Wow, it’s crazy how things happen so quickly. I’ve completely neglected this blog, but yes, I am still alive. While I’m here, we do still have classes with quizzes, exams, and papers. I guess that’s part of the deal.
Anyway, let me just finish off the rest of the Greek Isle Cruise.
After Ephesus, we shipped off to the island of Patmos, where John was exiled for about 18 months toward the end of his life. Patmos is a beautiful island, bigger than I had expected with lots of trees and scenic hillside towns. A ways up the hill is a cave where tradition says John would sleep, meditate, and write (with the help of a personal scribe whom John took with him into exile I guess). In that cave is a rounded spot in the ground where he would lay his head to sleep and a handhold a couple feet up that he would use to pull himself up.
The most touching feature about the cave is a crack across the top where, legend says, the holy trinity came down, because the crack splits off into three separate lines in equal angles. Even if that is only legend, it still gave me chills to think that I was standing in the place where God came to earth one last time. The rest of the cave is littered with Greek Orthodox icons and embelishments. They are pretty, just not all that necessary in my opinion.
On the top of the hill there is a monestery built by a guy named Christodoulos in the 6th Century I think. The coolest thing about the monestery is the fact that it was built like a fortress on the hill. It has stone wall and other fortifications in case anyone decided to lay siege to this island in the middle of nowhere.
Knossos is the home of the ancient Minoan civilization. The palace at Knossos would have been incredible to see in its glory days, 1600 BC, but now it is just a large pile of rocks that archaeologists have done their best to reconstruct. It was cool to see the advancements of such an old civilization, but there’s not all that much to talk about.
Our last stop on the cruise was the famous island of Santorini. Wanna know what it looks like? Do a Google image search of Greece, and Santorini will be 7 out of the first 10 or so. Santorini is the island famous for the beautiful white-washed houses and blue-domed chapels. We also got a chance to ride mules up to the top of the mountain side, which is pretty sheer since part of the island broke off in a volcanic eruption a couple thousand years ago. I thought it ironic that a man who grew up in Columbia, TN – the mule capital of the world, rode his first mule ever in Santorini.
It was nice just being able to walk around the city of Thera for a while. It’s not the largest town on Santorini, but it was a good size. We got some great pictures, some amazing gelato, and the most incredible sunset view I’ve seen in a good long while.
So there we go, we are caught up through the Aegean cruise. Up next, Northern Greece.