CuriousJockAZ's ATLANTIS Mediterannean Adventure -- PART 2

  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 20, 2010 6:54 AM GMT
    Hey Guys –

    Sorry it took me so long to get back to updating this, but it has been non-stop here on cruise ship Atlantis. Also, I’m not feeling so hot. I’ve had this nagging headache for 2 days now – and I never get headaches – so hopefully it goes away soon.

    Anyway, today was our only full day at sea with no port stops. I actually enjoy these days, as it’s a time to get some sun and really enjoy the ship and the views at the poolicon_wink.gif

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    Of course, once you get to the pool it’s nothing but guys, guys, and more guys from all over the world….

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    I met up with another Realtor from New York City…

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  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 20, 2010 6:55 AM GMT
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    Early in the afternoon was one of the many activities to entertain us and some guys take part in, and it’s all for fun. Today it was “PROJECT RUNWAY”, in which some of the guys design an outfit that gets judged by a panel of bitchy (and very funny) judges….

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    Unfortunately, I missed the first part because I went to have lunch in the Ocean View Café, but I caught the last two and the winner, who they dubbed “Lady Cock-Cock” icon_lol.gif….

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    Later in the afternoon, I ran into the Phoenix lesbian couple, already dressed for the upcoming “Disco” themed T-Dance starting in an hour, reminding me that I needed to go make a costume change and get ready.

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    The Disco T-Dance starts in half an hour and is suppose to be a hoot and quite colorful --- On a ship full of gay men, how could it not be?

    I’ll be back with a report and some pics.



    To Be Continued…

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2010 8:11 AM GMT
    CuriousJock, I'm loving reading your cruise diary, and all the pics!

    I also love your trunks, the ones that are navy blue with the light blue waistband - where did you get them? I want!

    Your tan is looking great too!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 20, 2010 8:12 AM GMT
    Hey Guys –

    Heading to Istanbul and recovering from 70’s themed “DISCO PARTY” – What a Hoot! Some of these guys really take their costumes seriously – and it’s a good thing, because it made for a fun, colorful, and hilarious party. Again, not everyone dresses up, others just do a little. It’s whatever you feel comfortable doing – and anything works. I donned a pair of cheesy white disco sunglasses and some tight white pants and I was good to go, while others take it quite a bit further as you will see.

    The party was kicked off by tour director, Malcolm, dressed in a blonde wig first for “It’s Raining Men”, then a long dark wig for Cher’s “Dark Lady”, backed up by some colorful dancers….

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    This got the party off to a roaring start, and it was non-stop C-R-A-Z-Y for the next 2 hours as the DJ put a 2010 spin on some of the classic 70’s dance hits of the disco era…

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    I’m not sure if the visuals quite get the full effect without the 70’s disco music playing, so you might want to put on an old Bee Gee’s CD for this. Here are some more of the images from “The Disco Party”…

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  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 20, 2010 8:19 AM GMT
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  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 20, 2010 8:23 AM GMT
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    Tonight is the 80’s Party on deck at 11pm which I am skipping. Sorry, the 70’s party is going to cause me to sleep through the 80’s.

    Tomorrow we are up early as we arrive at sunrise in Istanbul, Turkey.

    To Be Continued…


  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 20, 2010 8:40 AM GMT
    Hey Guys…

    Greetings from Istanbul….

    They encouraged us to be up to see the sunrise, so I was, and so glad I did – just breathtaking as the sun rises over the bridge that separates the European part of Istanbul from the Asian part. I believe, but don’t quote me on this, that Istanbul is the only city that is in two continents…

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    They have handed out all these flyers to each room warning us that it is RAMADAN here in Istanbul and we are not to wear any tank tops or shorts, we can’t eat or drink anything in front of the citizens, and that there is an increased terror alert and that we have to be very vigilant and make sure we don’t go anywhere near large crowds.

    Hmmmmm…should be interesting. If I survive Istanbul, I’ll get back to ya! icon_eek.gif

    To Be Continued…
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2010 10:26 AM GMT
    wow been reading your travel updates as you write them
    and living this cruise
    sounds like there is more going on then there is time in the day to experience it all
    looking forward to the next update
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2010 12:02 PM GMT
    The disco party looks like a blast. And the views of the pool are great (Note to self: I will never eat another carbohydrate, I will never eat another carbohydrate...).

    Looking forward to your pictures from Istanbul.

  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 20, 2010 12:11 PM GMT
    Todd, looks like you are having one heck of a time! Really got a kick out of your '70's party... and the ship and pool areas!

    Looking forward to more from Istanbul (Byzantium, Constantinople)... sooo much history. Try and get some pics from some of the oldest buildings.
    Really enjoying your updates and all the pics!

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  • Space_Cowboy_...

    Posts: 3738

    Aug 20, 2010 12:16 PM GMT
    Ooers looks like fun
  • ATLANTIS7

    Posts: 1213

    Aug 20, 2010 12:16 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ saidHey Guys…

    Greetings from Istanbul….

    They encouraged us to be up to see the sunrise, so I was, and so glad I did – just breathtaking as the sun rises over the bridge that separates the European part of Istanbul from the Asian part. I believe, but don’t quote me on this, that Istanbul is the only city that is in two continents…

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    They have handed out all these flyers to each room warning us that it is RAMADAN here in Istanbul and we are not to wear any tank tops or shorts, we can’t eat or drink anything in front of the citizens, and that there is an increased terror alert and that we have to be very vigilant and make sure we don’t go anywhere near large crowds.

    Hmmmmm…should be interesting. If I survive Istanbul, I’ll get back to ya! icon_eek.gif

    To Be Continued…
    Well yes Ramanad in on but many people in Istanbul do not fast many!

    You will see many mini skirts also at this time so Tank top? Tight shorts you will be fraowned upon of course but long shorts you will see the young guys wearing there also? Terror alert well maybe whenb you all get there that will be the only alert to watch ha ha ha have fun you will love Istanbul and many people eat during the fasting so you can eat and drink beer just off Istiklal Cad (street) and watch the candy and transvestites!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2010 3:33 PM GMT
    CuriousJockAZ said
    They have handed out all these flyers to each room warning us that it is RAMADAN here in Istanbul and we are not to wear any tank tops or shorts, we can’t eat or drink anything in front of the citizens


    Yikes. No shorts....Istanbul, summer? I am assuming restaurants are open? Otherwise, the timing seems unfortunate.

    But, wow, what pictures! Glad to see you got your camera issues taken care of.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2010 8:07 PM GMT
    Glad you got some great photos of yourself too. You're obviously very photogenic and not just plain lucky.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2010 9:36 PM GMT
    Having backpacked inland Turkey I had to post these unexpected images showing what you missed – the phallic geography of Cappadocia, the hot spring-fed Greek and Roman ruins of Hierapolis and the terraced cliffside mineral pools of Pamukkale. Then more Meteora than Mykonos, these days I'd pick a gay cruise, repurposed aussiebums and tonight's inevitable Turkish bath-themed party over exploring the hinterlands on nickels a day anytime. Btw, you rocked that laurel leaf crown, I hope you held onto it... icon_wink.gif

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  • HndsmKansan

    Posts: 16311

    Aug 20, 2010 10:05 PM GMT
    Well I'm sure Todd is having an amazing time and look forward to hearing the next installment.

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  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2010 10:44 PM GMT
    Hey Todd ----

    I'm still enjoying your posts, and I have no idea if you read my suggestion or not, but thank you for more pictures of yourself amongst the others you have posted.

    Seriously -- you look very good in those pictures and what a credit to our generation . You look better at 52, than a lot of people half our age.

    Hope you're enjoying yourself, because I am certainly enjoying the trip through your posts.

    Best wishes,
    Dusty
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 20, 2010 10:54 PM GMT
    Amazing... thanks sooo much for sharing! Looks like a great time!
  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 21, 2010 10:16 AM GMT
    Hey Guys –

    Checking in on Day 2 in Istanbul. We leave port sometime around 1pm. I got my fill of Istanbul yesterday. It is so hot here – somewhere near 95 I believe, but with the humidity it feels like an oven…far worse than anything I’ve felt on a hot summer day in Arizona’s dry heat. I’m not going too far from the pool today.

    My first taste of Istanbul was leaving the ship and boarding the shuttle bus. Apparently, due to the price of gas, they don’t believe in letting the bus idle and keeping the air on while waiting for the bus to fill up. As we waited…and waited…and waited for the bus to leave, everyone was sweating buckets. It was like a pressure cooker in that bus. HELP! I’m melting!!! Finally, we all started complaining and, begrudgingly, the bus driver made a call to the boss and got permission to start the bus. Sheeeesh!

    My first surprise with Istanbul is how HUGE it is. I had no idea it was the 5th biggest city in the world, or that it is has been the home of 13 successive civilizations spanning 10,000 years ---Wow! Another thing I noticed right away is all the cars – and there are LOTS of them – are all small. Not an SUV to be found anywhere. In fact, almost every car – even the police cars – seem to be a Fiat. The city is a mass of buildings – most old, many even ancient – and people, tons of people, everywhere. Many of the guys on the cruise signed up for specific excursions, but the shortest one was 5 1/2 hours, but most were 10 or 12 hours. Call me a “Bad Tourist” but I can just see so many mosques – sorry – and my A.D.D. would kick in at about Hour #2 of an 11 hour history lesson, so I opted to just skip the excursions, get off at what was dubbed as the “World Famous” not-to-be-missed “Grand Bazaar”, and find my way around from there. Here is what I saw in my day-long adventure into Istanbul…

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    The shuttle bus dropped everyone off near the Grand Bazaar, so that is where I headed first…

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  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 21, 2010 10:16 AM GMT
    Okay, again, call me a “Bad Tourist”, but my expectations were high regarding “The World famous, not to be missed” Grand Bazaar, but I found it corridor after corridor of junk…and MORE junk! Bad imitations of Rolex watches and Gucci luggage, and every 5 ft you’re stopped by someone peddling something you don’t want…and “NO, for the 50th time I do NOT want to buy one of your rugs!” -- They are aggressive, these carpet salesmen, and they follow you with “But it’s a the best quality in the world, come in side and see, I give you some Apple tea”. Ugh! JUNK!! Granted, many of the rugs are beautiful…if you like that sort of thing…I’m a “Bad Tourist” and I don’t, so it was annoying and became more so as the day wore on.

    As I exited the world’s largest Flea Market, I was approached by this seemingly young and harmless Turkish guy who offered to be a tour guide for free (was I THAT obvious that I was now lost?) so that he could practice his English….

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    Seemed innocent enough to me, and he didn’t look particularly dangerous or anything, so I said sure, take me to this “Blue Mosque” I’ve heard so much about. FIRST MISTAKE! He says, “It’s this way, we can stop buy after at my family’s store on the way and I will give you some “Apple Tea” -- Can you say “RED FLAG”? UGH! Anyway, off we went to the famous Blue Mosque.

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    It was actually quite nice having my own personal tour guide all of a sudden, because he took the time to give me a little history about Muslims. For instance, the reason Muslim women are not allowed to pray next to the men is that the men will be focused on the woman rather than their prayer. Also, there is a specific purpose for the carpet that is covering the floor of the sprawling mosque.. The pattern is in a triange of flowers, the hands go on the lower to flowers, and the head rests on the top flower during prayer...

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    Mohammad also explained why there are fountain like this all over the city. The Muslim men must wash there hands and face before prayer, so there are many of these sorts of areas all around the city, especially near the mosques, where you see men doing this…

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  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 21, 2010 10:17 AM GMT
    After leaving The Blue Mosque, the next thing I know I’m hustled into the family store…Oh NO, Mohammad, no carpets…PLEASE!

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    It was seconds before I’m introduced to the cousin, Abu, and I guess his wife who I was not introduced to but she was asked to get me a HOT “Apple Tea” – just what I needed in this sweltering heat – and he proceeded to try to sell me on everything in the store. I resisted…and resisted…and resisted..stopping short of practically blurting out “What part of I DON’T WANT A CARPET are you not getting?!?!”. Thirty minutes and $340 for 3 hand-pianted plates later (which they agreed to ship to Arizona), I finally escaped the family store and continued on my way…now lost…wondering how I was going to find my way back to that shuttle bus. Here is some more of what I saw along the way…

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    The traffic in Istanbul is nothing short of abysmal. Worse than anything I have ever seen in New York City or other large cities in America, It often-times moves at a snail’s pace. One thing they don’t do here, however, that you hear a lot of in New York City, is HONK. That is considered rude here.


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    The subway is modern, and seemingly jam-packed at all times…

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    This is something I didn’t expect to see in Istanbul…

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    But even in Istanbul, a STARBUCKS is never too far away…

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  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 21, 2010 10:17 AM GMT
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    When I would pass places like this, NOT eating around Muslim people during Ramadan was easy…

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    Yummy, and the food doesn’t look bad either…

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  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 21, 2010 10:18 AM GMT

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    The Muslims seem to like very American looking women, as that is all you see on the Billboards. Here is one shooting an ad on the sidewalk…

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  • CuriousJockAZ

    Posts: 19119

    Aug 21, 2010 10:19 AM GMT
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    Finally, I found my way back to the shuttle bus, and I was ready to get back on the ship. Seeing it in the distant was comforting…I was ready for a dip in the pool…and can you blame me…

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    Tonight is the eagerly anticipated Big Event – “The White Party” – everyone will be in white – it’s the final big bash of the cruise, and I don’t want to miss it. Tomorrow we head to the Greek Island of MYKONOS.


    To Be Continued…
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 21, 2010 10:31 AM GMT
    GOD FUCKING DAMNIT I COULD HAVE HAD SO MUCH SEX!!!!!!!