Hello people! It’s 11pm and I’m just about ready for bed, but I thought I would talk to you first!
Easy day today, no museums or monuments for the most part. It was a bit cool so I opted to skip the boat tour this morning, that I was originally thinking of doing and went for a walk. I checked out the tour bus, but decided against that too… took a walk to grab some lunch and had a terrific chicken meal at a nice little spot up the road. Have I mentioned that I love the food here yet? In case I haven’t – I do.
No rain today, which was nice, but it was pretty grey and a bit cool. More walking around, a bit of chilling at the hostel, bugging Shauna (who found it weird not to be poked while watching Royal Pains – my work is done), and watching a bit of TV finally led me to the decision that I should try a turkish bath before I leave Turkey. I got a brochure for it on my first day, I read a bunch of reviews to try to decide if it was a good idea, I got a recommendation by the hostel, and they had a shuttle to pick me up and drop me off… so I went for it.
As the title implies, there is no rubber ducky in this particular bath.
It was a successful venture, with no real negative events surrounding it, though I was pretty nervous going in. Let me start by saying the building was beautiful and very well maintained. I got off the shuttle, only a few minutes away and went up to the front desk where I paid (60 lira) and was promptly pointed to a change room. It was implied that I should change into a towel and some bathing shoes… took me a few seconds to understand the implication, but I got it, and changed. The room had a lock and key hanging on the outside, so I took the key with me (I had read this part in the reviews), and was pointed to a door.
A guy took me by the arm and brought me into the room. It was a pretty big room with huge marble slab in the middle (you could probably fit 6 or 7 people on it comfortably), three rooms on the opposite side, and two corner sections that branch off the main room which contained large bowls of water with taps. There were a couple of guys in there already, one getting a massage on the marble slab and one getting washed down on the side.
The guy pointed at the first door and said “steam”, then the second door and said “sauna”, then the third door and made a swimming motion. Then he pointed at all three in succession again and said “then massage”. So my understanding was I should take a steam, then a sauna, then go for a swim, then have a massage.
So I did that… I went in the steam room, which was quite steamy (duh). It was actually pretty good for my throat, I stayed in there for about 5 minutes before I decided it was time to move on. Next was the sauna, similarly good, and lasted about 5 minutes in there. The pool was next – it was warm, not hot, and in a really cool room that looked like a cave. I was a little unsure as to the process here, since I was wearing a towel… as I pondered this, some guy stuck his head in the door and said “massage” in a firm voice that made me think he was going to give me one, so I was able to shelve my dilemma and return to the main room.
He pointed me over to the side area, sat me down beside the water bowl (like sat me down – pushed down), then he pushed me forward and started splashing water on me. As the water was relatively warm, it was a bit of a shock to the system, but not altogether unpleasant. After I was thoroughly wet (I had showered before this, btw), he took out a sponge sort of thing… though I’m not sure if that’s the best description, maybe a scrubber or something? Anyway he started scrubbing me down with it – which felt terrific on my back! After being pushed back and forth as necessary, I was again pushed forward and doused with water again, this time with soap added to it.
Now the soap was kind of strange because I think it was from a bag of some sort, only the bag is rubbed all over you – and it’s a big bag. It felt nice, just odd.
I was sufficiently sudded up, at which point I was shampooed and my hair was also washed. Guess I won’t need a shower tonight. After all that water was again splashed on me, and then he pointed to the marble slab.
He set down a water pack, which I assumed was meant for my head, so I kind of asked if I should lie down on my belly but he shook his head so I lied down on my back. This is the massage part. He started by moving around my arms across my chest and then pressing down pretty hard, resulting in cracking noises. Then he brought out the soap thing and soaped me up again. Which felt pretty cool while lying down. At this point I got a head massage, neck massage, foot massage, leg massage (which felt weird, and slightly painful – he’s freakin’ strong!), and a bit of a belly rub – I felt like a cat.
At this point a grunt was issued and I took this as a direction to roll over, so I rolled over to lie on my belly. Back massage was as expected – crackly lol. My back cracked several times as he applied pressure everywhere, shoulders, etc, etc. Kept asking if it was good, which resulted in a grunt from me. Several times involuntarily. But it was quite pleasant. And probably necessary. This part probably took about 15 minutes, maybe longer – I kind of lost track of time.
After the massage I’m pretty sure I was again lathered up with soap, and motioned to go back to the thing of water and sit down. So I did. He then grabbed my head, rolled it around, and sharply cracked it to one side! So that was a bit sudden, and cracked quite a bit. But felt really good. He did it again for the other side, which didn’t work as well since I was expecting it, but still good. Then I got the water sprayed all over me again (more like dumped on me), a bit more shampoo, and voila!
He asked if it was good – I said yes. He pointed to the sauna, then to the pool. I said thanks, and that was that.
So I followed his advice, went to the sauna again and did another few minutes there, then I went back to my dilemma at the pool. I decided that it was pretty clear that I should not swim with a towel, and I have to say – the whole skinny dipping thing, feels pretty nice (apologies for the mental image, but hey – what did you expect? It’s a turkish bath!). Did that for a while, pretty happy that I was the only one there, got bored and decided to end the party.
As I was exiting I saw about 20 people lined up to come in, so I was pretty happy with my timing – didn’t have anyone else with me in any of the rooms, and only a couple other people on the slab, so it worked out quite well! I exited, started to walk back to my room but was pointed back… waited for a second, at which point I was thoroughly wrapped in two towels (don’t I look cool?), one around my head and one around my body. Looked kinda cool.
Returned to change room, changed, gave my guy a 10 lira tip (which seemed reasonable according to the review site) and that… was my turkish bath experience! So nothing bad or totally weird, I mean it was a little weird having the guy give you the massage on the slab, but… you kinda just go with it. When in Turkey? So overall a good experience, would recommend – though women be warned, according to the review sites apparently everyone walked around completely naked in the woman’s section (not a bad place to be…), but luckily everyone is more or less covered in the guys section (with the exception of the pool, apparently). So if you’re a little shy, this probably isn’t for you.
Anyway, caught the shuttle back to the hostel, dumped my stuff and went out in search of food, it being about 7pm now. I returned to the place I had lunch at my first day, I think it’s called the Cozy Pub or something like that. The name appealed to me, and they had really good food.
Ordered a bowl of spaghetti, which was wonderful, and met a very cool couple (from Wisconsin, as was pointed out in a comment from yesterdays entry lol) by the name of Jennifer and Pravin. So nice to meet them – time flew by as we chatted for about three hours! They’ve done a lot of traveling, and some other pretty amazing things with their lives, and were just generally such nice people to talk to. Really happy to have run into them – it’s was good look at how travel can impact people in such a positive way… so a bit reassuring as well lol. Overall, an awesome way to spend the night – so if you’re reading, thanks again! 🙂
Returned to the hostel, grabbed the laptop, wrote this thing, and then… well I guess we’ll find out when I’m done, but my prediction is that sleep will happen. Still got a bit of a sore throat for some irritating reason, so maybe a good sleep tonight will crush it.
And that’s the intresingness for today! I did take some more pics (besides me in a cool towel) which I will upload in the next couple days as well. Still need to book accommodation in Greece, but the flight is booked!
Goodbye, good day, good night, etc… zzzzZZZZZzzzzzzZZZZZZzzzz