Posted by: lucylastic | September 6, 2010

Holiday highlights – the Turkish Bath

One of the highlights of our recent Turkish holiday was a ‘genuine’ Turkish Bath ‘experience’, now surely, all experiences are genuine – even if they’re not authentic, but I am being a pedant again………. It was LH’s birthday while we were away, so what better way to celebrate than by being manhandled by a professional male masseuse, followed by a Turkish style barber shop experience which included hair cut, cut-throat razor shave, more massage and a dousing with cold water and cologne!!  LH wasn’t initially convinced, but we entered the Turkish bath, (or Hamam – meaning ‘heat) together – wearing our swimming togs, our ‘pestemal’, which is a piece of cloth made of cotton, to cover the body, used as a wrap.  We were also sporting a pair of very fetching (not) ‘nalins’ which are special wooden clogs, worn in the Turkish Bath, to prevent slipping. Finally, after 15 minutes of sweating and steaming, we were approached, (me first – aaaarrrgggh) by a man wearing a much flashier pestemal and with a ‘kese’ – a rough mitt for massage to take off the dead skin.  Dear reader, it was cringe-making, but strangely enjoyable.  First, you lie down on the slab in the middle of the room, (see above, that grey slab in the picture is the actual one we were massaged on), then the man approaches and starts to rub vigorously with his scrubby mitt – I felt like a (rather ticklish) new potato being prepared for the pot.  Then it’s a sluice down with some warm water – so far, so good.

Step 3 requires moving to the other side of the (very slippery) slab, where another man sloshes around what can only be described as an old looking pillow case in a bucket of soapy stuff.  Them he blows into it and waves it around a bit – trapping lots of air inside – along with lots of bubbles.  Then he squeezes this all over the body – it’s an amazing feeling – quite ‘squiggly making’, and I have to admit, if it was being administered by LH, I might have found it quite a turn-on, but the Turkish man was all business.  Out came the scrubby mitt again and the rub down re-commenced.

Suitably pummelled and buffed, another swish of water from shallow bowls that seem to contain far more water than looks possible – as one finds out when the freezing cold one comes along – I admit, I screamed – it was unexpected, and seemed to go on for a LONG time.  Quickly followed up by warmer water and lots of laughs from LH and other 2 sauna attendees who soon had to face the same thing.

Afterwards, fluffy towels and a couch to lie-on, with chilled cucumber water and Turkish tea – very refreshing……. I would recommend it, I glowed for hours and it did seem to help with the tan.  After that, off to the barber’s where I indulged in a pedicure while LH was shaved within a hair’s breadth of his life – he declared it the ‘best shave ever’, and his skin did feel very smooth – sadly, it doesn’t affect the re-growth, so the next day was back to normal.

More later……………



  1. Not sure if I would like it or not….certainly the afterwards part, but not the being slapped about by a strange man!

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