O!M!G! I cannot believe I just had a "REAL" Turkish bath, unlike what had been described by our guide. My friend, Carolyn, suggested we try a real Turkish bath...not a watered down one in the hotel. Steve said he'd also have one, so we found "Hamani" in the old part of town. In fact the Turkish bath was 600 yrs old in this same spot. I couldn't understand a word they said, but idicated I would like a woman to perform mine on me. They only had one woman on hand, and Carolyn went first so they said I could have one with my "husband". This did not happen! After we were led to the 'slabs' ( a lot of huge marble slabs in a big hot steamy room) we were instructed to lie down on a slab and sweat. All I had on was a smallish cotton cloth no bigger than one of my table runners. I was trying to keep all the vital body parts covered, which was harder than it seems. Plus, you are butt naked under the loin cloth. Plus, there were a few other Turkish men in the slab room. I was sitting on the edge with my back turned toward the men wondering what was next. After 15 min of sweating profusely, a gentleman walked in and motioned me to come stand by a big stone sink. He then poured hot and cold water on me..all over until I was soaked and the skimpy piece of material was clinging to whatever it could cling to. Then he took me into another room (without Steve) and motioned for me to lie on another slab of marble..ON MY BACK! Oh-oh, I thought...and I was right. He rips off the cloth! I am naked, and trying to cover all the "parts", with my hands! He relents and gives me the dripping cloth which is only slightly between my legs for a feeling of coverage. I have been more covered in the gynocologists room! I was massaged EVERYWHERE! ALOT.. First with a loofa, then with a stiff cloth, then a bunch of soap was put on me and I was turned over and over, all the while trying to clutch this stupid cloth with my legs. Forget the top half! He massaged it all! His hands were beating, smoothing, flailing, soothing...and then he started chanting in Arabic...I think. After 45 min of plumeling, and dosing water on me off and on..he pulls me up and stands me there and then washes my hair...hard...and a long head massage. Then HE wraps me in a dry cloth...not a towel., and wraps my head too, and motions me to leave. I wasn't sure what had just happened. Then, after 'resting' and getting 2 cups of Turkish tea, and some fruit and water, another guy comes out and gives you an oil massaqe. By then, I had lost all modesty and figured they do this all the time, and what the hay!. After you dress and 'rest' again, they bring lemon oil and massage your hands with it.
I am going to post a few pics. The one of me is "before" I was led away to the steam slabs...notice, I am smiling and haven't