Wash a in an am

Be pre­pared to be car­peted when you visit this cos­mopoli­tan Turk­ish city, writes Mike O’con­nor

Sunday Mail - Travel/Escape - - NEWS -

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

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