Julia Hailes MBE

Sustainability Pioneer


Steamy experience in Istanbul (Oct07)

One of the most fascinating experiences I had in Istanbul was having a Turkish Bath. When I entered the large steamy room and saw the mass of nude bodies on the marble plinth it was like a scene from a painting. And it made me laugh.

Naked bodies abound in Istanbul’s baths

I joined the throng, although precariously balanced on the edge. But I was told, by one of the butch ladies lathering bodies, to move into the middle – so I could wait my turn. The washing women did wear small back knickers but nothing else. And most of them were pretty huge – both their breasts and their tummies.

One of the biggest signalled for me to lie on my front. I did as I was told as I was sluiced with water, scrubbed and foamed. Actually it was rather nice. A lovely oily massage followed, which included rubbing my aching feet (I’d done a lot of walking around the city). Emerging onto the streets, which were humming throughout the night, I was restored. The hubbub of Istanbul during Ramadan continued where I’d left it…

Originally posted by Julia Hailes on Telegraph Blogs


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