5. Bathe, Bathe, Bathe in Thermal water
“Oh Shoot! We should have brought flip flops, I told Feri, my boyfriend, as we stepped into the Szechenyi Baths and noticed that we were clearly nowhere as organised as the local bathers, who all had their own towels and bathrobes, flip flops (as is logical in a publich pool place) and bags into which to store they belongings. We, on the other hand, had had no choice but to use the over priced towel renting system (you have been warned) and also needed to return them at a particular hour (therefore wasting precious time), unless we wanted to never see the not-s0-insignificant deposit money ever again. We were, all in all, clearly foreign creatures in this labyrinth of doors, pools of different temperatures, sagging bodies and harsh-looking staff in crisp white uniforms.
When we eventually got fed up of hanging around the same warm pool, our very feeble instinct to explore took over, we set out like a couple of overheated clumsy penguins on a quest…to find the famous outdoor pools. We opened door after door only to come across showering wrinkled bodies and men in speedos, pools we had already checked and changing rooms, until finally, a door leading to a pool with a shallow pool led to a door which led to this…
Only that for us, it looked more like this, because night had already fallen…
In -7 degrees, we ran like mad towards the pool while all around us, the much cooler Hungarians walked leisurely out or back in.
I will never forget it. The steam rising up from the thermal water, thick at times, less so at others, offering glimpses of the baths’ beautiful architecture. The clear night sky above. The tens of happy bathers all around, giggling and chatting. I didn’t want to leave.
Budapest is filled with wonderful thermal baths who are not only sought out because of the beneficial and relaxing water, but because they are damn beautiful structures. Here are pictures of some of the most famous:
If you’re in Budapest in Summer, a trip to a bath can also be a good option to refresh yourself (temperatures can be quite high in the summer months) in their cold pools.
Have you ever been to a thermal bath in Hungary, or somewhere else in the world? How was your experience? I was in Korea for a month and was too shy, and now I feel like slapping myself!
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