It is a privilege to spend time with friends in Antalya – right on the south Mediterranean coast of Turkey. (Incidentally, and quite interestingly, in Turkish, the Med is called ‘Akdeniz’ which means ‘the white sea’ in symmetry to ‘Karadeniz’ (The Black Sea) at the other end of the Bosphorus). And Antalya was of course the ancient port city of Attalia in the apostle Paul’s day.

This is how Luke describes Paul and Barnabas’s visit:

After going through Pisidia, they came into Pamphylia, and when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. From Attalia they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been committed to the grace of God for the work they had now completed. (Acts 14:24-26)

Wandering around down by the ancient harbour at dusk was very atmospheric – and it wasn’t hard to imagine Paul setting sail from this little port (not least because some of the city and harbour walls are still intact (just).
A cafe built into the old Ottoman city walls; then bizarrely enough, there was a recently rebuilt passage inside the walls, though we of course provided our own ghost (aka Beth!)
Then built into the original city wall (much repaired, jigged around with and patched up by Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans) is the old Emperor Hadrian’s Gate – built when he visited Attalia/Antalya in AD130. Yes, that was the same chap who built Hadrian’s Wall to ward off the uncivilised Scots…

Here are a few more pics from the visit (including a rather wonderfully disastrous (from my bank manager’s point of view) visit to a carpet salesman)…

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