Noodles and Beef

Hotel Butts: Istanbul

Big pup and I only had one day in Istanbul and spent every minute power touring the bustling city.  Got back to the hotel, exhausted, had to be awake in four hours for our flight home, but decided to draw a bath.

Completely forgot I had taken this.  I was so tired when I did this shot.  It was on the spare memory card.

After 14-hours of flying, I’m finally home.

Was greeted by my pups waiting eagerly at the door for me, and after an emotional reunion we tumbled into bed for a few hours of “cuddling.”

This is the Basilica Cistern…a massive underground water storage system built by the Romans 2,000 years ago.

It was really stunning…my photos don’t do this place justice.

Istanbul, continued…

One of my favourite parts was the Egyptian Market.  Its this sprawling, massive bazaar of spice traders and chachki merchants.  I loved it.

Readers of Noodles and Beef will know that I’m obsessed with bath house culture.  Natural, man-made, hot springs, spiritual cleansing, sulfur, salt water, fresh water, gay, spas, you name it, I’ve probably bathed in it.

The tradition of the public bath has spread around the world since the Neolithic Era, adapting to evolving cultures and social norms with differing customs and etiquette for each destination.  I’ve had the pleasure of experiencing ritualistic bathing with Japanese onsen, Russian banya, Native American sweat lodge, Olmec Kiva…and now that I was in Instanbul, I could finally enjoy an authentic Turkish hammam.

Ayasofya Hürrem Sultan Hamamı is a historic turkish bath that had originally opened in the 16th-century.  Entering the wood and marble building was like stepping back in time.

The entire marble complex is heated by convection currents under the tile and between the walls.  Steam is produced by boiling hot water that gushes from the faucets, overflowing the marble water basins, and spilling onto the floor.

We sat in the steam, started a second basin of water that wasn’t boiling hot so we could bath in the steam room.

Halfway through our bath, the attendants brought us blackberry juice and snacks to eat while we took breaks from the steam.

Incredible.  I was so happy.

Ah, Istanbul.

Our shipped docked around 6am and we were quickly ushered off into a city that was described to us as “full of civil unrest and an ISIS target.”

I felt pretty safe in Istanbul.  The city was comparable to Hong Kong or a dirtier San Francisco; gorgeous buildings, bustling markets, and horrible traffic.

We only had one day in Istanbul, so we hit the famous Sultan Ahmed Mosque (aka, the Blue Mosque) first.

I was asked to cover my legs upon entry into the tourist section of the mosque.  They provided very striking skirts for men, and garbage bags for women to cover any identifiable features.

Final day of cruise: Disco Tea Dance

Usually White Party closes the cruise, but with our changed itinerary, the Disco Tea Dance was the last party.

I forgot to pack my metallic silver swim trunks…so I wore my singlet.  Thats not very 70s, but nobody seemed to care.  Great music, perfect closing party to our cruise.

Last day of the cruise.

After an ISIS attack, our overnight in Istanbul was canceled and we were given an extra day at sea.  This was a much welcome change to our itinerary.

Finally got to do all the things we had been unable to do because of our crazy packed schedules of sightseeing, eating, and partying.

  1. Ate breakfast in the main dining hall for a change.
  2. Went tanning on the grass field
  3. Played bingo with Dixie Longate
  4. Did the disco tea dance (more photos soon)
  5. Ate at the French Restaurant again
  6. Saw the drag performance (left after a couple songs, it was so-so)

Hotel Butts: Our cruise ship balcony room

Like my Asia Cruise, I booked a balcony room so we could enjoy a private view of the sea….and take photos naked.

My silhouette has been contrast corrected to keep this artsy instead of crass.

Nicknames for men on our cruise

  • The Silverback gorilla
  • The Eurobears
  • That handsy French bear couple
  • The bull and the bear
  • The Tattoo daddies
  • The Scruff Pit Crew (there was a group of five friends that were always dressed in coordinating outfits and had the same chiseled body type)
  • The hermit handler and his pup
  • The Greek God

Let’s talk about that last one really quick.

The Greek God was just as built as his nickname suggests.  He was 6′2″ and a 300lbs offseason bodybuilder.  Massive.

One night, during a party, I was dancing with big pup in my jockstrap.  We were about to head back for some sleep, so I did a quick bathroom run and returned to the dance floor for a final song.

I’m dancing, shaking my butt, when I feel a thick, muscular hand push deep into my ass and tap my hole.  Whoa, excuse me?  I pull away in disgust and turn to see…The Greek God.  He looks at me with a drunken grin and proceeds to sniff his hand.

I was not clean.  I was mortified but also felt vindicated.

He disappeared into the crowd.  I never saw him again.

White party. Top photo is when it started, bottom photo is 12 hours later when they moved it to one of the clubs below deck. Big party. I was in a weird place emotionally. Tried forcing myself to go, but ended up returning to my room and sleeping. Woke up at 7am to see if the after party might excite me, but the music was too hard at that point. Sigh.

French Restaurant on the ship was incredible. Lobster bisque, wild forest mushroom cappuccino, cheese something, lobster flambeé, French cheese course, and this dessert flight thing. So many desserts I don’t remember them all.