Due to this being a bathing experience there were no photos allowed in the bathing rooms. Be happy, the room wasn’t full of 6’4 male beach volleyball players and swim suit models. Nothing special to see. 🙂
Before we begin, just a little insight as to what a Traditional Turkish Bath is.. A traditional Turkish bath is a place where you come, sit in hot sauna and release all the toxins. After a man or woman depending on your sex rubs you down with a rough brush follower by bathing you head to toe like you’re a baby. After this you go for a massage if you decide to, etc. Its an experience that will make even the most confident individuals (including my self) a little bit uncomfortable at some point.
Stage 1: The introduction.
So I walking into this Turkish bath without an appointment and was instantly welcomed. Was shown my way to a changing room and after being told I was supposed to brings swim suit (the website said come as you are) they gave me a itty bitty towel (loin clothe) to wrap myself with.
Stage Two: The wet sauna:
After changing my bath attendant who didn’t speak any English walked me to the sauna. Of course I was in the men’s sauna and the women go to the women’s. Well.. Unless you come on a date, then the women can join the men. Of course that happened so the lady who was extremely embarrassed joined us and we shared great conversation until my time to bath. (They spoke zero English and I spoke no Hungarian)
Stage 3: The bathing station.
You walk into the second station where a rather large soaking wet man is standing in nothing but a soaking wet towel, a sponge in hand with welcoming hands asking to come to him. You sit down at this sink next to him and he starts splashing you with cold water and then begins scrubbing you from head to toe.
Of course none of this is done in private. There are women and men in the same room watching the experience happen. Including when he grabs your leg, putting it on his thigh exposing the family jewels to anyone that would like a sneak peak…
After the scrub you are bathed with soap and then told to lay on a hot marble slab where the large man soaps and suds you up again while giving the full force of his body into the scrub a dub dub.
After the scrub and everything else you are loaded up with towels… A simple towel turban as well as a shoulder wrap and fresh new loin clothe for the massage.
Stage 4: The massage.
Once again you’re directed to walk up steep flights of stairs and climb onto a piece of board covered with sheets. The extemely small loin cloth barely covers the jewels as you receive the oil massage that isn’t deep enough to do anything, but not light enough to make it feel as if they did nothing.
After your 40 minute ehhhhh kind of massage you are directed to change and the experience is over!
Over all it’s something you HAVE to do in Turkey. You have to let go and be comfortable. It’s been part of their culture for thousands of years! The hamami I went to has been there since the 1453 so you are being bathed in history! I have got to say, the last time I was bathed by an individual was my mom when I was 1, but this was just a phenomenal experience.