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Friday, September 16, 2016

The Budapest Bathes & the Knight Bus

When thinking of Budapest, 'I must remember to take my swimsuit' isn't the first thing to cross your mind. However don't forget your swim suit because you'll want to take a dip in one of Budapest's several mineral bathes. I might have missed the bathes but swim-o-phile Jo wasn't about to miss a swim wherever one has to go to get wet. So early in the morning we visited Széchenyi Thermal Bathes. The immense bath building was built in 1913. There was money a plenty to build an ornate park making use of the areas geothermal features.
One outside view of the Széchenyi Thermal Bathes
The bathes building is built around the perimeter of the pools, and has numerous entrances. We walked three quarters of the way around the building before we found an entrance we we were allowed to enter.
We entered the building here

 Just inside the building is an impressive statue

Looking up, you see an equally imipressive cupola

Not fancy enough? How about this?
Dishing out some Forints - currency of the realm - to gain admission

One we bought our tickets, you walked to a long row of changing rooms. 

Jo found an unoccupied door and disappeared. There were no more vacant rooms so I knocked on Jo's to join her. There we changed into our swim outfits. A speedo for Jo, shorts and tee for me.

Up the stairs to a locker room were we stashed our gear

The changing rooms had the entry door we came in, and on the other side, a second door that lead to a room with co-ed lockers. There were no free lockers so we went up a flight of wooden stairs to another locker room.

Then back down the stairs to the magic door to the bathes.
Stepping through the door to this magical view of mineral waters. 
Like the other two inner pools this one is full of healthful, hot mineral spring water
Jo went on to the outdoor pools, while I floated about in the indoor pool shown above. When I'd enjoyed the warm, mineral scented water, I headed toward the exit doors through which bathers trod through an inch or two of water. Antiseptic water?

I waked gingerly though the water for fear of slipping, then through a second door into sunlight. Rushing to the wall at the top of the stairs I saw...

A wonderland of mineral pools and bathers
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Silly me, thought I'd look 'funny' wearing my usual shorts and tee. Talk about wasted worry. I swam in a fountain pool, playing and diving under the fountain waters below.

Find Waldo, I mean, find Jo 
When I wore myself out playing in the fountain pool, I grabbed some sun chairs and eventually Jo joined me. We watched the tourists and locals sky larking about in the waters, while we snacked on Hungarian chips and Italian ices.

Incidentally, just outside the Bathes, I spotted this beautiful object d'art... a Budapestian manhole cover.

Jo drove us back to the apartment so I got to window gawk. 

Drive by look at Art Exhibition Hall circa 1895 

Heroes' Square Millennial Monument
Later the same day we walked a half mile from the apartment to where tourists caught the Knight Bus, for the last Budapest city tour of the day. Everyone lazily listened to the an audio devices talk of palaces and kings.
Boarding the double decker night tour bus
Your 300 Forints gets you a seat at the top of the bus and a pair of ear phones. The earphones plug into the little box of the seat in front. Voila! There is a choice of hearing the tour info a dozen languages, from English, Japanese or German to the local Magyar language.

Stay relaxed seated!

The double onion domes of the Great Synagog by night

A second night view of the Fisher's Bastion
The largest building in Budapest, the Parliament seen from a high Budah hill
Pest Basilica by the Danube's promenade
After the tour there was a lovely night walk back to the Elite Apartments, accentuated by a tasty gelato mango and pistachio cone.

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