Sunday, December 11, 2011


Biblical historians believe the Book of Revelation was revealed to John on the island of Patmos.  Situated not far from Turkey, it is one of the many Greek Isles that dot the Aegean Sea, east of the Greek mainland.  It is a relatively small island, and is much longer than wide.  The highest point of the island is crowned with an ancient monastery.
The harbor, used for centuries by fisherman, was too shallow for even the Pacific Princess, so we were tendered to land.  Our tour bus took us to the grotto where the Book of Revelation was revealed.  The is a shrine built on the location and looks like a small church.  After re-boarding the bus, we continued to the monastery.
The location was incredible.  But when it was built, it was also a fort, place strategically on the highest point, commanding a 360 view of the surrounding area.  Once inside it was a maze of hallways and courtyards.  The chapels contain icons from the middle ages.  On one of the upper levels is a museum with artifacts of the monastery, and many religious items.
We then explored the adjacent hilltop town.  They winding streets lined with white-washed houses was the idyllic Greek Isle.  The various owners painted the front doors individual colors, and bouganvilla draped over garden walls added additional color.  One of the stops was a private home that has been in the same family for centuries.  The owner was a charming older woman with family stories of Russian trips, European vacations and times past..
The final stop in Patmos before the required shopping was at a family owned tavern.  We had a delicious snack of local food and the staff did traditional dances.  The family across the table had met our dinner table mates.  The mother had been in a ladies restroom when E arrived.  She proceeded to enter and Out of Order stall and get locked in.  She did not pay any attention to the LARGE sign warning of difficulties.  So she is in the stall pounding on the door and screaming.  Does not surprise me.  The name derived for them was Special Gems of the Sea.
Back at the port, we wandered around the streets with various shops.  It was very quaint and the shop owners were not pushy, always a benefit.  Besides the tourist shops there were some small cafes that catered to the locals.  They were enjoying the sunshine with a small afternoon snack.  After a few little purchases, we boarded the tender to return to the Pacific Princess.

At dinner we discussed our day's adventure.  Since the island is small most of the excursions overlapped.  But the interesting event was that E tried to get on a different bus, she claimed hers had no a/c.  She had taken the bus as a shuttle, and not a tour, so she was asked to leave.  Then J revealed that back in town E got on a scooter with a man she had only met once and rode off for 45 minutes.  CRAZY

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