When I booked to come to Budapest during summertime with an aim of visiting the thermal baths, a part of me thought I was crazy. Why would I want to bathe in warm waters when it’s supposed to be 30 degrees outside already? But they’ve turned out to be pleasant nonetheless.
Szechenyi Spa is the biggest of them all, and the most popular. And with 3 outdoor pools and a whopping 15 indoor pools, is there really any wonder? It blows the one we visited on Friday out of the water in most respects, except it’s more crowded, less intimate. The baths are located in a huge park behind Heroes Square, an area with a number of other attractions such as the zoo, castle and amusements, so it’s really well worth a visit.
As the bus pulled up, I found myself squinting. What’s going on? Lo and behold, there it was – the sun. Finally luck was on our side as we passed a boating lake and Vajdahunyad Castle, admiring its architectural beauty, before getting into the action in the baths.
A few relaxing hours were spent basking in the warmth of the outdoor pools and touring the building’s grand interior that reminds me of something like a museum or gallery, in search of all the others, each one with a varying temperatures. Some hot, some cold; some tiny, some larger. Success – or so we thought.
The low rumble offered no further warning before the skies opened and yet another storm began to rage, forcing everyone out of the outdoor pools, either battling to find a spot in those indoors or simply sheltering, huddled in the cramped cafe. Well, it was fun while it lasted at least…
I am being slightly dramatic. The storm was heavy and thunder and lightning were most definitely present for a while, but thankfully we got the chance to go back in for a last dip before leaving – a great way to warm back up. And we were fortunate enough to already be taking a break in the cafe at the moment of impact, giving us priority shelter.
Retiring early and taking a power nap, we soon attempted to gear ourselves up for another run of the bar circuit in the extreme rain, but at least this time I was prepared with my umbrella, which saved me ever so slightly. Though emphasis on the slightly! We tried, that’s what counts.
Today is our last day, our hotel pickup at 6pm. It’s been pretty much a washout most of the time (believe me, it’s rained a lot – the photos are just from rare sunny moments), but, as this cup from Szimpla Kert emphasises, you have to make the most of these things. So here’s to the upcoming conclusion of my second visit to the gorgeous spot that is Budapest! Huzzah!