Skip to main content


The wife and I just landed in Athens for an 11-day excursion in Greece.

Getting here was a bit of a fiasco. We were forced to travel in coach because our first class wait list never cleared. Our fellow passengers "in back" was the surliest crew I've ever witnessed on an aircraft. Half were a slew of elderly Americans on some sort of group tour, the other half were old Greeks returning to Athens. These crotchety, LOUD old Greek men kept us awake the entire time with their non-stop shouting and gesticulating, obnoxious dumping of garbage into the aisles, pestering the stewardesses for two meals, etc. They really were the worst.

Once we landed though it was smooth sailing. I love the run-down, rustic and dirty charm of Athens and am so relieved it is not some grotesque Disney front. The city and its people have a grit that is real and authentic. We can see the Acropolis from our balcony window, lit up at night in all its 3,000-year-old glory. The ruins are amazing ... it reminds me of Rome but smaller. Tonight we roamed the winding back streets of the Plaka district, sitting outside sipping Greek coffees at outdoor cafes and me discreetly eyeing the swarthy, dark-haired boys passing by. The weather is perfect but not too hot. Tomorrow we hit the National Gardens and the |Archeological Museum, and plan on popping some Xanex while enjoying the Temple of Nike.
Last edited {1}
Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest


Our friend Lauren Pine is babysitting our fag child at her white trash country shack in Woodstock. As fate would have it she was a one-time Method go-go cast member at Jackie ... not sure what her House of Domination club moniker was. Parting with him was sweet sorrow. I handed off Napoleon's toys, treats and food to Lauren as he got in the car with her on Second Avenue and quickly had to flee before I started full-out balling. I'm such a cookoo dog daddy. Today she emailed to say he was sleeping on her porch and watching for horses.

We have noticed a number of stray dogs here in Athens -- heartbreaking. We tried giving them some of our dinner rolls but they shied away. Probably they are fearful after being constantly chased and beaten. Later we passed a pet store with a baby English bulldog in the window. The poor thing was neurotic from living its short life in a window looking at people he couldn't touch. Of course you can't buy into puppy mills ... it only creates demand and keeps such pet stores in business. But my heart really went out to the little tyke. I hope someone buys him and gives him love. I miss my baby.
keep well away from the awful Brits that flock there (my sister is one of them - she ran off with a waiter and now lives in Corfu, i think the worst isle too for German an Brit tourists). I bet Athens is a dream in a dirty kinda way....heh heh....
I can't believe how much u miss your babe.. i must be the Joan Crawford of parents when I am in JA i rather forget i even have a sprog!! But that often happens when one is running around the kingsized bed like a Benny Hill episode, its hard for one to gather ones thougths....
Have an oinkin good time and don't shout "Malaka!"
Today we visited the staggering monument that is the Acropolis. Along the way up we passed many quaint outdoor cafes along winding cobblestone paths that we will re-visit for dinner tonight. The Parthenon brought tears to my eyes, it was so overwhelming with its massive columns high atop the foothill of all foothills overlooking the entire city. What a feat of human ingenuity, determination and design. Mystical even ... I could feel the ghosts of humanity passing near me as we wandered around it snapping photos. The Porch of Caryatids was impressive as well, even with the yacking Italian family jockeying for photo-ops. Beyond the steep wall guarding the Parthenon was the Theatre of Herodes Atticus, still largely intact. Afterward we toured the Acropolis Museum, with its many many impressive wall reliefs and statues of haughty Greek women and warriors of ancient times.

Later we wandered to the Theatre of Dionysos which there is barely anything left of. Nearby was the Temple of Olympian Zeus, surrounded by sweet-smelling olive trees and tall cypress. I felt like a character from Julie Taymor's 'Titus' as I gazed up at the huge Corinthian columns against the cloudy sky. If the ruins of Rome devastated me, these ruins slayed me altogether.
Our campaign to feed the stray dogs of Athens went well. The extra bacon we swiped from our hotel's breakfast buffet was well received by several sleeping pooches at the Acropolis. I was careful not to get too close as I flung the bacon slabs at them, just in case they have rabies or something. But they were all so drowsy with sleep it didn't matter. One dog by the Acropolis ticket office was so inert I actually paused to watch for the rise-and-fall of its stomach for a moment to make sure it was still breathing (he was). My Good Animal Samiratan deed for the day.
A good number of the Greek women have somewhat hard, masculine faces and really paint on the makeup, including many of the older ones. I have to love it.

The hot young chicks of the city are working an Electroclash 80s kitsch look. Our waitress at the outdoor cafe we had lunch at wore denim short-shorts, a horizontal-striped Pat Benetar blouse with poufed sleeves, black leggings, and those suede foldover flat boots that all the girls featured in high school.
I can see now why I've never heard people rave about Athens the way they do about Rome, Paris, Berlin, London or New York. When you take away the ancient ruins and a few old neighborhoods near the Acropolis, you are left with largely an ugly city composed of plain and ugly box-like buildings. Lots and lots of them. I couldn't even date them with a specific era, there were just so many dingy white, beige and off-white buildings with no character whatsoever that I couldn't keep track. I've enjoyed every second I've been here, but I can see that once you've hit the ruins and a few key museums you've more or less done this town. Still, I enjoy the energy and hustle-bustle and industrial feel, so very much like our own gotham.

Tonight we hit the streets to seek out the queer bars before heading off to our island cruise tomorrow. We asked a queen in some mens underwear shop for tips on where to go.
Spent last night having dinner beneath the lit Acropolis, then tripped over drunk to the Gazi section of town where we hit several gay bars. They were lounges, one was called S-Cape and was all done up in palm trees and bamboo. Very Robin Byrd meets Vegas. We went to another small called Almodavar that reminded me of the old Wonder Bar space. Small, kitsch. The gay bars are located in this industrial section of town that was very cool, post-apocalyptic. A few good restaurants tucked in there as well.

I'm still recovering from the Acropolis. Staggering to think that it was an ancient ruin even in Shakespeare's time. Everyone here is very friendly and everybody speaks English.

Now, off to our cruise. Must remember to pick up a swimsuit. More later.
I finaly caught up on your travel blog Lex.

First of all, it sounds like you guys flew over there with some of my family. (My brother & family are there now too). Good description of some of my uncles.

And Napolean is staying with "Cupcake Domination", a legendary House Of Domination girl. She can be VERY strict at times.
Lucky Dog!!!!

And I agree, Athens is great for a couple of days but get the hell out to the islands!
You will gag at the beauty.

And as far as the women looking a little hard...
Remember, all of us Greek boys learned to shave from our aunts.
Last edited by daddy
Greetings from scenic Mykonos, where we are spending one evening. I would have posted sooner but internet access aboard the Perla is too outrageously expensive even for my extravagent tastes. So I waited until we got into port here before writing another entry.

It is not peak season yet so the scene has not really picked up yet here in the 'little Venice' section of Mykonos. Still, the white and blue adobe houses are gorge and the bay is quite lovely. This is an island I'd be interested in returning to during summer, when I'm told there's an amazing gay beach called Super Paradise.

This morning very early we were in Patmos, the so-called "holy island" of the Greek Isles due to the fact that John the Evangelist wrote his portion of the Bible there . It's also home to this amazing monastary where he spent some time. We toured that plus an interesting nearby grotto. To get to shore we had to disembark from the cruise ship in these tiny slip boats, which felt very adventurous as we stepped from the wobbly gangplank on the deck. We had just enough time to get up into the hills and see those sites plus the most captivating views of the hills, bay and islands imaginable. The seclusion of Patmos has attracted stars like David Bowie, Bruce Willis and Tom Hanks who have come here in the past for privacy and quiet.
We were not prepared for how much we'd miss our baby. This morning in Patmos while climbing the hill to the monastary we came upon the very first small dog we have seen in all of Greece. The little thing was exactly Napoleon's size and was eager for us to pet him, which we did. (he was not a stray, he lived in the little souvenir shop where we found him). I almost started balling right then and there. Luckily I had my sunglasses on. From now on I think small 4-day trips might be better for us than long 2-week trips. It's just too much.
Last edited by Luxury Lex
WEIGHING IN ON THE TRADE: Athens vs. Istanbul

The Turks are the clear winners, hands down, no competition. In all honesty I was underwhelmed by the men of Athens. Oh sure, there were some hotties and a number of others that one would call "do-able", but by and large I was not terribly impressed.

The Turkish men are another story entirely. Walking the streets of Istanbul, literally 2/3 of the men we passed were unbelievably, ridiculously HOT. And a good portion of the other 1/3 were at least fuckable if not beautiful. It was the only time during the trip thus far that I was seriously getting weak in the knees as my suppressed swinging bachelor-slut gene kicked me in the groin over and over and over. Prior to leaving New York I'd wondered how I would handle my first international trip abroad as a married man and Istanbul was the real test. My resolve to be a good boy won out, but it wasn't easy.
Meanwhile life aboard the Perla is a hoot!

Our favorite part of the ship is the casino. It is very small with one blackjack table, one roulette table, one poker table and about a dozen slot machines. There is of course a live piano player who plays at a white grand piano with gold trim. We've been holed up at the tables nearly every night with the same group of old Greek men who smoke themselves into oblivion as they toss 50- and 100-Euro bills across the table like salt. We've been lucky and have won every night. The dealers are Serbian with names like Dragana, Igor and Slavika. They love us because we tease them and tip very well. Slavika is the manager, she is very tough and hard when dealing and has a face that could cut glass.

Naturally the live shows are monuments in tackiness. Even the posters outside the showroom are hideous -- we love it! They put on these acts where the dancers (three girls, two queeny twinks) dance in sultan and genie outfits interposed with singers in sequined gowns belting out show tunes in different languages. The dancers seem tired at times because they have other roles on the ship too. Sometimes there is a magician who makes his female assistant levitate. It's genius.

The ship itself probably hasn't been renovated since 1965. You can almost feel like Pamela Sue Martin in The Poseidon Adventure.
While in Istanbul we went to a traditional Turkish bathhouse. It was one of the most refreshing, incredible experiences I've ever had and worth the price of the entire trip. Mind you this was NOT a gay bathhouse where everyone lays around having sex. This was the real deal in an old Byzantine-looking building with surly, fat and hairy Turk masseurs who knead your body like dough. It's unisex but the mens area is completely separated from the womens. You wear a towel the whole time and the masseurs do not wash your genitals (pity).

You start by coming into this huge communal sauna room where you lay on this giant heated marble slab in the center for a few minutes along with all the other customers. Then one of the gruff masseurs comes over and washes your body with these special mittens that exfoliate your skin. They put these giant sudsy things all over you and then throw buckets of warm water over you. Then comes the massage where they pull and rub and it's borderline abusive but really incredible and fucking hot. They also continue with your head and face at special washstands. All the while you can peek at the other customers getting their massages. At the end they swath you in towels. Afterward you cool off in a private room with a cot. When it's all done you feel like a million bucks. I would fly all the way back just to do it again.
The rest of our short stay in Istanbul was fascinating. We went to the Blue Mosque, outside of which there are Turks washing their feet in these stone sinks lined up all around the building. Afterward we roamed the Hippodrome, this lovely park between the Blue Mosque and the Saint Ayasofia, during one of the many prayer hours. We could hear the amplified sounds of the Islam singing and chanting echoing across the square. One building would sing, the other would respond, a whole call and response.
Turkey is a maxi-consumerist culture to the highest degree. As one roams the street you are constantly chased and heckled by these small-time vendors hawking trinkets, fake watches, carpets and other shit. They are very, very aggressive and try all kinds of tricks to engage your attention, such as asking what time it is or asking where you're from or if you've visited this site or that site -- anything to draw you in. Once they've got you in conversation it quickly turns into a hard sell to buy bullshit.

Also there are a number of extremely hot & well-dressed young Turkish men in suits who linger around the mosques promoting themselves as guides to any tourist who glances in their direction. Several even accused me of being rude because I didn't respond to their needling. We had to put on our tough New Yorker faces the whole time just to get through the day. A bit daunting at first, even for us.
Last edited by Luxury Lex
Upon arriving in Istanbul we were off the boat less than five minutes when we were shouted at and reeled in by this pretty, pretty boy offering us shoe shines. He was about 19 or 20. We made the mistake of giving him the time of day when asked, then he chased us down the street nearly two blocks trying to scam us on everything under the sun. Needless to say in my bachelorhood I would have propositioned this young Turk for sex instantly without a split second of hesitation. And probably gotten it. But I would not spoil my beloved's holiday for anything on Earth, so we moved on. The mercantile mania!
Last edited by Luxury Lex
Our other Turkish port of call was Izmir. The town itself was ugly and industrial, so we took a tour bus (something I almost never do) some two hours away to the town of Kusadasi to see the ancient Greco-Roman ruins of Ephesus. The second we arrived we were enthralled, it was really incredible. We saw the remains of the city brothel and the ornamental footprints in the marble that once signified a house of ill repute. There were communal commodes still there, basically ditches dug in the ground covered by a marble bench with a line of holes in it. The toilets were unisex. In colder months the wealthy would send their slaves to sit on the holes first to warm it for them. Also there was the ruin of a great colesseum where theatre productions were enacted and the remains of a great library. The grounds were pretty big but evidently only 10 percent of the ancient city has been excavated.
Our pleasure at seeing the Ephesus ruins however was blunted on the trip back to the boat. Our tour bus was diverted to some roadside leather outlet where we were herded and locked into a back area, made to sit through this hideous fashion show, then given the hard sell by a team of salespeople pushing coats. This little side trip was not mentioned anywhere in the tour literature nor the cruise director's orientation. Of course we marched right out without buying anything, as did most of the other tourists. But because we were in the middle of nowhere and basically at the mercy of our driver and tour guide, we were forced to sit there for nearly an hour while two women shopped for coats.

We were all set to complain upon returning to the ship until Slavika the casino manager told us that the cruise company has been fighting for years with the tour company over these unannounced sales pitches. But the Turkish powers that be have refused to budge, and the cruise company backs down because they need to offer the Turkish tours to remain competitive with other cruise lines. In both Turkey and Egypt it's the policy to not only condone such practices but encourage it.

Later we found out through shipboard gossip that one of the two women who bought coats and kept everyone on the bus waiting received the wrong coat and way overpaid. She discovered the deception too late (we had already left port) but the cruise people refused to get involved as they are not affiliated with the leather showroom. I felt sorry for her after that .... she was led to the trough and told to buy, then when she did she was ripped off.
Last edited by Luxury Lex
Mykonos is GORGEOUS. It's pre-season here, but still lovely. All white adobe houses with blue shutters and lots of winding pedestrian streets. I tried to buy my uncle a Cuban cigar but the shipments haven't arrived yet. We sat at a seaside cafe having fresh seafood and watched the sunset, so romantic and magical. I'd like to return during a warmer month.
Last edited by Luxury Lex
The last island we visited on the cruise was Santorini. In a way it's great that this destination was saved for last on the itinerary because the views are so spectacular and panoramic. The town is built into the side of a cliff of volcanic rock. The Perla was too big to pull up right into the bay, so we had to disembark by boat slip, just like in Patmos. I love that ... it feels like such an adventure. Once at the shore we took these speeding cable cars up to the top which was kind of thrilling. The town itself is divine, but the island is much bigger than we expected and there are whole other townships and regions (including some nice beaches) on the other side. We settled into a cliffside cafe and had drinks while enjoying the breathtaking view of the volcano and bay. It would be fun to rent a house or apartment here for a couple of weeks in the warmer season.

We walked down using the donkey trail! It's this huge zig-zagging trail of small stone steps. (The only way up to the top of the cliff is via cable car or on the back of a donkey. We didn't have the heart to use the donkeys -- felt sorry for them) Naturally the trail is covered in donkey shit. When deciding whether to take the cable car back down or walk, the boyfriend asked, "but what about the donkey shit?" to which I added "we can just step around it". That strategy lasted for about 5 steps -- there was just too much of it ground into the stones to avoid. But we went through it anyway .... it took us about half an hour to get all the way down to where the boat slips were at the shore. Along the way we passed a herd of donkeys. We were nervous about getting kicked as we had to squeeze behind some of them to get by, but we passed without incident.
Back in Athens for a final night before flying home. Now that the Easter holidays are over the city is decidedly more crowded and busy.

This time we walked through some neighborhoods and back streets that are quite lovely. It was good to see this prettier side of the city. Also nice to roam around without any agenda. Our hotel gave us a gorgeous room on the top floor with a gigantic flower-covered terrace and a better view of the Acropolis than we had on our previous two nights. We plan on a nice romantic dinner out then lounging on our terrace with good wine.

We read that the Greeks consider any consumer goods manufactured in their own country to be "not cool" or of inferior quality. As a result they rely heavily on imports. They are subsidized by the European Union, but it's really affected their economy. Athens has a burgeoning art scene but so far have turned out no major international art stars.
Lexxy your travelogues are always spectacular!
You ought to get a freelance job travelling for a living and writing places up. Esp. the sex angle! "I was seriously getting weak in the knees as my suppressed swinging bachelor-slut gene kicked me in the groin over and over and over".... hah! Think about it... just tell your boyfriend you have to "do research."

The visuals of you being swacked in the Turkish baths... how you saw the Acropolis... the path of donkey shit, etc. it's all so vivid. Thanks for taking us there.

Johanna Constantine was taken to Turkey by a friend for a 3-week tour a few years ago... they went first-class and helicoptered into all the different ruins. Apparetly there's NOBODY out at alot of these places. Tour buses don't make it there. There was some ancient city (forgot name) built into the side of a cliff, like the Anasazi out here in N.Mex. Check out helicopter tours the next time you go. (That side trip for leather coats must have been dreadful but reads hilarious!)

Lots of love... don't worry the puppy will be fine with Miss Lauren.
Last edited by S'tan
One of the best things about the trip was the cruise itself and the funny, sometimes odd cast of characters whose paths we crossed. The passenger list was international, but many were retired couples and widows from middle America. I'm embarrassed to admit I had to restrain myself from labeling people Bush supporters based on their regional dialects, hairstyles and fashion choices. (Even if they did vote for her, I give them credit for being open-minded enough to travel overseas at all -- many Americans never leave the U.S. and don't want to.) What was nice however was how well everyone got along. The serving of meals is coordinated so that strangers sit together over lunch, dinner and sometimes breakfast, though not always the same strangers. I know this arrangement sounds horrifying and on some cruises I'm sure it is. But we made out just fine, probably because this cruise featured a sightseeing itinerary rather than a beach-going one like so many of the Carribbean ships. So the various port excursions gave everyone common ground and experiences to share. Nevertheless it must have been obvious to everyone we dined with that we were a gay couple rather than just friends, and not once was an unkind look, gesture or word leveled at us.

Our favorites were Florence and Fran, two widows in their 70s traveling together. Fran, who used to spend summers in Atlantic City when her husband was still alive, gambled with us on several nights. Florence was great, she loved disco dancing and walked up every steep embankment, foothill and staircase the island trips had to offer, walking cane notwithstanding. A real trooper and full of life.

There was the JAP-py but very fun thirty-something girl from Boca traveling with her 70-ish mother. Both dressed very well in stylish cocktails dresses by night and bolero jackets by day. The mother was putty in our hands once my spouse told her she easily passed for 60.

And there was the chatty Grande Dame grandmother from Ohio traveling with her 16 y.o. granddaughter. We lunched with them one day when we were both disgustingly hungover from a night of gambling and binge drinking in the casino. The grandmother led conversation for the whole table (fortunately) with many lively stories of past foreign travels to tell and inquiries over what everyone was reading during our spare hours aboard the ship. She and I compared notes about Rome, and later we bumped into her on our flight back to NYC. She claimed to have lost her passport just before boarding the plane, then later found it amongst her things.

Patty & "Mickey" (as in the Disney mouse and the Toni Basil 80s hit). My spouse swore they were dykes, I wasn't sure. They were from California and had that hippy-ish Berkeley look that can be mistaken for gay but is really just granola. Who knows. They were latched through a teacher friend of theirs onto a traveling group of high school students from New Hampshire - four boys and ten girls. One of the boys, the only sophomore among three seniors, was a cute loner geek somewhat shunned by the other kids, so Peppermint Patty and Mickey took this boy under their wing and then starting hanging out with us.

The casino dealers I already mentioned. We would tease Igor about getting naked in Mykonos and he teased right back. Peppermint Patty and Mickey hated Slavika, the casino manager, because she wouldn't let their underage teen friend Cameron into the gambling area but said nothing when the 12-year-old daughter of one of the Greek gamblers showed up every night to check on her dad. Money talks.

Then there was the married queen and his (biological female) wife. You would have to be Helen Keller not to know this man was obviously gay. It hit you like a MAC truck. She was good-looking in a creepy closeted Republican way and worked Indiana Jones outfits and hats ... it was all we could do to keep a straight face (no pun intended). His wife was a completely sexless BLOB, a real hippo. I felt sorry for her as they consumed much alcohol, probably to substitute for the lack of a sex life. Fortunately they were seated at the far opposite side of our table, though when my beloved volunteered that I was writing a novel, the cow blurted out, "Really? Sounds great -- I'm such a drama queen!"

The doctor from Washington DC who ate two lunches every day (one onboard, one ashore) while his wife slept until 2 p.m. every day. He was a sweetheart though who encouraged me at Blackjack.

And so many others! The life of the crew is hard though. They work 7 days a week for 8 straight months, April through November. Then they have 4 months off. No wonder they have girlfriends/boyfriends in every port.
Last edited by Luxury Lex
The 2004 Olympics had a dramatic effect on Athens, the host city. Various municipal projects that languished for decades (mass transit upgrades, construction, clean-ups) were rapidly speeded up to be finished in time for the Games and the worldwide press at a cost of nearly 2 billion dollars. In the end the Olympics proved to be a sizeable financial loss for the country, and it will take 20+ years to pay back what was spent. The subject is still hotly debated among the Greeks. Athens city dwellers support the genetrification gamble, arguing that the investment put Athens back on the map as a tourist destination with other European capitals, a goal the country has wanted for years. The rest of Greece resents it, calling it a huge waste of money that only benefits the people of Athens.

A sad sidebar to the whole issue is the plight of the city's stray dogs and cats. According to another dog parent I saw this morning at the park, the stray animals are treated as rats by the Athenians, and prior to the 2004 Olympics the problem was widespread and out of control. The municipal government distributed poison to kill off many of the strays to prevent the international media from honing in on it.
Meanwhile our much-anticipated reunion with Napoleon went off well. The three of us were ecstatic to be reunited. Our baby looks thinner than usual but otherwise in good spirits. Perhaps I'll bake him some Tater Tots this afternoon. His boot camp Mistress-Nanny Cupcake Domination left us a 4-page note about all the new commands she taught him.

We went out early for our usual Sunday morning walk and we saw some of his doggie friends at the dog run including Olive, Alma, Chester and Chula. He's slightly out of sorts, as am I. But there's no place like home.

Napoleon's Daddy.

Add Reply

Link copied to your clipboard.