Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 5 Athens – Istanbul – Cappadocia

Athens – Istanbul – Cappadocia

IMG_6172Just as we started to get used to Athens, we were off into the great unknown territory of Turkey. Unknown, that is, to me…

We all found Istanbul airport a slight shock. There were women in western clothes, women in burkas, and women in modest clothing with head scarves. It was fascinating for me, but reasonably scary and intimidating for many of the women in our group. The group was split up, and two of the girls were frisked by security which was, given the circumstances, slightly traumatic. The “pastoral care” dimension of the tour began…

Athens to Istanbul

Click on the map for an enlarged version.


There was no way I was going to take photographs of any of the Turkish security personnel. Suffice to say that they gave me no particular reason to be nervous, but no particular reason to relax either.

I was excited to see Turkey up close for the first time. It was a landscape of dramatic contrasts: flat plains and sheer, snow-covered mountains, modern buildings and ancient cave systems, apartment blocks and piles of rubble.

Across Greece and Turkey I was never sure whether the piles of rubble were generally a sign of poor economic conditions, or poor planning controls. In Australia, people would go to jail for leaving building sites in those conditions, and if it’s a collapse, it gets cleaned up. Australia started to feel somewhat sanitised. Not that it’s a bad thing, but… different.

It was misty that day. Photographs were difficult, but peer through the mist and imagine how stunning this was..


 

2014-01-14 17.50.02That evening the group really started visibly to bond. We had shared so many experiences, and we were certainly “not in Kansas any more”.

The Body of Christ, in which we all are intimately brothers and sisters, is not just “nice”. In a strange land, surrounded by foreign beliefs and values, it is sheer survival. It was no different for the early church communities, wherever they were.

Fond memories!


 

Engagement with the Text

The text for the day was Revelation 1. No part of the text is directly relevant to the places we had been that day. It was a kind of introduction to this stage of the journey – we were about to visit every single one of the “Seven Churches“!

Perhaps a more directly relevant text to my contemplations, since we were “sojourners and pilgrims” in the very places that Peter wrote to, might be:

Beloved, I implore you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul, having your conduct honorable among the foreigners, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

– 1 Peter 2:11-12


Other posts in this series:

Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 0 Anticipation

Posted on Jan 10th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Expectations These are my thoughts as I pack for a Study Tour of Greece and Turkey with my Bible College: Intellectually My thinking process…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 1-2 Brisbane – Sydney – Abu Dhabi – Athens

Posted on Jan 11th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 2 Comments

Brisbane - Sydney - Abu Dhabi - Athens Day 1 is mostly travel. In fact, it's hard to define what, precisely, is a "day" when you cross so many time…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 3 Corinth and Athens

Posted on Jan 12th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Corinth and Athens We drove down the coast to Corinth in the morning, and returned to Athens after lunch to see the Parthenon and…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 4 The Oracle of Delphi

Posted on Jan 13th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

The Oracle of Delphi We headed out from Athens, and in a two hour trip we saw an amazing landscape change from cityscape, to countryside, to…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 5 Athens – Istanbul – Cappadocia

Posted on Jan 14th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Athens - Istanbul - Cappadocia Just as we started to get used to Athens, we were off into the great unknown territory of Turkey. Unknown, that is,…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 6 Kaymakli, Sultanhani Caravanserai, Konya

Posted on Jan 15th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Kaymakli, Sultanhani Caravanserai, Konya For many in the group, the day began with a hot air balloon ride! They tell me it was amazing, and…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 7 Mevlana Museum, Pisidian Antioch

Posted on Jan 16th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Mevlana Museum, Pisidian Antioch Beforehand, I would have expected Mevlana Museum to be irrelevant, and Pisidian Antioch to be somewhat interesting.…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 8 Hierapolis, Pamukkale Pools, Colossae, Laodicea

Posted on Jan 17th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Hierapolis, Pamukkale Pools, Colossae, Laodicea Oh my goodness, what a day!   Hierapolis Hierapolis is mentioned in the Bible only…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 9 Philadelphia, Sardis, Kusadasi

Posted on Jan 18th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Philadelphia, Sardis, Kusadasi Happy birthday to me! January 18th is my birthday, and someone on tour happened to ask, just a couple of…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 10 Ephesus

Posted on Jan 19th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

  Ephesus Just when you think you've got no more "wow", there's Ephesus... The whole site is like a visual feast. It reminded me of those…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 11 Patmos

Posted on Jan 20th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 2 Comments

Patmos We had an early start, so that we had time for the four hour boat ride to Patmos from Kusadasi... and four hours back again! We passed…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 12 Smyrna, Thyateria, Pergamon

Posted on Jan 21st, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

Smyrna (Izmir), Thyateria, Pergamon (Bergama) It's a big day when you visit three sites. On top of that, two out of these particular three were…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 13 Assos, Alexander Troas, Troy

Posted on Jan 22nd, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 4 Comments

Assos, Alexander Troas, Troy Today we visited three sites, and all were impressive. It was another big day for all of us. He didn't let on, but I…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 14 Gallipoli

Posted on Jan 23rd, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 4 Comments

Gallipoli Without any hesitation I can state that this was the most moving and emotional day of the tour. Gallipoli is special. Here it…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: Day 15 (and 16) Istanbul

Posted on Jan 25th, 2014 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

 Istanbul This is quite a town! It has twice the population of the largest city in Australia. The road rules seem to be taken as no more than a…

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Reflections on the Trip of a Lifetime: In Review

Posted on Mar 31st, 2015 - By Kevin Bennett - 0 Comments

The Greece and Turkey Trip in Review After we returned, I wrote a little summary of the Study Tour for my Bible College's magazine, Summa Supremo. I…

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