Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Experiencing a Turkish Hammam....

You know how the saying goes when in Rome do as the Romans do....the same applies for Turkey or any other International City that you are visiting in fact....well, that's my opinion only!!!

I had the heads up from many friends that when you visit Turkey, you MUST have a Turkish Hammam....okay, sounds good...whatever.

My Husband and I had planned to do the Hammam experience  together, but then he was a little unsure and after a relaxing afternoon lounging, swimmimg and playing by the stunning Agean Sea in the pretty coastal resort town of Kusadasi, the girls and I decided to visit the Hammam together.

We booked in for an hour visit and it was a great Turkish experience. The custom of bathing dates from prehistoric ages. In early times , bathing in a Hammam was not only for cleanliness but also a social activity and a religious ritual. Public baths achieved their most elaborate form during the Roman Empire, when bathrooms were incorporated into the Palaces and urban house's of many ancient civilisations.

In a Turkish Hammam there are either two separate sections for each of the sexes or different days and scheduled appointments can be booked for men and women. When we first entered the Hammam we were sent into the changing area, but as we had been poolside all  afternoon, there wasn't much changing involved and we were each given a pestemel , which is a piece of striped cotton cloth. This is usually wrapped around the midriff and tucked into place, but as us girls had no intention of stripping down , we wrapped this over our bathers.

The next step of the Hammam is being placed face down on a heated marble stone, that was, oh so  nice and warm, this is situated in the middle of the room, whilst marble sinks and taps surround the room. Once your skin has started to soften from the heat the hammam attendant will start rubbing your body with a special glove called a kese. We were amazed at the tiny black pieces that was rubbed off our body, we thought it was dirt, but it is in fact the top layer of your dead skin, a short massage was next followed..... by wait for it...a soapy rub down.....now if you ask me, we were covered in literally the worlds largest bubbles you have ever seen in your life, left to rest and then during the process, we were washed with water, which decresease's in temperature in order to close your skin's pores.

Now, I will say that this was a relaxing experiencing, and I really enjoyed it, for me it was ticklish at times and I couldn't stop giggling but I would also liken it to being scrubbed down by my Mum, they even washed our hair, so were were sparkling clean by the time we left the Hammam, ready to hit the nightlfe of Kusadasi.

My husband caved at the end of our trip and indulged in a Hammam in Istanbul, which in his words ' I was a little hesitant at the start, but it was very relaxing and I'm so glad that I did it!!!

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