2012 m. rugpjūčio 18 d., šeštadienis

Turkish bath

What I love about my stay in Turkey is that each and every day I experience something new, sometimes even daunting. As I was feeling completely exhausted I decided to try out Turkish bath (hamam). How different it is?

Take a look. Firstly, you should know that in some hamams there are special days for men and women, whereas in the others women enjoy Turkish bath during the day, while men at night.

At the entrance you have to pay 6 TL (2.70 EUR) and leave your shoes. I didn’t like it because I had to wear slippers or sandshoes which didn’t look hygienic at all.

A Turkish bath is the variant of a steam bath, sauna or Russian bath, distinguished by a focus on water, as distinct from ambient steam. It is similar to ancient Greek bathing traditions.

Firstly, a person relaxes in a room known as the warm room which is heated by a continuous flow of hot, dry air allowing the bather to perspire freely. Bathers may then move to an even hotter room before splashing themselves with cold water. After performing a full body wash and trying sauna, receiving a scrub and massage, bathers finally retire to the cooling-room for a period of relaxation or just take a cold shower.

There are two most popular ways of taking Turkish bath. Firstly, traditional style for experiencing traditional Turkish bath which contains scrub made of kese (a rough mitt for massage) which will take care of every square inch of your body. Suddenly you realise how much dirt was on your body.

After this you will get 15 minutes massage and will feel relaxed and clean. After this or before an attendant washes you with hot water and you can try sauna which it is extremely hot. At the beginning I couldn‘t put even my foot there but after some time I got used to it and even managed to try this out. Furthermore, after scrub and massage you will get cold shower.

All these procedures cost 12 TL (5.4 EUR). But the prices in all cities are different, so at the beginning ask to be sure how much you have to pay. I tried this in Eskisehir, Hamamyolu street which is known for its numerous hamams. Also, you can try traditional hamams in a hotel if you are lucky to stay in a more luxurious and more clean, but of course more expensive hotel.

Second type of Turkish bath is based on self-service, meaning that you bathe yourself and bring your own soap, shampoo and towel (actually I offer to take all this stuff if you take traditional bath too). This is obviously the cheapest option and will cost you less, but I wouldn’t recommend this for your first visit, because where will be no wow factor.

What else you should know? Women wear underwear, but mostly no bra. Some young girls are disgusted by old women’s bodies, but I think it’s more common for not mature persons. Of course, if you do not feel comfortable, you don’t have to undress. Also, I suggest taking swimsuit instead of underwear. Do not wear any make-up. Just relax, don‘t be afraid and let yourself experience new sensations.

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