A scrub at a Turkish hamam

I am not alright with nudity. To start with I do not have a flattering figure and next it is shunned in my culture. My mother would have a fit! Yet a scrub at the old Turkish hamam of cerbiltas was on the cards. A pamphlet we had picked up from the tourist office at Sultanhmet claimed it was an experience “Not to be missed”. The back side of the folded pamphlet announced that here we would get a disposable briefs and a bath mitt. The glossy paper and the catchy font made is seem like a luxury. And the tourists that we were fell for it immediately.

I was told by a Turkish friend that traditionally mother in laws invited the daughter in law to be to the hamam. There under the pretext of a good scrub the mother would check out the bride to be, ensure that she was well endowed and would make her son happy and bless her household with many sons.

After paying for our scrubs, the lady at the counter handed us our disposable briefs and bath mitts. Without the glossy paper and catchy font the briefs and mitts failed to evoke a sense of luxury.

We changed out of our clothes and wrapped ourselves in a rather large towel which the hamam provided and consciously walked into the scrub room.

The scrub room was a semi dark room ( what a relief!) with a marble slab in the middle surrounded with water taps and fountains. Underneath the slab of marble there was hot water being circulated. There were women in different states of nudeness everywhere. Some of them lay back on the slab relaxing. Some of them were enjoying a good scrub by middle aged well endowed semi nude women with black lingerie. While others were enjoying a swim in the pool at the far corner adjacent to the jacuzzi.

We choose to follow the women relaxing on the slab. We lay back with the towel over us. I strategically tilted and tightened my body to fit under the towel. Just when I managed succeeded in my efforts, one of the scrubbing women came over, yanked off my towel and poured a large mug of water over me. My scrub had officially begun.

She scrubbed so hard that the layer of tan on my skin peeled right off. I began to relax and enjoy the scrub.

When she reached my stomach, she gently tapped my bulging tummy and winked and asked “Baby?”. My face reddened.  Gosh I didn’t think all that eating was actually showing; I mean my jeans still fit!

Three things you must do in Cappadocia

Off the places I have been to, Cappadocia is my favorite place. The people are so friendly and the place as such is fantastic. By rule I do not plan a trip to the same place twice. But I will make an exception for Capadocia in a heart beat.

 

Here a three things you must do and why:

 

1. Hot air balloon over Cappadoccia:

This is hands down the best way to Cappadocia. The sun rising amidst a tens of colorful balloons floating in the sky is a surreal sight. Even though my sister and I were on a budget trip we could not pass up an opportunity to do this. Yes it did leave a dent in our pockets but that is one dent I will never regret. When booking a company book for one that takes only a maximum of about 16 people.  The ones with 20+ people will be cheaper but after paying a good 100+ euro you will not want to be fighting for your space in the balloon.

2. Go off roading:

Oh! These machines are mean. The undulating valleys will  make this so fun. A sunset ride to the love valley will be totally worth it on these machines.

 

3. Walk, walk and walk

There are a lot of marked walking trails in Cappadocia. The pigeon valley walk is a popular one. You will walk through orchards with ripe fruit ( depending on the season) , past rocks shaped in the most uncanny manner. We walked a whole day here and absolutely loved it. Oh and it’s perfectly safe for solo travelers.