Budapest, delightful Turkish experience

Budapest, delightful Turkish experience
A Youth Backpacker in Europe

Chapter XI Part II

City: Budapest
y: Hungary
Currency: Hunga
rian Florint (1Euro = 238 Ft)
Travel Date: 11-14 January 2008

Hostel: Goat Hostel

Travel Buddies: Siddharth, Eg
on, Rahma and Meghan

Caption: Random street view in Budapest

In Budapest, the fun wasn't limited to just walking endlessly from one tourist attraction to another. Having been told by the hostel owner that there is something called the thermal bath, the five of us were eagerly excited for another exploration. But the challenge, five kilometres of walking one way.

The navigation was extremely easy as I just walked along the Andrassy utca (the Embassy street) where embassies are located. But as you would have imagined, the scenery wasn't all that impressive. It was only until the very end of the journey where I spotted another concentration of tourist attractions; the Heroes Square, ski park and museum.

Indeed, thermal bath may be treated as another form of tourist activity. But the construction of this Turkish-like thermal bath centre, called Szechenyi, is actually for medical purpose rather than to attract tourists. Therefore, it wasn't surprising for me to notice that there was a handful of people holding a medical card in their hands asking for discount while I was queuing in the line.

Caption: Random street views in Budapest

One question, since thermal bath is medically beneficial, especially to skin problem, would transfer of diseases by sharing the same pool occur? Honestly, I don't know. I didn't give it that much of thought at that time. And judging by the fact that no one talks about it, I supposed it was all safe to enjoy the endless body contact with others in the same pool, to relax under numerous water jets and to have fun spinning in swirl pool.

But one warning, no underwear is allowed. Wear your swimsuit.

I did bring my swimming trunk with me. However, concerning whether the heat of the water might render extremely high weariness to the fabric, I opted for my white sport shorts. Unfortunately, it was a mistake, or perhaps a beautiful disaster.

Caption: Heroes Square (left) and Ski part next to a museum.

Not that I was questioned and scrutinised by the guard of the centre while standing half naked, which happened to my friend in his underwear. It was because while pool hopping in Szechenyi, I got uninvited stares from others as my white sport shorts turned to be transparent and I was wearing nothing more than the shorts. (Blushed)

Yes, it was absolutely hillarious. But it wasn't because of the indecent exposure, it was because of my high self awareness that had rendered me to walk (or run) from pool to pool extremely awkwardly while struggling to cover certain parts of the body, pathetically. However, the mist around the pools (except the cold water pool) did help a little in saving my embarrassment.

Caption: Szechenyi Thermal Bath centre (left) and its interior.

It was absolutely the best idea to just have a luxurious dinner around Szechenyi thermal bath centre after the two-hour relaxation. Heard also from the hostel owner that there is a restaurant somewhere around Szechenyi that is owned, operated, and served only by female, we were curiosuly interested.

Unfortunately, the nught came really early and instead of risk getting lost in the darkness, we decided to return to Budapest city centre, along the yet another five kilometres journey. How effective was the thermal bath after all the walking? I have absolutely no idea.

However it wasn't a bad decision to just have our one-proper-meal-per-city in the proximity of our hostel. The restaurant that we subscribed to was indeed eerily quiet when we first stepped in. But since it was recommended by the hostel owner, we gave it a shot, and it was definitely satisfying. The portion of food was generous, the environment was soothing with music played in the background, and most importantly, it was delicious and cheap. I especially like the layers potato in my lamb pot.

Caption: Food in the restaurant (first three) and langos in market.

Talking about food, there is a food called Langos that one must try in Budapest, or Hungary in general. It is very typical deep fried bread served with different topping, from savoury to sweet, which Hungarians normally have in the morning for breakfast. Though it might be new to some of my friends, I did find it quite resemble to "yaw zha kuei". But I guess it was the different topping that made it slightly unique.

To sum up my Budapest trip, i was thrilled to have visited this capital accidentally. Budapest certainly has a lot to offer and in great deal. The people don't speak perfect English, but they are genuine and friendly. But still, most importantly, expenses in this capital weren't that expensive.

I have had absolute good time in Budapest and I will definitely go back again.