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Voyages to Antiquity, Edge Media Network

Voyages to Antiquity, Edge Media Network

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Published by roodeloo
Voyages to Antiquity feature for Edge Media Network's digital magazine.
Voyages to Antiquity feature for Edge Media Network's digital magazine.

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Published by: roodeloo on Jan 23, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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A VoyAge Like NoNe eLse
For the gay traveler who is more interested in the Gree gods than looing lie one,cruising on Voyages to Antiquity is lie riding the ocean waves with Poseidon at yourside. A single ship cruise line conceived and ounded by cruise ship innovator GerryHerrod, the MV Aegean Odyssey recently received a Mediterranean maeover with cabinsresized and recongured to accommodate an average o 350 passengers compared toits original 570. The ship served as home base or my 13-day adventure and providedthe perect bacdrop or discovering the history, art, and cultures o the ancient world.
Hi, ggah a  v hav v b m gi. B v I, h  ah b imm i a a 
(G ) ha mbig amg h bb a ahgia i,  m ii a hmb b hmhg, mi mi, a aa ba  m jm Ah  Iab. Vag  Aii, a b ii mmi  ig ai iviiai, a m h ivig h b a a bahaig via  hMiaa.
A   n  t  i   q  u  i  t  y 
 AA A  A   A  AA , A A, A  A
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A street Vendor In IstAnBul (pHoto: MAttHew wexler)
You won’t nd a 24-hour ice cream buet or sequined-studded cabaret lounge on board the Aegean Odyssey.Instead, you can grab a boo and settle into the library orcatch a pre-excursion lecture rom an Oxord-educatedexpert. That’s not to say the ship isn’t outtted withclassic cruising amenities. It is equipped with a spa,worout acility, outdoor pool and Jacuzzi, numerousbar and lounge areas, and two restaurants including anoutdoor terrace caé. The stewards and ood servicecrew exude a warm, inviting energy without missing asingle detail. Oshore excursions are accompanied bya bevy o young, enthusiastic Brits, whose exuberanceor ancient cultures made me regret dropping out oMythology 101 during my reshman year.
city of the VioLet crowN
The pre-cruise itinerary began with several days atthe Westin Astir Palace, a Luxury Collection Resort &Spa. While I was hoping to be in the city center withviews o the Acropolis and Parthenon, I was happyto unwind (sans tear gas and yogurt bombs) on theAthenian Riviera, Vouliagmen—just a hal an hour romAthens.The poet Pindar wrote o Athens: “City o light, withthe violet crown, beloved o the poets, thou art thebulwar o Greece.” It may have been a testament tothe iridescent sunsets refecting o o the surroundingmountains or perhaps the majesty o the greattemples. The Athens that I saw elt both ractured andbeautiul.With the gracious accompaniment o Greece’sInternational Gay & Lesbian Tourism Association(IGLTA) representative Orhideea Rosu, I got a taste owhat Athens has to oer and a perspective on how thecountry continues to struggle with a ailing economyand a nancial structure without oundation. We hitthe Gazi area two nights in a row and it was everythingyou might imagine. Hopping rom bar to bar, the menradiated sensuality, their perect olive complexions seto by blinding white teeth and reshly pressed pastelshirts. Having dinner with Orhideea at an outdoor caé
top to BottoM:1) tHe AeGeAn odyssey;2) lecture tHeAtre;3) deluxe BAlcony stAterooM;4) VtA stAff MeMBer(top tHree IMAGes courtesy of VoyAGes to AntIquIty,lAst IMAGe MAttHew wexler)
told a dierent story though, as she shared realconcerns about Greece’s economy. One wouldthin that rising taxes, an insurmountable debt,and a multi-billion dollar bailout pacage wouldweigh heavy on the Gree people, but a spirito survival and perpetual celebration seemed toprevail on the streets. That or we all had one toomany shots o ouzo.Visits to the stunning Acropolis Museum andNational Archaeology Museum were a poignantreminder that a powerul civilization had risen—and allen—on the very ground which I stood. Myadventure o land and sea had begun. 
the LioN’s gAte
Our rst port o call was the charming village oNauplia ollowed by a visit to the ancient ruins oMycenae. Wandering the sleepy streets there waslittle indication o the ractured economy—until westarted chatting with the locals. “We are the rstnation,” proclaimed our guide, “This crisis is not just Gree, it is a crisis o the European Union.”We sat down to a rustic lunch o
(smalldishes) at
Mezedopoleio O Noulis 
that includedherb salad, ritters, octopus, and assorted spreads.For 8 euro it seemed as i we had stumbled uponthe deal o the century, but as we chatted withthe tavern owner, we came to learn than animpending 23% ood tax might put him out obusiness. In spite o its charming storeronts andlocal vendors, Nauplia was a haunting remindero a country in economic despair.A short drive inland brought us to the ruins oMycenae, one o the major centers o Greecivilization rom approximately 1600 BC to 1100BC. The gateway to this UNESCO World HeritageSite is The Lion’s Gate, Europe’s oldest piece omonumental statuary. Ater a ew hours in theMediterranean sun and listening to the story oAgamemnon, the mythological ing o Mycenaewho was murdered by his wie’s lover ater
toMB of clyteMnestrA At MycenAe(pHoto: MAttHew wexler)
Mykonos At sunset(pHoto: MAttHew wexler)

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