An exotic experience

Turkish baths have always been an important part of Turkish culture. People spend enjoyable moments sweating or having a massage under the steam-filled domes. First, they undress and put on a pestemal (a piece of cloth that is wrapped around the waist) and nadin (wooden sandals) so as not to slip on the wet marble floor. They are given a copper basin and go into the sogukluk (cold room). From there they follow through a series of hot rooms to the hararet (central round room), with the Göbek Tasi (“belly stone”) and marble cold and hot water sinks.

The room, covered with a beautiful dome, fills with steam. After a good sweat, this is the perfect place to ask for a massage. The masseuses will give you a very strong one, with oil, as if they were trying to break your body, and follow it with an abrasive paste that peels away layers of dead skin. After what seems like a real struggle, you will need to rest in the steam bath, stretched out on the marble floor, before returning to the sogukluk, and finally to your own room. By then you will feel like a new person, with soft skin and a sensation of extreme relaxation.




Text: W ± Photo: W.