Turkey Day 3: Scrubbing dead skins off in Turkish hamam

Friday, January 02, 2015

First rainy day in Turkey, but we refused to stay indoors for as long as possible. Collars up, hoods and/or scarves on, we braved the wet all over the city. We visited a grand hotel where Agatha Christie once stayed. We saw a black and white travel photos exhibition. 
Then, as dusk fell, we retreated to a local hamam. Hamams are public bath houses, with separate entrances for men and women. In the changing room we shed our wet clothes and very wet socks and shoes. Stripped to nothing but our knickers, we proceeded to the actual baths. Except there are no baths, in reality. The outer edges of the rectangular room are dotted with small basin and taps for hot and cold waters. Sitting next to your basin/well, you splash your body for ten to fifteen minutes with you small hand bucket. Not having our own exfoliating gloves, we had our body scrubbed and peeled by the large local woman in the centre of the room. L and L thought the experience rather rough on their sensitive European skin. I, having had previous experiences in Asia, thought the lady's work quite half heartedly done. In any case, parting with rolls of dead skin from our tired bodies felt good, and our new skins felt soft to the touch. We were satisfied, until it was time to put our soaked clothes back on our backs to the outside world. 

    One week in Turkey:

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