(4.7) (18 Votes)
September 20, 2004
Pros: A warm welcome
Budapest is such a crazy city. It’s a mix of a medieval castle
with very eastern European looking buildings, and then throw in
some renaissance, and then some roman influenced. And voila! You
have Budapest. This city has such history. The Franks, the Habsburg,
the Nazis, the communists….the list goes on. Budapest is definitely
not as clean of a city like Vienna, but it looks more like a real
city. It’s broken in, whereas in Vienna, everything looks
We spent the first half of the day walking around Pest and the other
half touring Buda. (background: Budapest is divided into the Buda
side and the Pest side, divided by the river.) Pest side has a mix
of modern buildings and some communist influenced, and then you
cross the Danube and you are faced with Castle Hill. There, you
can fine the Royal Palace and Matthias church. I must admit that
I LOVED the Castle district. It is a whole different world. You
really get a feel of what the area must have been like during the
medieval times. You get a gorgeous view of the city from Castle
Hill too. So Roland and I spent 2-3 hours here, just playing around
at Fishermen’s Bastion and around the Royal Palace. We even
made shadow puppets onto the walls of the Castle! (I know, real
mature). Aside from the castle, my other highlight of my trip is
the Gellért Thermal Baths. So apparently, Budapest is famous
for its theraupeutic, thermal water. In every picture that I have
seen of Budapest, the Gellért Baths are always featured.
So I HAD TO GO! So I dropped by there Monday morning for 2 hours
before my flight and I highly recommend it. It is basically a spa.
It has a pool, thermal baths, massages, pedicures, herbal baths.
You name it and they probably have it. They also had an outdoor
terrace with a pool, which was too cold for me to dive into. The
indoor swimming area is lined with columns and statues on the side.
They have water of varying temperatures. There are also water pouring
out of the mouths of some of the statues, so that you can sit on
the steps of the pool with the water pouring over your head and
back. The ceiling is lined with a yellow tinted windows, so that
when the sun shines through, it looks like gold. My favourite part
was just floating on my back in the pool, and looking at the ceiling
(which was partly open to the sky at the time) and everything around
me. There’s a huge thermal baths (hot tub) in the back. It’s
funny because it is mandatory to wear a cap to go in the water,
but swimming topless aint a problem!
As much fun as this weekend was, I actually miss Paris and the French.
So back I go to my box-sized shower room!