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H - 201 : Saint Paul's Voyage to Rome

Now that the "Dragonfly" is booked and the Sailing Book written, it is time to start the travel blog again. Over the next three years, we will follow the route Apostle Saint Paul took to Rome in 59 AD. He was to be tried by the Emperor for bringing gentiles into the Temple of Jerusalem and causing public nuisance. As a Roman citizen, he had the right to be tried in the Empire's capital.

Sailing on the Dragonfly in Greece in 2019

His journey is described with a good amount of details in the New Testaments in Acts 27:1 to 28.16. Saint Paul did not travel on a naval ship. Escorted by only a Centurion and a few soldiers, he boarded a commercial vessel in Caesarea, which was on the way to Myra in southern Anatolia. There, he changed ship and boarded a grain freighter from Alexandria which brought wheat from Egypt to Rome.

Saint Paul travelled on an ancient trade route together with hundreds of other vessels. The route dates back to the Bronze Age, when Cyprus was the main supplier of copper in the Middle East. Ships used the thermal wind system to sail to the north and west and returned using the westerly winds along the North African coast.

This year's blog will cover the Mediterranean wind system, the ago of copper, how the first metal changed the course of human history, the trade that linked India and China to the Mediterranean, the importance of Egypt to the Roman and later the Ottoman Empire, the spread of writing along the ancient trading routes and many more subjects. The list of topics counts already 41 entries. Am sure there will be more.

Our planned journey starting this year and ending in 2026 in Rome

Given the war in Gaza, we will not be able to start this year's journey in Egypt or Israel. We chose Girne (Kyrenia) in North Cyprus as point of departure. Luckily, there are also copper mines in the Turkish half of Cyprus. Visiting these sites mined since 5'000 BC is an absolute must.

The 2024 trip will end in Bodrum. Next year, we plan to sail from Rhodes to the Peloponnese. In 2026, the trip takes us from Malta to Pozzuoli near Naples and then by bike on the Via Appia to Rome.

Am looking forward to the many comments I get from you on this blog. There are 201 days to go until we can set foot on the "Dragonfly".

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