March 3, 2011
Someone asked David and I what we rated our vacation on a scale from 1-10. Simultaneously we said 11! We explored ancient cities, dined on ethnic cuisines, relaxed in our mini-suite and enjoyed our special alone time together. The morning we left there was an energetic giddiness that surrounded us. After all, we have never been without the kids for more than two days or traveled to distant lands in a long time. There we were, hand in hand, walking the cobble stones of Ephesus sharing a gelato in Rome watching a parade in Barcelona
We were slated to go to Egypt, but due to recent uprisings, our ship curtailed to Istanbul, Turkey instead. While it was mildly disappointing, what I found extremely fascinating was me and David’s initial conversations of wishing to honeymoon in Istanbul. By chance and destiny we were able to spend two days in Istanbul, enjoying the spice market, the Grand Bazaar and a Turkish Bath!
At the world famous Turkish Bath House, you get completely undressed (except for a bikini bottom some bath houses don’t supply one!) Then you enter into a dome shaped area that encloses a circular marble slab in the center. All around the circle, women are laying down being washed by Turkish women who are dressed in nothing but a bra and bottom. As I lay on the warm marble, I felt like I was in a different world. There were women bathing on the outer fountain areas, sitting in the Jacuzzi or walking around. Women of all shapes and sizes congregated here to cleanse, relax and retreat from the bustling city of Istanbul.
A warm bucket of water was thrown on me, followed by a warm bucket of soap and bubbles. I was then scrubbed both front and back, while a plump Turkish woman sang and smiled back at me. It was the most uncomfortable, yet liberating experience of my life.
I’ve never been one to walk around a locker room naked, nor would I bathe with other women in a public venue. But I did and it was cathartic.
Not only did I experience what it may have been like in ancient bath houses, but at the same time, I was able to emancipate my critical view of my body by seeing the beauty and imperfections in every woman’s body.
I love to travel I love to meet new people, observe other cultures and experience new adventures. It takes me out of my element, it makes me more culturally aware and it frees me from the mundane visuals I see every day in my hometown. Every time I leave, I come back a different woman. While it was only two weeks it only took two minutes in that bath house to change my internal perception of myself and my life.
Life is not measured by quantity of time, but by quality of life. When you grow, when you experience and when you reflect …..you evolve that is quality of a life truly lived. You don’t have to travel far, you just have to live each day with a receptive mind, an open heart and a willingness to try something new.
Journal Pictures: March 2 2011
On our way to Europe!
Sitting on top of the Acropolis is like sitting on top of the world!
Tapas!! – not a huge fan of them unfortunately.
Love this shot I took of David in Barcelona
My second time in Rome! The Colloseum is impressive to look at.
Walking the ancient city of Ephesus. They
excavated more since I was last year six years ago.
On our days at sea I worked out, read, wrote, watched
movies and dined with David.
I read 4 books while we were gone! I miss my reading time.
Mr. and Mrs. Casler