Thursday, 24 May 2007

23rd May

22nd and 23rd May

Well, so much for best laid plans. The weather was really too hot yestarday and today early on to be comfortable to walk around sightseeing in. Yesterday we lazed around the campsite and while it roasted, I got 4 loads of washing done including all the bedding, so that was a good job done, and since use of the washing machine is included in the camping fee, I felt that I was at least getting my money's worth!

We finally headed out around 5pm yesterday and into the city centre for some food. We found a restaurant and had dinner which was very nice and reasonably priced, then walked down to the banks of the Danube and along to a large island in the middle called Margitziget which has a public park on it. Even as it was getting dusky people were still waling around, enjoying the park and it was really nice, with a water feature that is sequenced to music. We walked for a good while right through from one end of the park to the other and up on to the bridge at the end, then along the road to the nearest Metro station, Arpad Hid.

We caught the train back into the centre and ended up in a small bistro / bar where we sat and drank beer. There was a little small guy who came in and I dubbed him a hobbit (running joke between me and Bruce) and he ordered toast from the guy at the bar. Instead of Tubbietoast a la the Teletubbies, we christened it hobbit toast. We got chatting to 2 American guys who were on a whistlestop tour of Europe and had arrived by hydrofoil from Vienna earlier in the day; a 6 hour trip. We had a good laugh slagging off Bush and ended up calling it a night around 2am and had to walk all the way back to the campsite as we couldn't seem to flag down a taxi. It was still very warm even that late.

Today (wednesday) has been similar in that it was just too hot to go out early (well after noon when we got up!). I stuck the thermometer under the umbrella outside and it ended up at 35 deg C in the shade at 2pm and it was about the same in the van. We headed out about 3pm and caught the metro to Szechenyl Furdo station and came out of the metro into a large park and straight across the way is a large bathing complex. There are hot springs and it's all very Victorian era and grand. We paid 2400 Forints each (about 9.50 euro) which gave us access to the hot spring pools inside and ouside and also the swimming pool outside. It was excellent. We started off in the hot pool inside at 38 deg, then the cooler inside one at 30 deg, then outside to the 2 hot pools there. We didn't get into the main swimming pool as we had no caps with us, so made do with the side pools, one of which has a jkacuzzi in the middle. It would be a great place to spend a full day. Take your picning with you and sunbathe, swim, or lounge in the hot pools, even on a cold day in winter it would be grand. We were both like prunes by the time we got out!

(Photo of outside of Public baths(

We had a stroll around the park for a bit but my feet were killing me from the blisters on them, so didn't go too far. We made our way back into town for some dinner. The food has been really good and we had huge portions again. Budapest has been my favourite city of the trip so far in terms of it being an unexpected gem for me and great value. It' got it's own character and reminds me a lot of Glasgow.

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