"I travel a lot. I hate having my life disrupted by routine..."
|(The Island of Patmos)|
Day 03: Saturday, 16 April 2016
M/V Celestyal Olympia Cruise Ship
At the port, we had our passport checked and stamped and boarded the ship around 10:30 am. We were allocated a self-contained cabin on level three. On board we had an hour of safety and optional shore excursions briefing. We opted to take the shore excursions on all the islands we disembarked. Others opted the free and easy activities on the island and on board.
|(The ship is ready for boarding)|
|(My passport throughout the cruise|
|(Eager to inspect the entire ship)|
|(Spacious meeting area on every floor)|
|(Our cozy lodging for three nights)|
|(Attending a compulsory safety briefing)|
|(Buffet lunch on upper-most deck)|
The ship started to sail around 1:00 pm to Patmos Island, 50 nautical miles from Kusadasi. When we arrived at Patmos, all excursion participants disembarked first by tender boats. Those who were not participating in shore excursion would only be allowed to disembark later.
Patmos Island, Greece
Patmos, an Aegean island in the north of Greece’s Dodecanese island group, is a significant and popular Christian pilgrimage site.
|(The town viewed from the hill top)|
|(Capturing the panoramic view of the island)|
|(A typical hill-side cave-like whitewashed buildings)|
Monastery of St. John the Evangelist
The bus took us along picturesque road which winds upwards, towards the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist. A fortress-like, 11th-century monastery dedicated to the saint overlooks the whitewashed houses of the hilltop capital, Chora. The Monastery was founded in 1088 by St. Christodoulos. The visit includes to the yard where monks take their meals and there is an old bakery. Of exquisite beauty is the tour of the Byzantine Church of St. John, which adorned with a wood-carved icon screen, important frescoes from several periods, with both mosaic and other icons.
Next stop, the small museum which hosts religious treasures of inestimable value, like manuscripts, medieval textiles, sacerdotal vestments and others.
|(A steep narrow alley leading to the Monastery)|
|(Frescoes at the entrance of the church)|
|(A priest briefing the history of the place)|
|(The Monastery is built like a fortress)|
|(Painting from the 17th Century)|
|(The stairs leading to the museum)|
|(Restoring the colorful drawings)|
|(Church bells of the Monastery)|
|(High wall protecting the Monastery)|
|(Souvenir shops along the alley)|
|(Colorful wind chimes)|
The bus took us to the sacred cave where we need to walk down the stairs, behind the chapel of St. Anne. The Cave of the Apocalypse is where St. John the Theologian of Patmos is said to have written the Book of Revelations. There lies the entrance to the Grotto of the Apocalypse where there is the cross engraved by St. John the Evangelist. According to tradition, the triple fissures in the wall of the cave, from where St. John heard God dictating to him the Apocalypse. We were also shown the spot where he laid down to sleep.
|(Ancient windmills atop the hill)|
|(The entrance to another religious site)|
|(Respecting a place of worship)|
|(Signage leading to the sacred cave)|
|(The entrance to the sacred cave)|
|(Narrow steps leading to the cave)|
|(No photography inside the cave)|
|(Taking a rest after climbing the many steps)|
|(Wheel-chair friendly to the entrance)|
|(Waiting for our bus to town)|
|(Yes! I was here too)|
After the island tour, while waiting for the tender boat, we did some souvenir shopping around the town square. It was a free and easy activities on board the cruise ship the rest of the night. By 9:15 pm the ship sailed for Heraklion, Greece.
|(The town square)|
|(Waiting for the tender boats)|
Tonight we had the opportunity to watch the Theseus and Adriadne Theatrical play at Muses Lounge at level 5. It is a Greek mythology, where Adriane was the daughter of Minos, King of Crete. She is mostly associated with mazes and labyrinths because of her involvement in the myths of the Minotaur and Theseus. Her father put her in charge of the labyrinth where sacrifices were made as part of reparations. She helped Theseus overcome the Minotaur and save the would-be sacrificial victims.