Wash a in an am
Be prepared to be carpeted when you visit this cosmopolitan Turkish city, writes Mike O’connor
NAKED, save for the distressingly small towel wrapped around my waist, I lay on the marble slab and gazed at the light streaming through the domed ceiling as the sweat rolled off me in rivers.
This was a real Turkish bath – in Turkey. The Cemberlitas hamam, built in 1584. A minute’s walk from Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar. The large Turkish gentleman confronting me knew but two words of English – ‘‘ sit’’ and ‘‘ lie’’.
I did as ordered and he soaped my body with a sponge, doused me with warm water and then pummelled and kneadedme for 30 minutes, before handing me over to a colleague who massaged me with hands of steel. The
MANY CHARMS: The skyline of Istanbul and (right) the city’s markets offer some spicy selections. Main picture: Thinkstock