Antique textile specialist Elizabeth Hewitt designs fabrics inspired by her extensive global travels. At her four-floor shop you’ll discover bedding and pillows, plus 19th-century Russian plates and other antiques.
This appeared in the October 2013 issue.
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One morning outside Sultanahmet I saw what I believe to be a suffi. He looked somewhat like a Turkish version of Santa Claus (which was odd because it was late December), but I don't really know what else he would be with that beard.
Hamam How to Guide: Rubba-dub-dub, It’s Time for a Scrub
When visiting Turkey, one experience is not to be missed: the Turkish Bath (hammam). Here's a guide to enjoying one of the best tourist attractions in Turkey.
1) Most hammams have separate male and female baths, while others are unisex. Find a hammam that will suit you.
2) Hammams can be over 600 years old, with bathing methods just as old. Don't expect modern staff uniforms—underwear or towels are it.
3) Hammams were once where business deals were made and mothers sought wives for their sons by checking out the goods of local girls. Bathing is therefore for all ages, shapes, and sizes. Leave body hang-ups at the door.
4) Bring a hairbrush and anything else you use after bathing. Hair dryers are available.
5) On arrival, you will be given a locker, scrubbing glove, and towel.
6) Wear what is comfortable for you under your towel—bathers, underwear, or nudity is acceptable.
7) Enter the hammam wrapped in a towel, and wear slippers provided to avoid slipping in the wet.
8) Be prepared, the hammam is warm, so before lying on the dais, drink water to hydrate and pour water on yourself.
9) Take your time. Lie on the dais for 10 to 20 minutes. An attendant will gesture you for your scrub, but it's OK to tell them to wait if you want to relax longer.
10) The hammam includes a 10-minute scrub with splashings of water, followed by a lathering of soap and massage for about 10 minutes—finishing with a wash-down. You can exit the hammam sparkling clean and radiant in your own time.
My eyes were first drawn to the colorful carpets, bags, and pillow covers of this outdoor shop near the Aya Sofya in Istanbul. The vibrant reds, the pale pinks, the earthy browns. Some rough, some soft. Then, I noticed the cat sleeping on a stack of small carpets. I got closer. Her eyes opened just enough to check me out and to say "leave me alone, cant you see I'm napping?" I took this one image. I think it is probably my favorite image from Istanbul. And it's a reminder to stop and look at the small things while you are traveling. It's easy to get overwhelmed by all the big sites. But, often it is the everyday moments that we remember the most.
Suleymaniye and the Hagia Sophia are among the most specatcular of Istanbul's greater than 3,000 mosques.
They are within walking distance of one another in Sultanahmet.
Turkey Trip Report: http://bit.ly/ONKIN7