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review: tarihi galatasaray hamami (turkish bath).

{the men's entrance}
my husband and i returned from a trip to turkey (bodrum and istanbul) earlier this week.  i'm still struggling to get on eastern standard time.  along with seeing relics from the ottoman empire, near the top of my "must do" list was visiting a turkish bathhouse.  i love trying out local beauty treatments, especially if they've been around for centuries.

we decided to visit tarihi galatasaray hamami while in istanbul.  a local friend said that this is the place his fiancee prefers for her treatment.  i was sometimes blown away by the sheer age of this country.  istanbul is steeped in history.  established in 1481, this local bathhouse is significantly older than the declaration of independence. 

before entering the building my husband and i went our separate ways. there's a front entrance for men (pictured above), and one around the corner for women.  the format of the turkish bath is steam in a sauna-like room for 20 minutes, full body exfoliation with mitt, rinse, soap up, rinse, and finish with a cold shower.  the service options range from self service to full service.  i went with the full service, because exfoliating one's own back is not my idea of a vacation. 

the combination of prolonged steaming and heavy-handed mitt use by my bath attendant peeled off layers of dead skin.  it was the deepest exfoliation of my life.  i shed my old skin!  then, came then part - the soap up was more of a foam up. the attendant creates massive foamy soap bubbles which she used for the "massage" portion.  i think many americans are disappointed because the massage is short and firm. it's important to keep in mind this isn't a massag treatment, it's more a guided bath

i left feeling both deeply clean and relaxed.  it as truly one of my favorite beauty experiences.  of note, little to no english is spoken by the attendants.  cost:  roughly $65/135 turkish lira.

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