Hamams, also known as Turkish baths, are public bathing houses dating back from the Ottoman times. Going to a hamam is one of those experiences that I felt I had to do in Turkey. A bucket list item, if you will. However, I admit I went into this experience pretty blind as to what to expect.
Soft sunlight streamed down through branches gently swaying with the early afternoon breeze. Long blades of grass brushed across the broad legs of both the horse and rider as they rode through the Cappadocian landscape. Beautiful alabaster pillars rose high above them, silhouetted against a bright azure sky. The rider and horse trusting each other completely while riding in tandem to the relaxing sounds of nature…
That was what I initially pictured my first horseback ride to be like. In reality, although the landscape was breathtaking, the experience was comically awkward in how ungraceful it was.
I have to admit, I was a bit nervous (but excited!) when our guide asked our small group if anyone was claustrophobic as we’d be descending far underground into some cramped narrow tunnels.
Tatooine? Almost! George Lucas initially wanted to shoot Star Wars: The Phantom Menace here, but he was rejected by the Turkish government and picked Tunisia instead .
Walking around Istanbul, it feels easy to get lost in the splendor of a bygone era. Whether it be entering a historic structure, watching artisans create traditional arts and crafts, scenting the blends of spices wafting along the breeze, or even listening to the musical cadence of the Turkish language, around every corner is some delightful and intriguing remnant of the past three empires waiting to be explored.
About a year ago, my long-time friend Meagan suggested we meet in the one country that has a foot in both Europe and in Asia, reminiscent of our current standing of her teaching English in Europe and me likewise in Asia. While it had been a bit hard to plan on my end, what with…