Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Neapolis > Philippi > Thessaloniki

HERE are some pics...
We drove through Kavala which was ancient Neapolis where Paul first landed in Macedonia. (Acts 16:11) There is a church there to commemorate the event--with actual stones from the first century! 
We next visited the location on the stream just west of Philippi which commemorates Lydia and her baptism (Acts 16:14-15), then headed to the ancient city itself. We were able to visit the area east of the agora (which had been closed in 2004) where the Octagonal Church is. Otherwise the rest of the site appears much the same as 7 years ago, though it looks like the theater (used for modern performances) has been fixed a bit. The main sites to see here are the bema in the forum (Acts 16:19-20), the Via Egnatia, and the 'traditional' prison of Paul and Silas.
Continuing on to Thessaloniki the road basically follows the old Via Egnatia (and that's what the highway is called still today). It passes by Amphipolis, but the new highway is now open on the north side of Lake Volvi, so you don't go through Appolonia any more. (Acts 17:1) 
As for Bible and tech... I brought my Droid X with me on the trip. I knew phone service was unavailable, but I have my Android Bibles on it, and it also has GPS. I had downloaded the free Endomondo app which is an exercise tracker type of app, but I used it as we were walking around the various sites. Once I got back in WiFi range, it pulled up the path on Google Maps and also uploads it to the web where it includes elevation, pace, etc. It comes in handy for quickly locating where we were and walking through the pics I took as I reviewed them and organized them. Here is how it works on the web--Lydia and Philippi--but you can also see the graphic below. In the upper left is the Lydia site, and then you can see how we took the bus to Philippi itself and then walked around the site.

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