Even more happily, we awoke to this beautiful, peaceful island!
En route on our early church history tour with the group from Jackson Hole Classical Academy, we're here on Patmos because of John the Apostle, exiled to this island as a result of persecution by the Roman emperor, Domitian.
During that exile, it was here that John received revelation from God, and recorded it for us in what would become the last book of the Bible. Later in the day we headed to the very cave where it is said he received this revelation.
But first up on the agenda today? A hike up to a monastery!
Because I've not been here before, I had no idea what to expect on today's hike. Little did I know how steep and hot it would be, and how much water we would consume on our way up!
But the reward for the hike?? THIS VIEW!!
I had no idea how beautiful the island of Patmos is!
Turning around from that spot, I could see we still had a ways to go until reaching the monastery.
So off we went, enjoying every bit of this lovely scenery.
At one point we hit a road which made me think we'd take that the rest of the way up. But no! Still more hiking to do. Our guide said we COULD do the road, but the hike is so much more scenic!
And he was right.
As we neared the top, we came across these beautiful windmills.
Which gave us another spectacular view out over the island.
And a slightly humorous view 😉
|Do you see the monk talking on his cell phone?!|
Finally we reached the village of Chora where the monastery is located.
And I have to tell you right up front...I couldn't stop taking pictures in this idyllic village!
Around every corner was some type of winsome sight!
It just went on and on and on...and because I want to remember it all, I'm recording it here!
Our guide told us to keep our eyes out for open doors and gates, because he said there is more beauty behind them than what is even in the streets of the village.
He was right!
He said people don't leave the doors into their courtyards and homes open very often, so when he noticed the open door on the picture above, he told us to make sure and take a look. I'm glad he did!
But even the doors along the streets were enchanting!
Our local guide, Antonios, led us up to the monastery where we made it just in time to be able to go inside.
Because it's considered a holy place, the women put on long skirts and covered their arms with scarves in order to enter. Also, no pictures were allowed inside, so I only have the one above at the entrance, and the one below of the courtyard.
We were given free time to explore the village afterward, so Claire and I meandered through the streets soaking in all the loveliness of this timeless, picturesque place.
With just a few minutes left before our time to meet up with the rest of the group, we stopped into a shop for something to drink, only to find the best homemade chocolates! We knew Dave would appreciate them...and he did!
One of the girls on the trip found this wreath on the ground in the village and picked it up as she was walking...Claire took a turn at putting it on and looked like a Greek princess!
Oh how this little island has enchanted us with its spectacular beauties!
We then headed down from the village of Chora to the cave of the Apocalypse.
Again, not knowing what to expect, it surprised me when we came up to this building to see the cave.
Again, no pictures are allowed inside so I'm "borrowing a picture" from the internet to show you how the cave is enclosed in the building!
It is said that John made the cave his home during his exile, and dictated the revelation he received from God to his disciple Prohorus, which then led to the creation of the Book of the Apocalypse, or Revelation, the last book of the Bible. Of course at that time the cave was open to the elements! What an incredible time that must have been for him, hearing from God in such a profound way about the future.
Just outside of the cave we found a place to gather for Dave's teaching of the day: The Gospel and...can you guess? Our Future!
This was an amazing topic - and I can't do it justice by saying only a few words about it.
However I will say that he talked from Revelation 21 about five things that God will remove when His Kingdom is restored -- Satan, separation from God, sorrow, dissatisfaction and sin --, and four things that he will make new -- our bodies, heaven and earth, the holy city and adventures -- and how the best version of everything is still to come!
I couldn't stop thinking about these things as we headed back down into town.
And I think I'll be thinking about it for a long time to come, especially when I see beautiful things and remember...the best version is still to come!