A Travellerspoint blog

The Turkish bath

sunny 37 °C

Having never been to a bathhouse I didn't really know what to expect. We were pretty dirty from the succession of dust, seawater, and cold showers, so it seemed like a plan. Here it is in a nutshell:

- arrive, strip into shorts (it was a co-ed bathhouse, I think the rules are a bit different in the regular type
- sauna for 15min or so. It wasn't a dry sauna, so dumping water on the coals is legitimate and encouraged (unlike past dry saunas I've been where certain patrons would do the same, announcing "steam steam steam!" or holding flowerpots while breaking the heating mechanism)
- go to the bathing room. It's all marble, with water taps around the edges and a raised circle in the middle, maybe 20ft wide, with maybe 5 people lying down around the perimeter
- lie down in that circle area when called (well when pointed at). The guy scrubs, exfoliating the skin
- go to the taps, the guy takes a bowl, fills it with water and pours it to rinse a few times
- lie back down, different guy pours soap bubbles through a mesh bag onto entire body then scrubs and rinses.
- have a glass of tea, change, leave.

All in all it was nice, and not too different from what I expected based on the posters for the movie the Turkish Bath that came out a few years ago...
back home there would have been something odd about being entirely covered in soap suds the scrubbed clean by a man, but when in Rome do as the Romans...

Posted by chrisvasil 07:20 Archived in Turkey Tagged tourist_sites

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