Chatting to my Danish friend Mikael this evening, he tells me he’s just been to Istanbul and went to a beautiful Hamam, called Kilic Ali Pasa Hamam with a friend of his. Now Hamam’s have been on my radar for a long time as they fit the communal bathing, relaxing scenario that I enjoy so much. Just like Onsens in Japan and Saunas in Germany. All of these forms of communal bathing stem from an era when houses didn’t have running water and private showers.
Mikael did say that the only person he saw completely nude was his mate as they were getting undressed as the typical Hamam way is to wear a little towel wrapped around you. From what he was saying the experience was exactly what you expected. There’s no sex going on and it really is just a way for men to relax and bathe, get a massage and a scrub then relax some more.
Turkey is a part of the world that I haven’t seriously contemplated visiting yet but it has an appeal. The more I travel the more I want to and experiencing local traditions like Hamam are high on my list. Of course, given it’s me we are talking about, the nudity aspect doesn’t exactly hurt.
I’d be curious to hear from any of you out there, my delightful readers, of any Hamam experiences you might have.