Budapest, Hungary

Anything was bound to feel like a vast rough city after perfect little Bratislava, so getting a metro again and navigating whether you’re on the ‘Buda’ or ‘Pest’ side of the river was a slight shock to the system. I thought this was made up by the way, but the city really is split into Bude and Pest, which tickles me, I dont know why. Joined by Kieran (2) and Ruth, all five of us get to live for free in the city suburbs for 5 days, as Kieran’s parents bought a small studio apartment there with an Irish lottery win. An odd but nice choice. Practically on the doorstep is a tiny local park which at evenings converts its bandstand into a bar. There isnt an ASBO teen or hypodermic needle in sight, it really is quite pleasant. England should get on this.

The highlight of the week had to be the famous Szechenyi Bath & Spa. For 4400 HUF you can chillax as the Romans did in opulent 38 degree Turkish baths, and freezing plunge pools. Their huge outside swimming pool is straight out of what you imagine England’s Victorian baths used to be in the 1920’s. Szechenyi is so popular in fact that apparently a famous German bank recently shipped all of their highest earners off for a private party (read orgy.) It’s definitely the right setting, you suspect the marble grandeur walls could certainly talk. It’s a little confusing if you’re there in a mixed group, as like me you may well spend half an hour lost in a maze of saunas and steam rooms to find your friends as men and women are kept separate apart from weekends. You can also pay extra for massages and the works if you’re going all out.

From one relaxing pool to another, we stumbled upon the amazing city park at Deak Ferenc Fer Metro one Sunday afternoon. Basked in sunshine, armed with Mcflurrys, listening to the sounds of a resident DJ playing chill out, we, like the rest of the city, soothed away our hangovers with our feet dipped into a giant shallow square wading pool next to a cool urban skate park. Pretty perfect people watching territory.

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An.an.tas.in : The Anantasin is the name of a shipwreck just of the coast of the Sensi Parasise, Mae Haad Bay, Koh Tao, Thailand. It’s one of my many favorite places.

Lit.tle: Just because it’s cute.

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