Snow And Steam in a Turkish Hammam (Bath house)

“When you stop doing things for fun you might as well be dead.”

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Myra and I spent one afternoon in a Turkish bath house (hammam) which was an interesting experience to say the least. After we walked in we were ushered into a room to change out of our clothes (except for our underwear) at which point we were escorted into the bath house, a large beautiful room with many different water taps all around. We spent thirty minutes or so dumping water upon ourselves before we were called in for our scrubbing. Though we assumed that the scrubbing would be relaxing, we quickly realized that it’s a bit more like grinding sandpaper all over your body as the point is to peel away all of your dead skin. After that they lathered us with soap and scrubbed us down again, this time, with a bit of a massage. The scrubbing and soaping took about twenty minutes each, after which time we were allowed to stay as long as we pleased in the bath house or sauna washing ourselves. Historians believe that the Ottoman Turks inherited the Roman bath concept (and architecture), and then adapted it to the Turkish taste, and throughout our trip, we have seen all kinds of hammams both new and old.

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