A way has been found to help with the unwinding process ! I have just left a Hamam (Turkish Bath) and my faith in humanity has been restored. It has to be one of the most civilized experiences it is possible to partake in. I have just spent the last hour and a half being heated up, soaped up, splashed, cooled down, oiled, massaged, stretched, face-masked, massaged again and left for dead on a marble slab where I was left to come around in my own good time.
The Cemberlitas Baths were built in1584 were built by the wife of the Ottoman Sultan Selim II and have changed little since. There is still one side for men and another for women. When you arrive you are given a dressing room, a bit like a seaside cabin only there are 4 stories of them around a courtyard. You take your towel, change and then make your way to the hot bathing area. This area contains a large round heated marble platform where you lied down and begin to perspire. You then meet the first of your attendants who will give you a body scrub followed by a soap wash and massage. After which you will be doused with piping hot water. Following this you are taken to a cooler room and left for a few minutes lying down on a massage table. The next of the attendants arrived (with his mustache, they all had them) and started his massage and I can only describe it as by far the best massage I have ever had in my entire life. I have had massages in China, Thailand, Germany, Ireland and elsewhere but this one was truly miraculous. There were elements of Indian head massage, sports , Swedish and reflexology all rolled into one very physical massage. If you ever make it to this amazing city I cannot highly enough recommend this experience enough. If you need to unwind, distress or just waste a couple of hours this is the place. http://www.cemberlitashamami.com.tr