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Published: November 15th 2008
The Pacific Princess sailed into the harbor of the small Greek island of Patmos under mostly sunny and pleasant skies. This was the first port where the ship did not dock and tenders were used to get into the small village of Scala, the commerce center for the island.
Patmos is a small island about 18 miles long and only has about 3,000 year round residents. During the summer months its population grows to about 10,000. It’s most famous feature is that it was the place where John the Evangelist was exiled by the Roman emperor in the year 90. John and his small enterouge lived in a cave overlooking the harbor, after apparently fighting with the local pagans in the area so they could stay and practice what was then called “The Way”, or what we now call Christianity.
In the cave, which we visited, it is said that John received visions which became the basis for the book of Revelations in the bible. About the year 93 John was allowed to leave the island and return to him home in Ephesus. He was probably about 95 years old at the time, and he passed away in Ephesus.
Our group visited the grotto sites and experienced the serene beauty of the location with its magnificent views of the Aegean sea.
We also toured a monastery which was built originally over a pagan temple dedicated to Art emus. The monastery was originally built in the 5th century by the Byzantines. Today it is home to 12 Greek Orthodox monks and a wonderful museum. In that museum are copies of the bible written in the 5th century. Also in the museum is an original painting done by the master El Greco in the 15th century. This painting of a troubled Jesus would be coveted by every major museum in the world, but it sits in a little museum on Patmos.
After visiting the museum the group walked through the small village surrounding the Monastery and visited a traditional home of a wealthy family from the 16th century when the island did very well with maritime trading. An 85 year old lady lives in the home and shares it with visitors. It was an impressive home with spacious rooms and interesting furnishings.
Most of our group spent the afternoon shopping in the small shops of Scala. A few had a lunch at local restaurants, The place has a laid back charm and we were blessed with nice 70 degree weather.
Tomorrow is the last port of call at the island of Santorini.
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