Kilis Tarihi Hoca Hamamı
Mahmet Pasa Sokak (Behind the Paris Hotel), Kilis. 348 8138618. Males 7-11 am and 5-11 pm. Females 11am-5pm. Not expensive, but you’re in Kilis anway, so just go. Designed and built by Canbolat Bey in 1545.
You might cry Stockholm syndrom, but as I lay on the warm stone, waiting for the medieval exfoliation experience, the keseci’s focus impressed me. He only stopped twice, once to grunt at the 15-year-old boy doing a pull-up on the sauna door lintel, much to the dismay of the cheering onlookers, and again when the kids stole his soap. We needed that soap. The keseci needed it to swirl around the plastic tub with hot water, into which he would dip a cloth bag, blow into the bag, and wring an unimaginable amount of soap suds over my prone body. I needed it because I’d spent the last few days on a fantastic jaunt around south-central Turkey, and I’d haggled with just enough hoteliers and fruit sellers to seek out a good scrub-down in a strange town. Jeff, Steph, and I found ourselves in Kilis. If you ever do the same, go to the Kilis Tarihi Hoca Hamamı. (continue reading…)