we had a couple eventful days and didn’t get to post new stories, but we promise to deliver all of them in the next days – here’s our second day, enjoy!
We were really looking forward to our stop-over in Istanbul, as we didn’t plan to visit any tourist attractions and planned this as a pure relaxation stop. After all the stress at the airport and the miracle of Oslo, we were even more ready for some treatments. First of all we overslept breakfast in our hotel because our phones were showing the wrong local time but also because we really needed that extra hour of sleep. This lead us to a delicious small patisserie just around the corner from our hotel, where we had a Turkish breakfast with fresh orange juice, veggies, eggs and a really nice cake.
After the obligatory photos in front of Hagia Sophia (just across the road) were taken, we headed to the hamam (Turkish bath). We have visited this particular place during our last trip to Istanbul and it was one of the main reasons for our stop-over now. The bath is gender-separated and so Alice and I had different paths from here. Then I (Michael) was directed to a changing room, where a towel is waiting to be wrapped around the waist, as private clothing is not allowed inside the hamam. After changing, one is directed through several doors into a huge warm room with a ca. 10x10m hot stone in the center, which heats up the whole room. At the perimeter, small marble basins are located and provide possibility to wash oneself or just to pour water on oneself to cool down. As the hamam wasn’t too busy and the previous customer left quite shortly, I had the whole place for myself, was laying on the hot stone, looking at the dome ceiling with glass inlays, letting the light from the outside and listening to remote sounds from the street – I don’t know anything more relaxing. After about 20 minutes, the torture master came in for my scrub treatment and started giving me orders. After a couple cans of hot water, I was covered in soap and felt like I was lying on a cloud. But just seconds later, the torture master started to scrub my skin off and put all my muscles and bones in the right positions – OUCH! But once he was done, my skin felt like new and I felt like a newborn! I’ve stayed a bit longer on the hot stone and enjoyed the warmth. After the hamam I had a good cup of Turkish tea as I waited for Alice, who stayed a little bit longer on the hot stone 😉
To make the man-spa experience perfect, we went to the barber next door and I got my hair cut (perfectly!) and got shaved the old fashioned way. I have to say, there is a lot of trust involved, when you let another guy touch your throat with a sharp knife.
To avoid any last minute action like the day before, we skipped our preferred eatery at the other side of the city and took the train towards airport and towards our next stop: India! 🙂
Featured photo: TripAdvisor