The Footsteps of Paul Educational Tour
The Footsteps of Paul Educational Tour takes delegates on a visit to several European and Middle Eastern countries, following the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul. Sites on the Tour vary from the holy to the ancient, and the trip is resplendent with many vistas which take the delegate back in time in their minds eye.
The various countries visited by the Tour are listed below, with important information about each country.
Population: There are 62 million inhabitants of Turkey. Major cities include Istanbul (10 million), the capital city of Ankara (3.6 million), Izmir (3.0 million), Konya (1.9 million), and Bursa (1.9 million).
Government: The Turkish republic is based on a secular, democratic, parliamentary system. The Council of ministers, headed by the Prime Minister, governs the nation along with a popularly elected Grand National Assembly. All citizens gain the right to vote at the age of 18.
Religion: The population is 99% Moslem. Turkey is a secular state and recognizes freedom of worship. It is the only country in the world in which mosques, churches and synagogues have coexisted peacefully for centuries.
Time Zone: Seven hours ahead of US Eastern Standard Time
Cuisine: Turkish food is plentiful, delicious and prepared with fresh-from-the garden ingredients. A meal usually begins with a soup or several of the many traditional meze (hor d’oeuvres) followed by a fish or meat dish such as “shish kebab” or a mixed grill served with rice and cooked vegetables. Dessert may be fresh fruit, sweets or a pastry such as a “baklava”.
Money Exchanging & Monetary System: The national monetary unit is the Turkish lira (TL). The coinage is in 10,000, 25,000,50,000 and 100,000 lira pieces. Bank notes are of 100,000, 250,000, 500,000, 1,000,000, 5,000,000 and 10,000,000 liras. The exchange rates for foreign currencies are published daily. The most widely accepted credit cards are American Express, Eurocard, Diner’s Club, Visa and MasterCard.
Tap Water: Turkey practices safe sanitation standards, as tap water is suitable for bathing and regular tasks such as brushing teeth and so forth. However, as is customary in most Mediterranean countries, the majority of locals and visitors drink bottled water or consume other beverages. Some foreign guests may complain that tap water appears cloudy because of the high-chlorine content (useful in ensuring a safe drinking supply). We recommend that visitors practice local customs and drink bottled water, which is almost always served routinely with any meal. Furthermore, drinking the very popular Turkish coffee adds another unique experience to one’s visit.
Clothing: Light, cotton summer clothing and cardigans for evening that is casual and comfortable is recommended. Jeans are acceptable. Hats (with visors) and sunglasses are recommended. Black Sea, Central and Eastern Anatolia: Summer wear, warmer clothing should be taken for cool evenings at high altitudes. Comfortable shoes are necessary for visiting archeological and historical sites. Headscarves should be brought by women for visiting mosques: Arms and legs should be covered by both men and women.
Electricity: 220 volts A.C. throughout Turkey. Voltage is clearly marked on all hotel outlets. Your appliances will need a converter, as well as an International Plug. We recommend that you pack one together with your electrical appliance, so that you do not have to spend valuable time looking for adapters and transformers during your stay. Some of the finer hotels abroad have converters. Ask the hotel staff for assistance.
Population: The population in Greece is 10, 939, 771 according to the 2001 census. Major cities include: 3,192,606 in Athens, 788,551 in Thessaloniki, and 191,508 in Patra. More than 4 million Greeks are estimated to live abroad, including 2 million in America.
Government: Legislative powers are exercised by a single Chamber Parliament (the “Vouli”) and executive powers are vested in the Government and the President. The Prime Minister, whose Government must enjoy the confidence of the Parliament, has extensive powers. The judiciary is independent. Civil, political and human rights are constitutionally guaranteed. General elections for the 300 parliamentary seats are held every four years. The President of the Republic is elected by the members of Parliament for a five-year term, renewable only once.
Religion: Eastern Orthodox Christian or Ultra Catholic
Time Zone: Greek time is two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, an hour ahead of Central European Time and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time. Along with the rest of continental Europe, the clock is advanced one hour during summer -from the end of March to the end of September- almost a month earlier than the UK, the US and Canada. Therefore keep in mind that the time difference with these countries is one hour greater for some weeks in April and October.
If you want to find out what is the exact time call 141 (recorded message in Greek).
Cuisine: Traditional Greek food has home cooked old world flavor- excellent yogurt, feta cheeses, and olives, fresh baked breads, stuffed peppers, lamb, and other grilled and roasted meats such as chicken and pork. Don’t forget the Baklava for dessert!
Credit Cards: All major Credit Cards as well as Euro-cheques are recognized and accepted in most hotels, shops, travel and car rental agencies and restaurants. Stickers in the front windows will advise you as to which cards are acceptable.
Traveler’s Checks: issued by all the major companies are widely recognized. You can cash your traveler’s cheques in all Greek and foreign banks, exchange bureaus and big hotels, but do not forget to have your passport with you. Identification is necessary for the transaction.
Tap Water: You should feel perfectly safe to eat and drink everything and the tap water is safe.
Health Services: The health services are good and you will be able to find an English-speaking doctor easily.
Weather: The general condition of the weather in the Greek seas usually stabilizes in early summer, and is characterized by bright sunshine and very little rainfall. However, from April to October, the winds vary significantly from area to area, in terms of direction, strength and duration
Clothing: You are expected to dress in a respectable manner when visiting churches and monasteries: long trousers for men, sleeved dresses and no miniskirts for women.
Electricity: The standard in Greece is 220V AC (50Hz). Appliances from North America require a transformer and British ones an adaptor. We recommend that you pack one together with your electrical appliance, so that you do not have to spend valuable time looking for adaptors and transformers during your stay.
Tipping: A service charge of 15% is included on most tourist hotel and restaurant bills, but an additional 10% above the service charge is appreciated. For taxis, an approximated 10% tip is suggested. Refer to your group member terms and conditions for guidelines since they vary.