It was different this time in many ways, a new place to visit and experience. While walking around historical places we started to long for Christmas traditions and ended up in a hamami, a Turkish bath.
First, you chose what you wanted from the hamami, just sauna, scrub or massage or a mixture of these. We chose all three.Men and women went to different sides, me and my daughter were guided to our private dressing room. We left our clothes and belongings there, put on the linen towel and wooden slippers, and locked the door.
We were then guided to a huge steam room, where it is easy to breathe, they asked us to sit down on some marble steps and started watering ourselves with a small pail for a while. Then a body builder looking female came and asked us to lay down on a huge marble table in the middle of the steam room. Towel off, the scrubbing started, she did her job very well; everything was washed well with a rough linen cloth and soap, hair was shampooed, skulls were massaged and even ears were washed, which was surprising. Then it was time for the massages; they were very different, but nice.
We felt very relaxed and clean, the atmosphere was nice and quiet, and you could tell that those stone and marble walls had seen a lot. Then we went back to our dressing room and took our time to enjoy the moment and relax. Afterwards, we drank some freshly pressed pomegranate juice; it was perfect and a very good start to our Christmas Eve.
If you go to Istanbul, you have to have this kind of experience. There are hundreds of hamami’s there, but I highly recommend the one we visited: www.cagalogluhamami.com.tr
Author and pictures: Anne