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  the Széchenyi Bath
 

BUDAPEST THERMAL SPAS.. .It's really what you are supposed to do while in Budapest. But I wasn't sure what to expect. The guidebooks recommend the Gallért Bath if you want a expat experience or the Széchenyi Bath that is attended by more Hungarians. I opted for the more local experience. I had a little trouble finding the place at first until I spotted three young guys carrying what looked like bags for the gym. So, I followed them ... to the spa ... through the payment desk ... and on to the locker room. They had no idea they were my silent guides. But, since so few people spoke English, I needed a little guidance.

The Széchenyi Bath was like visiting a city swimming pool in America except you have beautiful European architecture, fountains, and pools with different temperatures. There were large pools outside and smaller thermal pools indoors. And, it was definitely a family outing location with people of all ages and sizes, (many wearing far too tiny speedos) but everyone wearing something.

There were also three or four spas built by the Ottomans in the 1500's. One was closed for the summer and another was under renovation, but I visited the Rudas Baths and it was quite a unique experience. They have days that are men only and other days for women. As I entered, I was given a kötény, but really didn't pay attention at first what it was. Well, it was nothing more than a cloth handkerchief with two strings to tie around your back. It left very little to the imagination. And when it got wet, there was even less to imagine. Butt, when in Rome . . . or, in this case Budapest . . .

Naturally, you don't take pictures there but I located some from Rudas from other websites.

MARTIN

Rudas Spa from Webportal of Budapest and a kötény from Pesticide
Copyright 2007 by Phillip Martin All rights reserved.