Today was a day of extremes. It was my turn to visit the Hamam, which I did with a certain amount of apprehension as I was on my own and having never been there before I was unsure of what was appropriate to wear. I left Eric and the kids in the buffet restaurant just beside the Cemberlitas Hamami and off I went.
Once inside I paid for a luxury Turkish bath and a hot oil massage. I was guided into the woman’s section by the girl on reception and was met by a lovely Muslim lady in a headscarf, light clothing and flip flops that showed me to my locker. She handed me a box, which contains a personal hand mitt, a light cotton wrap and a little gold bag that she opened which inside held a huge pair of black gym knickers. I could hear the group of Russian girls beside me laughing as they were in the process of stripping off and putting these on. One of them had the knickers pulled high in Borat style ……but she pulled them back down once she realized that everyone got the joke.
In through another door and my next guide was a large woman with black eyes and huge pendular breast’s, naked except for the standard issue black knickers. I could feel the heat of the hamam even from here and the merry chatter of women was in complete contrast to the insular way they are on the street. Here the women seemed liberated and there were no inhibitions. A real mix of very beautiful, fat, skinny and normal women paraded around and enjoyed their day of pampering without the watchful eye of the men. I spotted a number of boob jobs which I didn’t expect ….one Turkish lady on my left had a very large western style job done and the Iranian lady on my right had a more modest job but definitely done, I could see the discreet scars slightly more prominent on darker skin tones.
I lay on the large marble plinth with about 30 other women, all stretched out and either in the process of being bathed or waiting for their turn. I was patted on the shoulder by the lady who was going to look after me .We greeted each other with a smile, she didn’t speak English but that was not a problem. All I was expected to do was to lie there face down on the warm marble and relax.
Her uniform was a pair of lacy black knickers and a lacy black bra, it was too hot for anymore clothing once inside the hamam . All of the women who worked in the bathing room wore either black bras and knickers or just the knickers as their uniform.
She lathered me up and with the mitt that I gave her, got to work for about 10 minutes on my body before she asked me to turn over where she lathered and scrubbed up my front . After the scrub and before the lather was rinsed she applied gentle massage from my feet all the way up through to the top of my head. After rinsing me down she brought me over to the marble sink area and proceeded to gently wash my hair.
I could have sat there all day, you would think my session had come to an end but no , into the hot pool room was my next stage in this stunning ritual where I floated in 38 degree Celsius water. Blissed out and wishing we had something of this level at home I dried off and waited for my hot oil massage. It was a very busy time when I had arrived …just after 4pm so I had seven minutes wait for my turn. The massage room is basically 8 beds with 8 masseuses, when one bed comes free they prepare it for the next person and up you hop, face down and there you are with hot oil been poured over you while expert fingers tease away the ravages of stress. This is a proper massage; the maximus gluteus was not avoided like some of our more expensive and adult only day spas in Ireland. At all times the masseuse kept my body covered except the part she was working on so heat retained and a feeling of been wrapped was part of the experience.
With my head spinning and my few hours of pampering coming to an end, I showered, dried off and went to meet my family in the coffee shop down the road for some coffee and pastries ….what a perfect day .