Day 175: Old Communist City

by Jon June. 23, 2012 4551 views

Old Plattenbau, now a hotel

After breakfast, we were headed out to see the Danube north of the city, since we had missed it. My bike had a flat that morning, but the tire held air when I pumped it back up. We followed the Danube, which we had actually seen surprisingly little of on the trip, which follows the river.

Then we got our second flat tire of the morning. Tina had unfortunately met a nail on the path, and her tire wasn't holding any air. This made me realize that we were really lucky the days before.

We hadn't gone too far out of the city, and Emma and Elizabeth discovered a flea market, searching for the nearest train station. We searched through the piles of clothes, I found a plate from "Berlin, Hauptstadt der DDR," Emma got some Yertle the Turtle glasses. And we bought a bag of cherries and some spicy sauerkraut-like stuffed peppers.

That afternoon we went to the Széchenyi Medicinal Bath [en.wikipedia.org], a neo-baroque spa/pool complex (and largest medicinal spa in the world!). The outside pools were fun, including a spiral whirlpool-thing. But the real gem is what's inside. There's rooms upon rooms of hot tubs, saunas, mineral baths, etc. There were at least 6 different saunas with different temperatures, also, the peppermint-patty sauna (“Aromasauna”), the light sauna, and the really steamy sauna. Every pool had marked temperatures. My favorites were the cold-plunge pools. They were 18°-20° C and perfect for right after coming out of the hot sauna.

Well 3 hours of that heaven was enough to make the back of our hands look like raisins, and we were starved. We found a fantastic turkish street food place with everything our stomachs could desire (for a great price).

Afterwards, we tried out one of the ruin bars, which have the grungiest, junkiest (in the best of ways) aesthetic ever. Budapest supposedly has the number 1 and number 3 bars on earth. We went to number three, where a manic-pixie dream girl sold us carrots. She was too cute, but really.

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