre held 24,000 people. Because of multiple earthquakes and erosion/weathering, that number has significantly decreased. We gathered into the middle, Dr. John spoke (see image below), and then we all sang “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” I know this was special for many.


We then hopped back on the bus, had a quick stop at an area where we were shown how Turkish rugs were made, drank some Turkish coffee, then headed back to the ship. The rugs were anywhere between $1,500 to $10,000 USD, so I only bought a few.

After sailing (cruising) for about 4 hours, we anchored close to Patmos and tendered to shore (small boats brought us to the island). Again, getting a geographical understanding of Patmos was awesome. Here’s a picture from a high point.


At the top of the mountain we were invited into a monastery dedicated to John the apostle. We’ve seen quite a few orthodox Christian monasteries on this trip, and I know that some people are finding them repetitive, but I love them. I don’t love their religious rituals, but I find the artwork of Bible stories and saints fascinating and beautiful. Some of the artwork in this monastery was from the 11th and 12th Century. Very cool.

No pictures were allowed in the monastery or museum, unfortunately, but something very profound sat in a glass case – a manuscript of the Gospel of Mark dating back to the 6th Century. How cool is that?! Dr. John informed me that archeologists have recently found a copy of the gospel of Mark from the 1st Century as well, but I was still amazed to see this one. It was very old (obviously) and difficult to read (faded lettering), but it was still exciting.

After that, we drove down a few kilometres and entered into the “Cave of the Apocalypse.” It’s supposedly the cave that John the apostle would have had his vision in (and also written the book of Revelation). But again, who knows! Upon leaving the cave, Dr. John spoke to us on Revelation just nearby, and Shane and Angela led us in “Is it Well.”


If you’re interested (and I know you are!), that night for dinner I ate pita with Greek dips, sausage, tender lamb and rice, and then baklava for dessert. Very, very tasty.

And finally, this morning (Wednesday) we set anchor in Rhodes! The entire day is our first “free day,” meaning there are no formal excursions or events. I went walking. I wanted to take in the city! Rhodes, at least in my experience and from what I’ve seen, is beautiful and lively. Here are a few pictures from my walk.



These pictures make Rhodes seem quiet, but it was still a bit early in the morning!

Anyways, I hope I’ve filled you in with enough information. From considering our schedule tomorrow (Thursday), I don’t think I will be able to get a blog in. We’re heading to Crete and then Santorini tomorrow. My final blog will be on Friday night, so if you’re reading this in North America, you’ll receive it Friday morning.

Until then!


Isaac Dagneau

Isaac Dagneau

Isaac is the host of Back to the Bible Canada's "indoubt", a topical show discussing both practical and theological matters with leaders across the world. You can listen to indoubt by clicking here.


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