William Carey College: Study Travel and Excavation Program

STEP 2006 Greece Study Travel Recap

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enroute Thurs
26 Oct
(Day 1)

Departured USA for Greece from Hattiesburg-Laurel regional airport (PIB); connection in Memphis; overnight flight on Northwest/KLM to Amsterdam.

AT LEFT: The exciting wait at the airport . . .

RIGHT:  First flight!
27 Oct
(Day 2)

Late arrival in Amsterdam, missed connection to Greece! No problem, we went into the city and visited the Anne Frank House; PM flight for Greece; took rental vans to hotel near Marathon for overnight.

AT LEFT: with extra time between flights in Amsterdam, the group took a train into Amsterdam and visited the Anne Frank House

RIGHT:  the burial tumulus of the Plataeans from the Battle of Marathon, 490 BC
28 Oct
(Day 3)

Morning visit to Marathon, site of the famous battle, followed by a van drive to northern Greece (through Thessaly to Macedonia), stopping along the way at the remote Mycenean sites of Gla, Orchomenos, and the Battle of Thermopylae; arrived in Thessaloniki for overnight

AT LEFT: Brandon stands on the ruins of the city gate at Gla, a Bronze Age Mycenaean citadel

AT RIGHT: Atop ruins on the citadel of Orchomenos, you can almost make out our vans way down below (you don't get this on the bus tour!)

29 Oct
(Day 4)

Morning drive east, stopping at Apollonia for a visit to the dubious "Bema of Paul," and continuing to Kavalla (ancient Neapolis, where Paul first made land in Europe); saw the aqueduct and Roman road; short drive to Philippi (of Paul's 2nd journey) with its extensive ruins; on return, checked out the Hellenistic lion statue at Amphipolis; Back near Thessalonika, we found the
'Jim Grill Place" for a great dinner; finally, a night overlook high above Thessalonica.

AT LEFT, above: at Apollonia, where local tradition holds that Paul preached from the bema (right background)

AT LEFT, below: in an attempt to go where Paul did, the group checks out the Roman toilet facility at Philippi

AT RIGHT, above: okay, so accidents happen; Michael is nursed by Matt following a too-close encounter with a Roman road.

AT RIGHT, below: Huge lion statue at Amphipolis

Pella Mon
30 Oct
(Day 5)

Departed for Kalambaka, taking in the Macedonian capital of Pella (home of Alexander the Great), the royal tombs (including that of Philip II, Alexander’s father) at Vergina (sadly, no pics allowed), and Beroea enroute; afternoon arrival in Meteora with time for evening pictures of the spectacular vistas in Meteora; dinner and overnight at a cozy villa in Kalambaka

AT LEFT: Matt trying to be like Alexander the Great at his home city, Pella

AT RIGHT: Rachel and Candace at Meteora, where granite columns have supported monasteries for centuries

31 Oct
(Day 6)

Early visit to the monastery of Varlaam and more scenic pics, followed by a long but scenic drive to Delphi, famous oracle of the god Apollo; our visit t the dramatic mountainside ruins there was accompanied by rain; we continued to Piraeus, the port of Athens and boarded the ferry to Crete; dinner onboard and overnight in deluxe private cabins

AT LEFT, above: above the monasteries Varlaam (left) and Rousannou (background) at Meteora
AT LEFT, below: Michael at Varlaam

AT RIGHT, above: Michael above the theater and temple of Apollo at Delphi
AT RIGHT, below: our wet and chilly, but happy group at the Temple of Athena Pronaos in Delphi

1 Nov
(Day 7)

Due to a weather delay, we made a late arrival in Herakleon, Crete, and drove off to Knossos, the major palace and eponymous site of the Minoan civilization; enough time remained for a quick visit to the classical city of Gortyn (traditional pastorate of Titus) and a twilight curvy drive over the mountains before returning to our luxury cabins and the trip back to Pireus and the mainland

AT LEFT, above: the group at the "Palace of Minos" at Knossos
AT LEFT, below: the "Becxster" with an old olive tree at Gortyn

AT RIGHT, above: Becca, Clay, and Dexter sample the local fare in Herakleon
AT RIGHT, below: Michael, Jeff, and Rachel on board the ferry Phaistos Palace


2 Nov
(Day 8)

Early arrival at Piraeus; an early drive from the ferry to Epidaurus, site of the best preserved of all pure Greek theaters and important center of Asklepius; then to the Palamidi Fortress and its spectacular views over Nauplion; a visit Tiryns, a Mycenaean palace center preceeded our major stop at Mycenae, cultural center of Bronze Age Greece and capital of Agamemnon (legendary king of Achaeans in the Trojan War); enough time remained to ascend to the medieval Larissa castle above Argos; then it was on to our hotel near Corinth for overnight  in Isthmia

AT LEFT, above: Candace in the theater at Epidaurus

AT LEFT, center: Sarah on the walls of the Palamidi fortress above Nauplion

AT Left, below: below the citadel walls at Mycenae,

AT RIGHT, above: at the largest tholos tomb at Mycenae, called the "Treasury of Atreus"

AT RIGHT, center:  the Larissa fortress at Argos

AT RIGHT, below: Michael and Brandon on a tower of the Larissa fortress


3 Nov
(Day 9)
Thorough visit to the classical center of Corinth, also an important focus of Paul's 2nd missionary journey, followed up with a tough but rewarding climb up the Acrocorinth, the acropolis of the classical city and impregnable fortress of the medieval period; then it was off towards Athens via Eleusis, home to the cult of Demeter and the Eleusinian Mysteries; continue to Athens for sunset views of the Acropolis, food, souvenir shopping in the Plaka district, and overnight.

AT LEFT: out group at the Temple of Apollo at Corinth, overshadowed by the Acrocorinth

AT RIGHT: The Bema at Corinth; likely spot of Paul's brief trial before Gallio in Acts 18

4 Nov
(Day 10)

Morning visit to the famous Acropolis with the Parthenon and other temples, the Areopagus ("Mars Hill," Acts 17:19, 22), and the Athenian Agora (the "marketplace" of Acts 17:17); lunch and shopping in the Monastriaki and Plaka districts; afternoon visit to the Temple of Dionysus; night ascent up the Lycabettus hill for vistas (and dinner?); overnight in Athens.

AT LEFT, above: Shannon in Athens with the Acropolis in the background
AT LEFT, below: Bobby and Elise enjoy the Acropolis in Athens
AT RIGHT, above: Matt and Michael with the Parthenon
AT RIGHT, below: Rachel at the Temple of Olympian Zeus with the Acropolis in the background

5 Nov
(Day 11)

Transfer to airport for return flight to the US via Amsterdam; with a several hours layover in Amsterdam, there is time for a train ride to the city for a  look at its famous canals and a visit to the Anne Frank House; return to Schipol airport and board flight to Memphis for connection to Hattiesburg.

AT LEFT: Rachel at Sounion--the Temple to Poseidon
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All photos are by Daniel C. Browning, Jr., unless otherwise noted.
Updated: 20 July 2009