Monday 19 April 2010
Our second hammam experience. Turkish baths may not quite compare to my awesome Taiwanese spa, but they're pretty good. This one was mixed gender, requiring swim suits, but usually they're separate and you just go in your underwear. (Though never naked, it seems. Too bad.) A hammam is a big marble room ringed by a bench with basins set into it, and full of warm stone beds. The steam works its way out through a hole at the top of the dome overhead.
First you clean yourself off with a metal bowl and the water from the basins. Then sit and relax for a bit in the hot, steamy air. (We went to one in Bursa that had wonderfully deep hot pools of spring water, too.) When you feel sufficiently softened, it's time for a full-body scrub, followed by a thorough soapy massage.
Here we are cooling down and drying off afterwards, with a cup of apple tea and some fruit.