"Katrin, one of the NOSADE yoga teachers and Marrakesh expert, takes me along to
“Mille et une nuits” - a famous quite traditional Hammam in Marrakesh, right in the middle of the Medina.
I am not really sure what to expect, but I'm thinking steam baths and a swimming pool. I didn't do too much research trying not to spoil the fun, instead I was trying to imagine what I would wear to a hammam spa in a Muslim country. Bikini? Swimsuit? Burkini? Soon I'd find out how wrong I was.
Experiences with my first Hammam in Marrakesh
As we didn't bring a second set of underwear, we are handed single use panties wrapped in plastic and get changed under the watchful eyes of the (female) employees. Behind the next door two women wearing faded sports underwear are waiting for us between waist-high tessellated stone benches. Gesturing their instructions succinctly, they rub us down with warm water. I take a deep breath when the gush hits my head and I slowly begin to relax. In the next room the steam makes it almost impossible to see anything. I realize that I probably won't be finding a swimming pool here – the hammam is a steam bath. I close my eyes and feel more relaxed with every breath.
Hammam Soap, Hammam Gloves & Co.
Just when I am starting to get too hot, we are asked back into the room with the benches and – without too many words – we are lathered up with the famous black, slightly pungent soap. - also called Beldi Soap or Savon Noir. After another session in the steam we lie down on the stone benches. My attendant picks up a rough washcloth and starts thoroughly rubbing me down with this so called hammam glove. Definitely not the softest of treatments, but unbelievably enjoyable and relaxing. We head for the steam room for one last sitting before we are rinsed down and wrapped in thick and cozy bathrobes.
Hammam Results: Feeling reborn with incomparable baby skin
Properly cleaned we lie down in a warm and dim room, served sweet tea and have rosewater dripped on our faces. We enjoy our final minutes until it is time to get dressed again.
When I step out on the streets of Marrakech again I'm feeling completely reborn. My skin is smooth as never before and I am sure: this was not my last hammam!"
Corinna is writing on a weekly basis about her experiences and adventures doing an internship in Morocco with NOSADE
- one of the leading tour operators for very special yoga retreats in Morocco.
© Corinna Kaempfe for NOSADE 2016