With so little time and so much to see Nats and I ventured back into the city and day 2 was just as busy. Our morning started at the Hagia Sophia which used to be the largest cathedral for a thousand years, subsequently it was converted into a mosque before being turned into a museum. If I thought the Blue Mosque was beautiful well then I was in for a rude awakening, Hagia Sophia was simply breathtaking. Luckily this time around I knew exactly what I was looking at.
We all know how exhausting sightseeing can be and after a quick visit to the Grand Bazaar (was a bit too overwhelming with over 4000 stores on a South African budget) we headed to the nearest Turkish hammam (Turkish bath). Originally a Roman tradition that was passed onto the Turks and boy am I glad they did. Cagaloglu Hammam is the most well-known hammam and the one that most celebrities frequent and it was 50 euros well spent. I was initially hesitant as it required me to be completely naked in a room of strangers and was amazed to realise how conservative we South Africans are. But as soon as the lady who was assigned to me started exfoliation my skin all I felt was pure bliss. Exfoliation was followed by an oil massage where no muscle is neglected and then she proceeded to wash me as if I was a baby. Sounds weird yes, but once over the culture shock you will love it. Was floating on cloud nine when I left and swore I will never want to wash any other way, luckily reason and logic set in and I realised that I do not have a turkish bath home in my bathroom.
Didn’t realise how famous a Hammam this was even after seeing Kate Moss’s picture at the entrance – I googled and downloaded some pics.