Turkish Pilgrimage
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10 October to
 20 October 2011

$2590 p.p. / double occupancy 
11 Days 10 nights guided Pilgrimage in Turkey.  

Follow along the ancient 
footsteps of St. Paul with us!


Pilgrim's Guides
Rev. Keith E.O. Homstad
(retired ELCA pastor)

Rev. Dr. Gilbert Friend-Jones
(if schedule permits)

Dates / Contact Person / Costs/ Details

Hagia Sophia by night
Hagia Sophia at night

2011 Pilgrimage to Turkey
- 10 to 21 October 2011 - 
Explore Where St. Paul himself Walked!

$2,590 per person double occupancy 
This tour begins and ends in Istanbul, Turkey.  
Click on TRAVEL DETAILS below to see what else is in the package!

Travel Agency:  Magical Steps Dialogue & Cultural Tours
Kitas Adalioglu Sitesi D Blok No: 6/1
09400 Kusadasi / Aydin / Turkey

phone: +90-265-612-5005

Come and be a modern Pilgrim!

This will be our badge ...

We’ll journey along ancient pilgrim’s routes by coach, air, and a couple of short hikes, as we take a walk of faith, and experience a form of “active prayer”, i.e. "pilgrimage".  
Meet in Istanbul, Monday, 10 Oct 2011, 
Depart Istanbul, Friday, 21 Oct 2011

This is YOUR Invitation!  

Experienced pastor as your guide.

COME - Join us!
— and experience a 1st century pilgrimage with 21st century comforts! .  

Pr. Keith E.O. Homstad, will be your guide on your pilgrimage.  He is an ordained retired ELCA Lutheran pastor, as well as an Oblate of St. Benedict affiliated with St. John's Abbey, Collegeville, Minnesota.  

To see the TRAVEL DETAILS  of this Pilgrim's Tour, click on the words.






Aziyade Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey

Pre departure Pilgrims are more than just ordinary tourists—they have a goal they wish to reach, geographical and spiritual.  
Our ancestors undertook long, arduous, and dangerous pilgrimages to come to the shrines of the original churches founded by St. Paul.  You are invited to explore some of the reasoning behind that, as well as set the stage for your own interior pilgrimage.  

A good place to start is by reading the parts of the New Testament attributed to St. Paul in a good study Bible, such as the Harper-Collins NRSV Study Bible, or the Zondervan NIV Study Bible.  Both of these lavishly illustrated Bibles are readily available from Barnes & Noble or Amazon.  They are well worth their modest cost.


INITIAL GATHERING in ISTANBUL,  Monday 10 October 2011 –  Arrive in the biggest city in modern Turkey.  We will be welcomed and relax at our hotel.  
Aziyade Hotel
Piyerloti Cad. No: 62 34490
Gedikpasa Sultanahmet
telephone  +90 212 638 22 00 (pbx)

Note:  You are invited to consider flying from Chicago direct to Istanbul via Turkish Airlines.  If pilgrims book as a block of tickets we will get the best prices!  There is a daily flight departing Chicago at 22:20.  Contact Rev. Homstad by email for further details.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011.  We will have an extensive tour of Istanbul.  It is the only city located in two continents and was the capital city of three empires - Roman, Byzantine & Ottoman.  Our first visit will be to the legendary Hagia Sophia.  Built 1,500 years ago as the first cathedral of the world by the Emperor Justinian.  It is considered the largest and last construction of the Roman Empire.

Following this we will visit the famous Blue Mosque.  After lunch we will have some free time to explore one of the oldest shopping malls in the world, the Grand Bazaar.
In the afternoon, we will visit the Chora Museum (formerly a church) which with its array of frescos is one of the most beautiful examples of Byzantine art in the world.  Overnight in Istanbul.

The Blue Mosque

Main Gate, Topkapi Palace
Wednesday, 12 October 2011.  In the morning we will have a Bosphorus cruise tour and we will see the beauty of Istanbul.  Next, we will visit the Topkapi Palace where the Ottoman Sultans once ruled the Empire.  

After lunch, we're off to the Underground Cistern and have some free time in the famous Spice Bazaar.  Then, it's a short trip to visit Halki Orthodox Seminary on Heybeliada Island in Istanbul, and perhaps visit with some of the seminarians and join in their prayers.  Overnight in Istanbul.
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Mor Gabriel Monastery
Founded in 397 AD

Thursday, 13 October 2011 We take an early morning flight from Istanbul to Mardin, one of the most beautiful and cities in the world.  We will explore in Mardin and Midyat in the Deyr'ul Zafaran and Mor Gabriel Monasteries (Syrian, Assyrian, Nestorian and Aramean Orthodox traditions).  Overnight in Mardin.
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The "beehive houses" of Harran

 Friday, 14 October 2011 Leaving Mardin, we travel by coach to Urfa (Sanliurfa).  Walking about in the city we will see Abraham's birth place  and the Bazaar.  Then, we go to the Biblical city of Harran, where we'll see the famous Harran "beehive houses", and the ruins of the first Islamic University.  Harran is the place where Abraham and his children spent seven years before leaving for the land of Canaan.  Overnight in Urfa.

Hotel El-Ruha
+90 414 215 44 11

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The Roman road into ancient Antioch

The Church of St. Peter, Antioch

Saturday, 15 October 2011 -  We depart Urfa and arrive in Antakya (Antioch) passing Coa Plateau, which is mentioned in the Hebrew Bible.  On the way to Antakya we will have time to stop at the Euphrates River and catch a glimpse of the rare bald ibis birds.  We'll visit St. Peter's Church, one of the most important churches mentioned in Acts.  It was the first established Christian church in Europe.  Paul and Barnabas were commissioned here.  We will visit the famous church in Samandag, the starting point for the apostles on their missionary journeys.  Overnight in Antaky.

Büyük Antakya
Atatürk Caddesi No:8
Antakya / Hatay / Turkey
+90 326 213 58 58 (pbx)

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Ancient Agora of Smyrna (modern Izmir)

 Sunday, 16 October 2011 -  At noon we fly to the Aegean coast to the city of Izmir.  After just an hour drive we will be in the famous cruise ship harbour of Kusadasi.  Overnight in Kusadasi.

Charisma Hotel
Akyar Mevkii No:5
Kusadasi / Aydin / Turkey
+90 256 618 3266

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House of the Virgin Mary, Ephesus

Monday, 17 October 2011We're on to the ancient city of Ephesus.  The Roman ruins here are spectacular!  The temples of Hadrian, Trajan and Domitian, the huge Roman baths, the famous Celcus Library and the biggest amphitheater in Turkey.  The chief goddess of ancient Ephesus was Artemis (Diana) and the Ephesians dedicated the largest ancient temple ever built to her - the Artemision.  It was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.  

We'll visit the Basilica of St. John which was a great basilica built by the Emperor Justinian in the sixth century.  It stands over the original burial site of St. John the Apostle and Evangelist.  

We'll also visit the Seven Sleepers Cave and the House of the Virgin Mary.  Overnight in Kusadasi.  
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The Sema of the Whirling Dervishes

Tuesday, 18 October 2011 (the traditional Memorial of St. Luke, Apostle) - Early flight from Izmir to Kayseri (Caesarea) in Cappadocia.  We will drive through the Soganli Valley to see the dream like landscape of the area.  At the Goreme Open Air Museum we will explore cave monasteries and churches with the most beautiful frescos and icons, and also learn more abou the iconoclastic controversy.  

After dinner we'll watch the whirling dervishes peform a Sema (Prayer Ceremony) from the Sufi tradition of Islam, dating from the 13th century A.D.  Overnight in Cappadocia

Yusuf Yigit Cave Hotel
Yunak Mahallesi
Tevfik Fikret Cad 34
Urgup 50400 / Cappadocia / Turkey
+90 384 341 89 96
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Uçhisar Hill and Castle, Cappadocia's highest point, near Nevşehir

  Wednesday, 19 October 2011 -  Before breakfast we have an opportunity to take a hot air balloon ride and have an unforgettable view of Cappadoccia (cost not included).  

Later on we will see Uchisar, Urgup, Avanos, Zelve and one of the famous underground cities where Christians lived and hid during persecutions.  In the evening we will fly back to Istanbul.  Overnight in Istanbul
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Grand Bazaar, Istanbul
Kapalı Çarşı

Thursday, 20 October 2011 - An easy day as we transfer to the Istanbul Airport for our flights home.
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 $2590 per person double occupancy 


Please check back often, or send an email to Rev. Homstad.  / Top of page/

Meet in Istanbul, Sunday, 10 October 2011, 
Depart from Istanbul, Thursday 20 October 2011.

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This Is A Suggested travel itinerary 
Subject to change - can be modified for any reason without prior notice required.  


Rev. Keith E.O. Homstad       507-645-5111
311 Manitou St.
Northfield, MN 55057     keithhomstad@charter.net

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(C) 2009-2011 by Keith Homstad, all rights reserved.