Baths of Budapest
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I hiked up the Gellért hill to the Citadella and took in the spectacular views from the top. It’s really magnificent up there. I walked around the hill and the remains of the old fortifications and then hiked down again.
On a whim I decided to stop into the Gellért baths. I didn’t have a swim suit or a towel. I explained that to the lady taking money and asked if I could buy those there. She said “No problem, no problem. No need.” I figured they probably had rental suits so I went on in.
I explained my situation to the next person and he also said “No problem” and handed me a loin cloth. Actually this is the preferred way for the Hungarian men to go to the baths. The baths are segregated by gender for just this reason. I was a bit uneasy at first but quickly overcome my trepidation.
There are two large tubs, for lack of a better word, under a large canopy with tile mosaics and decorations. One of these pools is at 36 C, the other at 38C. Fresh water from the underground springs pour out of the mouth of some sort of figure on either side of the room. In the center, there is a walkway between the two and on it, fresh, cool water is spit by other figures.
At the far end of the area is the stream room, a cold water bath and some showers. Closer to the entrance are the dry rooms. You are expected to stay for a couple of hours or so and enjoy all of the amenities. I could only stay for an hour because they were closing.
When I left I felt completely rejuvenated. I expected to merely be cleaner, but instead found that I was more awake and fresh. Drained only of stress. Colors looked more vivid, blacks darker and I felt very much at ease. I was ready to explore the city more, to walk around by night and see the bright lights glowing. And so I did.