Well I’ve reached the end of the road, and so has this series of blog posts. It was quite the adventure, but like all good things it had to come to an end.
I began my morning in Budapest with some breakfast at my hotel. The breakfast room had a beautiful view of the Parliament Building, which was amazing.
After breakfast, it was time for the one thing in Budapest I’d actually booked. A ticket to one of the Turkish Baths.
For any who aren’t aware, Budapest has natural thermal waters and as a result the city has multiple baths and spas that allow you to enjoy these hot springs.
The last time I was in Budapest I went to Szechenyi Baths which was amazing, but I’d also seen some pictures of the Gellert Baths, and decided with a second trip it would be fun to try those as well and compare.
So with my booking in hand I packed a day bag with a swimsuit, some water, flip flops, etc. and headed off to walk to the Gellert Spa.
I arrived and headed in to check in at the front desk. I received my wristband which would get me into the entrance and then connect to my cabin to allow me to get in and out. Cabins were only slightly more than a locker, so I definitely wanted that for the comfort of changing and storing my things.
And then I headed off to experience the baths in all their glory.
I’ll let my pictures do most of the talking. The beautiful historic decorations were very enjoyable, and the water felt amazing. I took a few photos before locking my phone back away, and just carrying my rented towel and a bottle of water around (important to stay hydrated in the heat).
I spent maybe two or three hours enjoying the various pools, and the multiple saunas and steam rooms. Due to it being March, the outdoor wave pool was closed, but the small heated outdoor one was open at least. I also didn’t know the large swimming pool (the one with all the columns) required a cap to be in it, so I wasn’t able to experience that. But otherwise I enjoyed the whole place and made the most of my time there.
All in all I’d have to say if you want to pick one Spa, Szechenyi is probably a little better. They have more pools, and their outdoor area is incredible, and I believe open year round. However, Gellert is still beautiful and definitely is a good experience. Without anything to compare it to, I’d say it’s pretty amazing in its own right.
I turned my towel back in and headed out. I enjoyed the beautiful entrance area and took a few pictures before heading off.
It was getting a little bit stormy, unfortunately, so I headed across the river to the Great Market Hall. It’s an indoor market selling a large variety of different foods, produce, and goods.
I wandered a bit, glad to be out of the rain. After some window shopping, I headed to the basement of the market where there was a grocery store. The food stalls were all pretty crowded, so I opted to just pick up some grocery store pastries and a drink. By the time I came out, the bad weather had mostly passed so I sat in a nearby square and ate.
After that I headed off to explore the castle district. I started by wandering the Fisherman’s Bastion, which was free. I thought about going into Matthias Church, but it was getting close to closing time by the time I got up there, so I opted to skip it, and decided to head over to the Budapest History Museum in Buda Castle.
The museum was decent. Not anything extraordinary, but fun and a good way to spend some time.
After I was done there I walked back around the castle, enjoying the views as the sun set.
With the sun going down, I decided it was time to get some food. It was still pretty early, but being a Friday night, I figured getting there a little early couldn’t hurt. On top of that I had a 6:30 AM flight to catch the next morning, so I headed off to find food.
I ended up at a place called Kacsa Restaurant. I was the first one there, and also felt pretty under-dressed. But I went for it anyways since the reviews of the food were good.
My first course was a pastry with duck in it. It was amazing! Second course was a stuffed cabbage, which maybe wasn’t exactly my normal type of dish, but was something that sounded traditional and different. And then finished off with another traditional dessert. They also had live music with a violinist and pianist playing. It was a great way to end my trip.
I grabbed a tram back to bottom of the big hill my hotel was on and then caught a bus up to the top. From there it was just packing up and getting ready for another big day of travel.
I thankfully got back to the States with no problem, even with the travel restrictions in place. The good thing about it was the planes were relatively empty so I had lots of space to spread out. And after a full day of flying I arrived safely at home sweet home.
The timing of my trip really was pretty incredible. Less than a week after I was back, things pretty much completely locked down. I’m so glad I was able to experience the beauty of such amazing places as Croatia, Slovenia, and Budapest. It was a really incredible vacation.
With all this time on my hands with the quarantine I might write about some older trips on here as well. Please feel free to subscribe, comment, like, etc. And hopefully there will be more adventures to share with you in the future.