This trip was some 12 years ago. All may have changed since; but this seemed appropriate for Christmas Day.
We go by the rickety little souvenir stand—nothing there to pause for except a few dusty postcards and a sorry figurine or two—and pass under one of the ancient arches of the church. Walls which once sheltered newly Christian worshippers now gape wide, admitting light, yes, but rain too, and weeds. Water lies inches deep over the faded mosaics on the floor. Dimly seen above us, a procession of saints circles a crumbling dome. The loving hands that painted it are themselves dust these many centuries. We approach a broken tomb, thinking of the fragile bones we had seen in the nearby museum. Tradition has it that they once lay in this tomb, and are the remains of the Bishop of this church.
He must be too busy to see to its maintenance: for this is Myra, and he was St. Nicholas.