A visit to a Hamam is an essential part of any trip to Turkey, because it is central to the Turkish culture. Many friends who had been to Turkey told me that I absolutely had to try it out. A Hamam is also called a Turkish Bath, and they’ve been popular in Turkey for thousands of years, literally. People didn’t used to have bathrooms in their homes, so they’d go out to a central location for bathing. Roman baths were also popular back in the day, but the way it’s set up in Turkey today comes from the time of the Ottoman Empire. Hamams generally have three rooms: the hot room (sauna), the warm room (steamy room with hot marble to lie on and old people who scrub you with suds), and the cool room (for relaxing with a cup of tea).
I had a long day exploring Cappadocia under the hot sun, so I spent the evening relaxing at a Hamam. The man at the front desk helped me to explain to you about this special Turkish tradition:
I wish I could share my photos and videos from my day exploring the mountains, rocks, and caves of Cappadocia, but the internet is very slow here and I need to go to sleep. There are many tourists in the area now, and I did an organized tour called the green tour. I met people from all over the world. For example, I had breakfast with a Brazilian guy, lunch with a Bosnian guy, and dinner with a Japanese woman. The sights were gorgeous, even though I felt a little like a fish swimming in a sea of hundreds of other tourists. We walked on the tippy tops of cliffs, looking down at the scenery. We climbed up rocks and explored caves in the sky. We drove zigzags around mountains. We went underground and ducked through tunnels that were built at least 1,000 years ago. We sweated through the heat, the sun blaring down on us. We walked along a canyon as the rain began to fall (and even caught a glimpse of a rainbow). Stay tuned for more visuals tomorrow.