Budapest Day 4

Continued from Budapest Day 3.

Last day in Budapest, and also the last day of my trip. Holy Shit…this is it. I am heading back to Austin tomorrow. I was excited about the prospect of heading back home about a week ago, but now that it’s literally tomorrow, I feel numb about it.


What’s better than an awesome breakfast? An awesome breakfast plus sleeping in.


This was really weird. We turned on the TV to a Hungarian station, and they were showing Korean soap dubbed in Hungarian. There are many Korean tourists here, and they show Korean soap in Hungarian here. What’s the connection between Hungarians and Koreans?


Then of course, there’s Sponge Bob. I think this one was on a German channel. Sponge Bob’s German dubbed voice isn’t as nasally, which I think takes away from the experience. Who here has looked closely at the favicon for this blog?


It’s cloudy today. It had rained last night, and a little more rain might be on the way as well.


The Oktogon tram stop. This massive intersection looks like a giant Oktogon from bird’s eye view. Here’s is where the tram that runs along the ring road intersects with the metro line.


Look at the bullet holes. A lot of these statues are undamaged because I suspect they were all taken down and kept safe during the war.


Looking down nice Andrássy út.


We were in search of lunch. We walked around the areas by Oktogon station, and found a nice pedestrian area.


Graffiti, but still beautiful.


Saw Karma in this area and SO remembered that it was mentioned in one of the guidebooks. Sure, why not. This choice is as good as any.


I liked the interior decor, especially the domed brick ceilings.


Goulash soup! This one had just the right amount of salt.


Duck!


Good food, and good strong beers.

After a long lunch, it was time to go visit the Boob museum again. It’s our last day here, and we just wanted to take it easy today. I think this happens on most of my trips. During the last few days, I am pretty laid back and don’t try to do or see too many things.


Back at this lovely building with the awesome moss colored roof.


Ahhhh, now it all makes sense. A few days ago, I saw that brochure with a bus diving into water. Well, this is it, an amphibious vehicle like the Duck Tours in Austin. This one looks much nicer and more bus like though.


Heroes’ Square again. Rain clouds, but not yet raining.


Museum, take number 2.


Yeah, I get in the museum and the first photo that I take inside is of the light fixture.


Ohhhh…Aaawww.

We get into the special exhibit, The Birth of Art Photography, and see one of my most hated signs in the world. No photography allowed inside. What The Fuck! Talk about a fucking irony. A photography exhibit that does not allow photos. Let’s hold a charity event for disabled kids. Oh yeah, by the way, no disable kids are allowed to attend the event.


Well, fuck you no photography allowed sign. Let me show you an exhibit on spy photography.


OK, that’s enough spy photography. The exhibit was neat. Had lots of old photographs dating back to the early days of photography.


Back to the permanent exhibit part of the museum. I took this photo, and a staff member came up to me and asked if I had bought a photo permit. Errrrr, no. No one even offered to sell me a photo permit at the ticket office. Seriously, Budapest, why are you acting like India and trying to nickel and dime me? I felt so dejected from these two no photo incidents that I just decided to leave the museum. Again, I just have to say, they allow photos for the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, so why are all these other museums making such a big fucking fuss about photos?


As we were about to leave, I saw this floating pyramid. I don’t think this was an exhibit though. I think it was just advertising for something else. Not sure how they levitate it. Strong magnets is the only thing that I can think of.


There’s this whole upstairs section that I skipped. Just not feeling like looking at more art. We were eager to go see the next item on our agenda for the day.


Saw this cream colored German taxi here. Did it actually drive all the way here from Germany?


We walked past Heroes’ Square and into the park adjacent to it.


Seeing some blue sky peeking past the clouds.


I think this is the building that we are looking for.


The stairway to…a wall.

I didn’t know where the entrance was, so I started walking towards the front of the building.


Then, I saw this sign that pointed us back towards where we were just at. Spa, Bad! Hah.


The entrance is from the side. Is this really it?


Yup, this is it. We walked in and felt the high humidity from the thermal pools.


Oh yeah, this is the right place. This is Széchenyi thermal bath, the largest medicinal spa in Europe. Opened in 1913, so it’s 99 years old! Budapest sits on many an active geothermal area, so there are many bath I’ve carried my swim suit with me in my backpack this entire trip. It’s just been taking up space and adding weight. Now, I finally get to put it to use on the very last day of my trip.


It was about $15 to get into the spa, and you are handed a wrist band that has an embedded proximity id chip.


Rows of change rooms. There are very few signs in English here. The staff aren’t all that helpful. It’s very confusing. I believe many of the baths in Budapest are government run. Now it’s obvious why they don’t care about foreign clients and have rude staff who speak limited English. We couldn’t figure out which change rooms to use, how to lock them, or which lockers to use and how to use them. We just kind of watched what other people did and followed along hoping that they knew what they were doing.


Found a locker upstairs to use. Close the door, and hold the grey button down then put the wristband right on top of the depressed button. The proximity senor in the wristband locks the door and can be reopened by holding the wristband up to the same grey button. Works great, except for it’s shitty industrial design. You have to apply pressure to the grey button, and at the same time, put the wristband square over the button. The stupid wristband keeps on sliding off the slippery button before I could push the button all the way down. I had to make sure to remember my locker number too because that’s the only way for me to find it since there’s no corresponding key with an identifying number.


The indoor warm/hot baths. There are many baths here with different water temperatures. They also have sauna, steam room, massages, etc. etc. The water is from a natural thermal, so it contains tons of minerals and also has the ever so slight smell of sulfur. It wasn’t too bad though.


The group of people sitting down facing each other, yeah, they are playing chess on the built in chess board. Neat. I’ve seen photos of it in our guidebook, and I am glad that I can see it for myself.


It was a little chilly outside, but the pool is heated by the thermals. Why do the pools in Austin not look like this?


This is one of the three outdoor pools.


20 degrees C pool. Opposite of this, there’s also a 40 C pool. I kept on going from one to another. It’s much easier going from the 20 C to 40C than the other way around.

The place was huge, we didn’t really spend too much time walking around checking everything out. There are apparently 15 different indoor pools, but I only saw 3. Some of those pools are probably located in the segregated sex sections on the other side of the complex.


We had to return our rented towels before the counter closes. Close to two hours after arriving, we left the spa. It was so relaxing. I am glad we left the museum early to spend more time here.


Back at the Oktogon station to transfer to a tram. There is a metro stop immediately outside of Széchenyi thermal bath, which made it very easy to get here.


The Oktogon. Every time I say it, I think of UFC. Ugh.

Quick shower at the hotel, then it was time for dinner.


Last night, too relaxed and tired from the spa, why not just eat something we already know and like that’s around the corner.


SO and I discussed this restaurant. It’s very commercialized, even though I don’t think it’s a chain. But regardless, ironic how this is where many of the regular Hungarians eat at for dinner and hang out. We are having an authentic Hungarian experience here.


Goulash soup, yes sir. Yum.


Back to the hotel to pack. Got to get up early tomorrow for my flight. I can’t believe I am heading home to Austin tomorrow…


The plaza in front of the hotel. There’s a basement bar!!! Shame that I am leaving tomorrow, or else I’d definitely check it out.


It’s been a nice stay here. Working internet is the greatest thing ever.

I can’t believe I am going home tomorrow. Frankly, right now, I am neither sad nor happy. I am mostly concerned about the really long, boring, and tiring traveling that I’ll be doing tomorrow.

To be continued at Home, Sweet Home.

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