Today was a real adventure! Rob and I got a late start this morning. Ten days in to the trip, we're at that second wave of "jetlag" that comes with feeling kind of gross and worn down from traveling. The cure? A visit to a Turkish Bath, or Hamam.
Tarihi Bardakci Hamam. This bathhouse has been in operation since 1749. It's quite unassuming from the outside.
Now, it's time for the soap. He makes a soapy mixture in an empty yogurt bucket and dips a small pillowcase into it. Fills the pillow case with air and squeezes to make a riot of tiny soap bubbles. They're so soft! It feels like a cashmere blanket when I'm buried about a foot under the suds. More scrubbing, this time with a rag. Careful attention to in-between the toes and armpits. Flipping over at this point is a dangerous maneuver since I'm so slippery. Sitting up on the slab, he shampoos my hair vigorously and washes behind my ears and in my nostrils. Rob reported later I looked more poodle than human at this point.
Buckets of warm water dumped over my head while sitting and then standing to rinse off all the soap. I'm done! Wrapped in a turkish towel and then a terrycloth towel, I'm sent out to the waiting area in while Rob goes next. I'm standing in the entrance more than a bit dazed at what just happened. A second Turkish man appears and we're off for the oil massage.
10 minutes later, I'm allowed to get up and change. I get a plastic bag for my wet bikini and the masseuse helps me take photos in the bath while Rob is on his mandated rest period.