Sunday 7th August 2005
A text message from Tanya
"I have been at Szechenyi
Thermal Baths in Budapest all day
Got a massage from a Hungarian man"
......and a reply from Sharon
"U have 2 try everything don't u?
Monday 8th August 2005
I'm in Budapest!!
Look up Gellert Hotel and Bath
on the internet.
I had a pedicure there today.
I think I have gone down a shoe size - she scraped all the hard skin off my feet with a razor blade!!
Dad would have gone through the roof but she may have been able to get rid of your fifth toe!
......and now to The Diary
My third country in less than
A bit scary!
I was on the bus with Marty and Emily and Jose and Shelley and we all (except Shelley) managed to get in the same room.
We had planned to head straight to the baths but as it was such a gorgeous day I managed to convince everyone to do the walking tour in the afternoon and then have the whole next day at the baths.
The walking tour was really good.
We started off at Heroes' Square
which has a statue of all "Hungarian Heroes" through
The guy I liked best was the first guy in history to ban the burning of suspected witches at the stake!!
We then went into the gardens to the Vajdahunyad Castle which is made up of buildings in different Hungarian architectural styles - it was quite good.
There was also a statue called
It is meant to be of a historian that signed all works with initials so no one knows if it is a man or a woman - I quite liked the statue.
We also had a quick stop at Szechenyi Baths but more about that later.
We went to the Opera House
which looked quite lovely but I really liked the old ballet school
across the road which a big corporation is waiting to renovate
into a posh hotel.
But there is one old lady who won't sell her apartment so they are basically just waiting for her to die - good on her I say!
We also went by St Istvan Basillica and the largest Jewish Synagogue outside the states.
We then walked across the famous
Chain Bridge and climbed the hill to the castle district and the
The view over the city was great.
The Parliament building was amazing too.
The tour ended on the hill
and we made our way back down to some markets for dinner.
Stir fry veges and then a great dessert of traditional Transylvanian round bread - I am sure there is a name for it but I don't know it.
They bake it over hot coals and baste it with a flavouring.
Shelley and Jose had cinamon and me and Emily had vanilla sugar.
It was really yum!!
We had a quiet night chatting and diary writing and I also jumped on the internet for a bit.
Up the next day pretty early - today is Thermal Bath day - YAY!
Me, Jose, Shelley, Emily and
Marty headed off to Szechenyi.
We paid 2000 HUF to get in.
We went into a locker room and changed.
We had no idea what we were doing - do we take our towels, do we leave our bags, do we wear our shoes?
We finally just decided to go out and ran into Marty who had been in three pools already.
We went into the first pool
we came to and soon discovered it was thirty-eight degrees!!
We floated about a bit and I saw a woman with a hairy chest - seriously it was like a mans.
Me and Em both noticed it - eew!
We then went off to another pool which was cold - or so I thought!!
It was just cold compared to the other one - it was still thirty degrees!!
This pool had a whirlpool in it - the jets were designed to put the water in a certain way and the more people in it the faster it goes.
It was quite fun but a little tough to get out of.
Inside the whirlpool there was a spa so we sat in there for a while.
I noticed some people standing near the edge of the pool with spa bubbles everywhere so we decided to check it out.
The bubbles stopped and everyone moved - we saw metal plates on the bottom of the pool and grabbed one each and waited for them to start - it was just a standing spa but a bit of fun.
We stayed for a bit and as soon as we moved the folks who had been hovering around moved straight in.
We found an elevated spot to sit and take some sneaky photos cause you weren't allowed to take photos.
What I really liked in the
hot pool was the men sitting in the water playing chess.
I thought they looked great.
We sat in the sun while it
was out and then went back to the pools.
The cold one (thirty degrees) and then Jose made us all go in the sauna.
It was too hot for me and Em so we went and plunge pooled it - freezing.
We then hit the hot (thirty-eight degreees) pool again and then saunaed agan.
The girls then hung out in the sun for a bit and I went and had a massage.
It was only 15 minutes but the guy was pretty damn good!!
It did freak me out when he undid my kini top and pulled the bottom of my pants down without telling me he was going to but the massage was really good.
I went back and found the guys and we headed back to the hostel.
Marty convinced us to head
up the hill to the Citadel and Liberation Statue so we went back
and changed for our hike.
It was a nice walk with lots of great views.
We sat at the top and took it all in and then headed back down.
I checked out Gellert Spa because Karen had said to get a pedicure there.
I walked back and we all headed out for dinner.
We then wandered along the
water and took some night shots with the tripod.
Emily and Marty have the same camera as me but didn't know all the features.
I showed them a few things and let them use the tripod.
Marty said that all their night shots were 'poo' up until then!
I was first up the next morning
and headed off to Gellert for my pedicure.
I got there and went to the room.
There was a man in the chair and another soaking his feet.
The lady told me to sit down and soak - I had to fill the tub myself!
I got up in the chair when she called me.
It wasn't a nice "make your feel pretty" type of pedicure!!
Instead she had a razor blade and scaped all the dead skin off, then chops your nails and buffs the edges then you are done.
I think I went down a shoe size but my feet felt awesome.
I then went back and jumped on the internet until it was time to get on the bus.
Budapest was cool!! - and the spas were great and cheap!