Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The island of Patmos

After visiting Ephesus our cruise ship sailed for the island of Patmos, Greece. We disembarked on another of the guided tour groups. We loaded onto another packed tour bus and headed up the winding road to our first stop, the Grotto of the Apocalypse. This is where the Apostle John wrote the book of Revelations after receiving a word from God.

"I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. On the Lord's Day I was in the Spirit, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet..." (Revelation 1:9-10)

Jack became sick on the bus and threw up everywhere. We tried to decide whether or not to call it a day and head back to the cruise ship, but the bus driver would not take us back and we had no way to call a taxi so we pushed ahead with the tour

My sick little guy
 Again, no pictures were allowed inside
Entrance to the cave
But inside looked like any other cave except that you could still see where John slept and the niches in the wall where his desk was. We were also able to see (and touch) the crack in the rock made by the voice of God honoring the Holy Trinity.
After the cave we hopped back on the bus (which had been cleaned of throw up) and continued up the mountain to the Monastery of St. John.
The Monastery was an awesome sight. It was built in the year 1088 and fortified to protect it from pirate attacks.
The Monastery of St. John
Jack is still feeling crappy as we start the 2nd tour
 No pictures allowed again, so here are some photos I could get of the courtyard

After the tour ended, Jack was finally feeling better

 We skipped the tour of the library to hang out and enjoy the view

 And we stopped for a quick snack
Luke trying Greek Ouzo which is similar to the Absinthe
we have in Switzerland

Jack's "naughty" face. He is always about to get into trouble when I see this look

Feeling much better
 The bus took us back down the hill to the town of Scala for some shopping.
Jack in his new T-shirt and hugging the bear
the shop owner gave him.

If there is an animal to be found, Jack will find it!

Feeling good enough for ice cream
Seeing both Ephesus and Patmos in one day was quite an exhausting experience. I could have spent an entire day at each location instead of being rushed around by tour guides. By this point I realized that our cruise would not be a "relaxing" experience. We were up at 5am to catch busses, then miles and miles of walking and usually back to eat dinner around 9 or 10pm and rarely in bed by midnight. But the thought of skipping the excursions and missing out seeing the sights of Greece was not an option so we upped our caffeine intake and prepared for another busy couple of days. 

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