Footsteps of the Apostles with Oberammergau

Led by Troy & Edwina Blair

Duration
16
Departure
02 May 2020
Price from
5,899

OVERVIEW

Following the footsteps of Apostles with an amazing tour in Greece and Turkey ending in Oberammergau for the 2020 Passion Play.

Edwina and Troy Blair are excited to combine their love of travel with their love of the bible as they lead this tour which will not only bring parts the New Testament to life as we explore Greece and Turkey, but has at its centrepiece, The Passion Play of Oberammergau. For close to 20 years they have spent all their time leading churches, teaching people the Bible and exploring God’s wonderful world through travel and would like nothing more than to have you join them in this next adventure.

Since 2001 they have been local church pastors in Wollongong, Sydney’s North Shore and the NSW Central Coast. For the last 8 years, Troy has been the Senior Minister at Campbelltown Church or Christ in Sydney and in March 2019 will start a new ministry as Senior Minister at Thrive Community Church in the Sutherland Shire. When he isn’t leading the local church or planning their next travel adventure, Troy is passionately supporting the Sydney Swans.

In 2011, Edwina began working at the Australian College of Ministries (ACOM), a national Churches of Christ Theological College, where she is Head of Bible, oversees the Holy Land Study Tour Program and works with the Graduate School. Edwina is passionate about biblical literacy and teaching the Bible and is working on her PhD in Old Testament.

As well as pastoral ministry and Bible teaching, Troy and Edwina have led overseas Mission Trips to Uganda and Thailand and since 2013, Edwina regularly lead groups of Theological students on an exploration of the Holy Land. Troy and Edwina relish this opportunity to be a part of the great history of the Oberammergau Passion Play and can’t wait to travel with a new group of friends as they explore, teach and guide you through the adventure that is Footsteps of the Apostles.

ITINERARY

Depart Australia for Thessalonica, Greece.

Included Meals: None

Upon arrival in Thessalonica Airport our representative will meet, welcome and assist you with your transfer to the hotel. Check-in at hotel for dinner where you will meet your fellow travelers and stay overnight.

Included Meals:

D
In the morning we will drive to Berea where the Apostle Paul arrived, and according to his custom went to the synagogue where, to his pleasant surprise, he discovered that these Jews were “more noble” than those he had encountered in Thessalonica. We see the Byzantine mosaic in the monument commemorating his preaching and visit the Jewish synagogue (if the time allows). According to the local tradition, it was at this place where he stood and delivered his sermons (Acts 17:10-11).
We will then return to Thessaloniki (Acts 17:1-13) for an afternoon city tour to the upper part of the Old City Walls and the Great Gate, which connects the city with the Via Egnatia. Via Egnatia was the transcontinental east-west road of the Roman Empire built on the 2nd century BC. Here we have excellent views of the City and the opportunity to take pictures. From here we continue our tour with a visit to the Roman Agora (Forum) and St. Demetrius Church. We will also see the White Tower, the statue of Alexander the Great, the triumphal Arch of Galerius and the ruins of the Palace, the Rotunda, later converted to the Church of St. George. After the tour we return to hotel for dinner and overnight in Thessaloniki. (B,D)

Included Meals:

B
D
After breakfast depart from Thessaloniki. On our way to Philippi, we drive by the Lion statute of Amphipolis where we will have a short stop for photos. We then continue to Philippi, the site where the Paul came and worked, establishing a strong church. To this congregation, later he sent his Philippian letter. Of all the churches Paul founded, probably none was as near and dear to him as the church at Philippi (Acts 16:9-33). We see the river where Lydia, the first European woman was baptized, the ruins of the prison where Paul and Sylas had been kept, the Agora, 5th and 6th century Basilica and the Theater. Philippi was built by Philip II of Macedonia on the Via Egnatia, the Roman road which ran from Rome to Byzantium. After the visit, we continue to Kavala, the ancient port of Neapolis (Acts 16:11). Late that afternoon we arrive in Alexandroupolis, for overnight stay at hotel.

Included Meals:

B
D
This morning we will break from our focus on the Apostles and turn our attention to our Australian heritage as we start our journey into Turkey. We will farewell our Greek guide and bus driver and then cross into Turkey by land after clearing custom formalities. It is here that we will meet the our Turkish guide and board the bus for a short drive to Gallipoli where we will visit the sites associated with World War I and the ANZAC forces such as ANZAC Cove, the Lone Pine Cemetery, Chunuk Bair and The Nek.

After our visit we will drive to Eceabat Pier to board the local ferry and cross the Dardanelles Strait to Canakkale. Upon arrival in port we will be transferred to hotel for check in, dinner & and overnight stay.

Included Meals:

B
D
After breakfast and check-out, our first visit this morning is to the ancient city of Troy, made legendary by Homer’s story of Helen and the Trojans’ wooden horse. We then continue to Troas, founded in about 300 BC by one of the generals of Alexander the Great. During the Apostle Paul's 2nd Missionary journey, it was from Troas that he received the “Macedonian call” to Europe. This is where Luke's account changes from “they” to “we” (Acts 16:6-12), indicating that he joined Paul's team at Troas. Returning from Macedonia during his 3rd Missionary journey, Paul was in Troas for a week, when the young man Eutychus fell from the third story as Paul preached (Acts 20:7-12). We will also see to the old city walls (Acts 20:5-14) before check-in and dinner at our hotel in Assos.

Included Meals:

B
D
After breakfast and check-out we will drive to Pergamum (now Bergama), one of the Seven Churches of Asia (Rev 2:12-17). Here we will explore a number of significant sites including: the Acropolis, the steepest theatre in the world, the Asklepieion, a famous medical centre of classical times, the Altar of Zeus, mentioned as the “Throne of Satan” in the Rev 2:13, the marble columns of the Temple of Trajan, the Library which was foremost in the world and was long a rival of the equally famous Library of Alexandria in Egypt with an estimated 200,000 volumes which inspired the invention of parchment, and the Red Basilica (St. John's Church). Following our visit to Pergamum we will drive to Izmir where we will enjoy a sightseeing tour before check-in to our hotel and enjoy dinner.

Included Meals:

B
D
After breakfast and check-out we drive to Sardis (now Sart), one of the most picturesque areas of the Seven Churches of Asia and the capital of the ancient Lydian kingdom of the 6th century BC (Rev 3:1-6). Here we visit the great Temple of Artemis and the Temple of Cybele, which later became a Byzantine Church. We will also visit the restored gymnasium and reconstructed Synagogue, the “golden” river Pactolus and see the last several meters of the royal Persian Road from Susa to Sardis built by Cyrus the Great.
We continue our journey to Philadelphia (now Alasehir), another church of the Seven Churches of Asia (Rev 3:7-13) but the only church not censured. Here we will see the remains of a Byzantine basilica built of brick, with 11th century frescoes. From here we travel to another of the Seven Churches, this time Laodicea (now Denizli) which we read about in Rev. 3:14-22 and Paul’s letter to the Colossians. There we will see the ancient theatre, church, agora, the remains of basilica and ancient stone water pipes. We then drive to the healing city of Pamukkale, the white ‘cotton fortress’ where we will check-in for dinner and overnight in a thermal hotel.

Included Meals:

B
D
Breakfast at hotel. Morning at leisure in Pamukkale. Enjoy the hot mineral water that bursts from the earth and cascades over steep cliffs forming pools. Continue on to visit the ruins of Hierapolis, the healing centre of Pamukkale. The therapeutic waters were known to the founders of Hierapolis and Laodicea in 190 BC. In Hierapolis [Col. 4:13] we visit the Martyrium of the apostle Philip, where he was martyred during the persecutions ordered by Domitian. After the visit we will drive westwards to Kusadasi, a port-city of Turkey. Check-in at hotel followed by dinner and overnight.

Included Meals:

B
D
After breakfast and check-out we will drive to the ancient city of Ephesus where the Apostle Paul preached and lived for three years and who were the recipients of the “Letter to the Ephesians”. We will visit the Basilica of St. John, tour the spectacular ruins where excavations continue in this once great and important city, founded in the 10th century BC. We will walk through history along marble streets lined with wonderful public buildings including the Baths of Scholastica, the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian and the Theatre. We will also see the remaining pillar of the Temple of Diana of the Ephesians, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World before driving back to Kusadasi for dinner.

Included Meals:

B
D
After breakfast and check-out we will head to the Kusadasi Port where we will board our 4-day cruise. First stop is at the Island of Patmos in the early evening (disembarkation by tender boats, sea & weather permitting). This beautiful, peaceful and almost mysterious rocky island of the Dodecanese is where the Apostle John was exiled and wrote the Book of Revelation (Rev. 1:9). You have the option of a tour which drives you up to visit the Monastery of John the Evangelist with wonderful views of the island. We also visit the Grotto of the Revelation. After some free time for browsing, we return to the cruise-ship and sail for Rhodes at 9:30 p.m. Dinner & overnight on board.

Included Meals:

B
L
D
After an early breakfast we arrive at Rhodes, a stronghold built by a Crusading Order, which originated from Palestine, famous for the ancient Colossus of Rhodes! We will disembark and enjoy a morning half-day excursion to visit the Temple of Athena on the majestic rocky Acropolis of Lindos, with the blue Aegean Sea beneath it and the sophisticated, whitewashed artists' colony at its foot. Local tradition has it that on his way to Rome, Paul’s vessels spent some time here in the small harbor (Acts 21:1). We enjoy lunch on board after which we will have the afternoon free in Rhodes where you can stroll around the medieval walled city or enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere from one of the elegant cafes in the marina. By 6pm we sail for Heraklion, Crete and enjoy dinner & overnight on board.

Included Meals:

B
L
D
After an early breakfast we arrive at the Port of Heraklion Crete, (Acts 27:7-13) where our shore-excursion takes us from the lively bustling city to visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos, the first European civilization and legendary home of the Minotaur (half bull and half man).

We sail for Santorini at 12:00 noon and enjoy lunch on board before dropping anchor in the late afternoon in Santorini for some free time on the island or an optional shore-excursion to visit to the traditional most picturesque spectacular village of Oia, perched on the caldera rim, where the 3 famous blue domed churches are located in Santorini. This island has dozens of blue-domed churches and narrow streets with boutiques and coffee shops overlooking the Aegean Sea. Fira is the capital town of Santorini and it is perched high on the rim of the ancient volcano. If you do not wish to join a shore excursion there are two options to reach the white-washed town: a) by using the cable-car (at 6 Euros per person one-way), b) by walking on a strenuous path (45 minutes) uphill, (588 steps). After your enjoyable afternoon we sail for Piraeus at 9:30 pm and enjoy dinner & overnight on board

Included Meals:

B
L
D
After an early breakfast we arrive at the Port of Piraeus and end our cruise. We will meet our local guide and start our full day tour of Athens and Corinth. We depart from Athens and drive by the coastal highway of Saronic Gulf, where in 480 BC history was changed! The small Grecian fleet managed to defeat the enormously powerful armada of the Persians. From here, via the historic Corinthian Canal we arrive at ancient Corinth (Acts 18:1-18). It was to this megalopolis where the apostle Paul came and worked, established a thriving church, subsequently sending two of his epistles now part of the New Testament. Here, we see all of the sites associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio’s Seat. The small archaeological museum here is an absolute must!

There will be free time for lunch and then in the afternoon we will we drive back to Athens (Acts 17:15) for a sightseeing tour of the city where we will climb up to the marble-capped Acropolis and visit the famous Parthenon and the Erechtheion. This will be followed by a visit to nearby Mars' Hill (or Areopagus) where we take a moment to read Acts 17:22, where Paul delivered his well-known sermon and spoke about the inscription: “to an unknown god”. We will continue our tour with a panoramic drive to see the highlights of modern Athens, pass by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House, the Academy, the University of Athens, the National Library, the Panatheniac Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and Hadrian’s Arch. After this extensive tour of the city we will check-in to our hotel and enjoy dinner and our final night before we head to Germany for The Passion Play

Included Meals:

B
D
After breakfast and check-out we head to Athens International Airport for our flight to Munich. On arrival in Munich we will enjoy a walking tour around the Marienplatz, followed by free time.

Included Meals:

B
After breakfast and check-out we start our 90 minute drive to Oberammergau. On arrival we will spend some time walking through this quaint village and check into our hotel. Act One of The Passion Play commences at 2.30pm, followed by a dinner break from 5-8pm and then Act Two which concludes at 10.30pm.

Included Meals:

B
D
After breakfast and check-out we drive back to Munich with options to be transferred directly to Munich airport for your flight home, or to Munich city where you can extend your stay.

Included Meals:

B

Included Meals: None

Highlights

  • Acts Chapters 16 and 17 in the flesh with visits to biblical Macedonia including Philippi, Thessalonica, Berea and Troas
  • ANZAC Cove, Gallipoli (no apostles there but a must see!)
  • Seven Churches of the Book of Revelation (Rev 1-3)
  • Spectacular ruins at Ephesus
  • 4 day cruise including Patmos (where John had the vision of Revelation), Rhodes (Acts 21), Crete (Acts 27) and Santorini
  • Visit Athens and Corinth
  • Oberammergau Passion Play – only performed every 10 years

Map

Destinations

TOUR INCLUDES

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Travel with
like-minded people

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Christian
Tour Leaders

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Option of land
only package

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Option of upgrading
to single room

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Meals

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Sights and entry
fees listed

OUR PRICING

Pricing

Category Description Twin PP Single
Tour Only Based on 40 passengers $5,899.00 $7,158.00**
Full tour including airfare from Australia Estimate (accurate pricing from July 2019) $8,225.00# $9,477.00#**
Upgrade to outside cabin on cruise $325.00 $520.00

Inclusions
Exclusions
Departure Date Booking
02 May 2020 BOOK NOW

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