Spa – Turkish Style

While recently in Istanbul, I made a point to visit a local Hamam, or Turkish bath. We decided to go to the Cemberlitas Hamam. It is a little more touristy, but still offered the traditional service of a scrub and oil massage. This hamam was built in 1584 by famed Turkish architect Sinan. It has identical separate spaces for men and woman.

After paying, Ray and I went our separate ways to  the gender specific locker rooms. Once there, women who pretty much only speak Turkish directed me to a locker room where I was given a new pair of black underwear and a cotton towel. I put on the underwear and wrapped the towel around me. I was then led into the main room that had a huge round marble platform where I was instructed to lie down. It didn’t feel as hot as a sauna, but I soon started so perspire. There were other women around me in the same room. Eventually a Turkish woman came in and dumped a bucket of water on me. She then used a special scrubber and scrubbed my whole body. After that, she took a cloth that was shaped like a bag and filled it with air and soapy water. She squeezed the bag and warm suds flowed all over me. It felt great. She washed me up then sent me off to the room with two baths. I soaked for awhile then had my oil massage which was more like a rub down. It softened my skin, but if I had the opportunity to do it again, I’d skip the oil massage.

Ray said his experience was pretty similar. I really enjoyed it. We had spend the entire day touring and after the Hamam, we felt refreshed and ready to have dinner and go out.

  • ravingmadscientists

    Tara….such a beautiful, interesting blog!!!! I look forward to reading more :) :) :) I love the theme and subject – something that affects us all. This is Ann by the way :) :) Check out my blog if you have a chance!!!! Hope you guys had a wonderful time overseas! :)

    • methodwellness

      Hi Ann! I’ll definitely check out your blog… thanks for stopping by Method Wellness :)

  • ravingmadscientists

    I will make a habit out of it, lol. Hitting the old 3-0 definitely has me thinking that I need to take health and fitness more seriously, or um, haha, just plain serious.