Hungarian Adventure – Part Four: A Nice Relaxing Bath

Day four of our adventure in Budapest was a day I took very few images for a very good reason, hot spring water and an Olympus OM-1 don’t mix well. Hungary is a country that is blessed with an abundance of natural hot springs, apparently one of the main reasons the Romans settled near Budapest was to take advantage of the medicinal properties of the springs. If it was good enough for the mighty Roman Empire then it’s probably good enough for us to, so we spent most of the day relaxing in the water. I know what you’re thinking, March in Central Europe and bathing outside? The water was a comfortable 36 degrees in most of the pools, and in some as high as 42 degrees. Basically we spent the whole day having a giant bath with hundreds of strangers, and we loved it.

We decided we’d go to the Széchenyi Baths, which are some of the largest in Europe and also some of the nicest to look at architecturally. I have a thing for early 20th century architecture, one of the main reasons I love the look of most of the railway stations in Italy, and this place was similar as some of the buildings and pools date back to 1913.

To get there we took the tour bus we’d had tickets for the last few days, this was the one sight that wasn’t within walking distance of our hotel. The bus took us down the Hungarian version of the Champs-Élysées, tree lined with opera houses, theatres and embassies galore, leading up to Heroes Square. That was probably the most impressive of all the sights we’d seen, the images I took do not do justice to the grand scale of the place, the monument is breathtaking and huge.

No photo’s in the baths themselves, for the obvious reason I stated earlier. Unfortunately it looks like I was the only one who wasn’t taking photo’s, everywhere you looked there were tourists taking selfies of themselves in the water. Now I’m not one criticise anyone taking photographs, but if you have to take get your friend to take thousands of images of you pulling the same pose in a hot bath then your holiday is probably more about making others jealous than you enjoying yourself. I feel really old for saying this but we fully witnessed “The Instagram Generation” of two young American girls doing exactly that.

The day itself was beautiful, in fact so sunny that I slightly sunburn from spending so long outside in the pools, but after wrinkling up like a prune it was time to head back. We took the same bus tour back, going along a route we’d walked before but this time with a really interesting commentary telling the history of pretty much every landmark and street we went down. The bus tour ticket was definitely  the best value thing we bought. By the time we got back it was time to head out for dinner, Jo had found a restaurant that had great reviews on Trip Adviser so we headed for that. After a half hour walk that seemed to go on forever we arrived at a tiny restaurant, on a Friday evening, that was completely full and totally booked out. Damn. This turned out to be a blessing in disguise as we stumbled across an Italian place over the road that was fantastic with portion sizes as big as my head, always an excellent sign. With that our final full day in the Hungarian capital came to a close, tomorrow we’d be heading home.

On to the photo’s, not as many as before due to the bath trip but as usual all are from my Olympus OM-1 on Lomography Color 400 film. Enjoy.

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48.jpg This Synagogue is apparently the second largest in the world and the largest in Europe.

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1.jpg Heroes Square in all it’s glory, as you can see the people are tiny compared to the monument and the statues that make it up.

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4.jpg Absolutely incredible place.

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7.jpg Annoyed by the darkness on the right of this image as I tried to get Jo in as a sense of scale of big the place was.

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9.jpg Heading back from the baths and the sun was beginning to set, giving the lovely light pinkness behind the monument.

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11.jpg The tour bus took a hell of a roundabout route to get back to our hotel, Buda Castle is about as far the other side of the city you can be from Heroes Square but this is where we ended up going.

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13.jpg A ridiculous walk to a fully booked restaurant can be solved easily with an Aperol Spritz in another restaurant.14.jpg

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