For almost 2,000 years, Christians have been following in the footsteps of saints, both figuratively and literally. Pilgrimages that were popular in the Middle Ages, such as those to Jerusalem, Rome, and Santiago de Compostela, have experienced a resurgence in recent years. Additionally, new routes retracing the steps of figures from the Bible, such as Abraham (Abraham Path; abrahampath.org/), Paul (St. Paul Trail; cultureroutesinturkey.com/st-paul-train/), and even Jesus (Jesus Trail; jesustrail.com) have sprung up around the Mediterranean. My new personal favorite, though, is one that you likely do not know.
Nestled on the Troad Peninsula in western Turkey are the remains of a Roman road that once connected the port cities of Alexandria Troas and Assos, which I have lovingly dubbed “the Assos Way.” It’s a road that’s significant not only for its antiquity but also for one of its most famous pedestrians—the apostle Paul.
According to Acts 20, as Paul made his way down from Macedonia to Jerusalem, he stopped to visit Christians along the Anatolian coast, starting with those in Alexandria Troas. After spending a week there, Paul did something a little unusual. Rather than traveling with his companions by boat around the Troad Peninsula, he instead walked to Assos and rendezvoused with them there.