Budapest - day 20May 1, 2019 in Hungary ⋅ ⛅ 18 °C
Lovely fine day over 20.
Overnight there was quite a bit of train noise in our campsite, and we weren’t that impressed by the chemical toilet just being a grill in the driveway where the other grey water was being emptied. Then one of the helpful people on the Justgo FB site mentioned that the site he preferred shouldn’t have been closed, so we re-looked at it. Not sure why we thought it was closed , but we were very pleased that it was wrong and were happily parked up at a new camping ground much closer to the city by 10.30.
We took a train into the city (the Hungarian plan names are not the easiest to remember, but photos and maps helped us). Once there we realised that there was a big car race on in the city as well as it being a holiday on the 1st May. We saw a couple of guys with small green electric motorbikes, and ended up talking to them – nek minite we were hooning around on them. Although Jody is sworn to wear a helmet on her bike, there wasn’t one for these so we tried to be careful. We went over the bridge to the other side of the river, and then onto Margaret Island which is where lots of fitness activities are held. There was a lot of people there riding all sorts of tourist bikes and things. The parliament building is absolutely stunning, and we hope to have a better look at it tomorrow. We had one of the guys as a guide, and had the bikes for just over an hour which was a good amount of time. Then we visited lots of very funky little shops with funny hats etc.
Both of Jody’s sons have been in Budapest before which is one of the reasons we are here. Matt had recommended an eating place which we spent a bit of time trying to find. We did find it, but there was no sitting down and a huge queue. On the way there we had seen a bit of an outside food hall, and ended up having a late lunch there. I had goulash on flat bread, and Jody had a pulled pork sandwich. Both were really nice. We had a good chat to a couple from near Manchester who were in Budapest for his birthday just for a few days. He was interested in Nico as he owns a garage.
Then we decided it was time for some hot pools. There are loads of options in Budapest, so we chose the number 1 attraction which is the Szechenyi Baths. It took us a while to find a train station – googlemaps is not our friend, and was the source of much amusement with our lunch companions as they find it similarly challenging. But once we got on the right train, we got off at the right station and the baths were very close. We got a bit confused after going in as there were these little rooms with doors at both ends with both men and women going into. On the other side of the rooms there seemed to be a lot of nearly naked people running around. We finally figured out that these were changing rooms, and the lockers were on the other side. But people would push the doors open while we were in there (which we had done as well), so it wasn’t obvious when the rooms were full or empty. Once we put all our stuff in lockers we headed for the first pools which were inside. We found a cold plunge pool which we weren’t going to try, and then found a 37 degree one that we walked through as the tiles looked a bit slippery on our bare feet. Then we got outside and found the really large pool which was 38 degrees. We stayed in there for about an hour just watching and listening to various people – we both love crowd watching, and the different languages and looks of people were very interesting. Not many asians here, and a lot of slavic looking people. Also interesting that there wasn’t anywhere with free drinking water – quite different to NZ where everyone is encouraged to keep hydrated. Then we went to the inside pools and found a 38 degree one, and then finally the 40 degree one. That kept us warm while we changed in the little cubicals – and for me to find my sock which someone had kindly put on top of a shelf for me.
Then back to the train again. We found that it is a really good plan to catch the train the wrong way so it goes to the end of the line cos then you are guaranteed to get a good seat which we then kept on until we got to the city centre – Deak Ferenc ter. The station by the camp site is called Nagyvarad ter – yep, those names just roll off the tongue! It took a wee while at Deak Ferenc ter to work out where to catch the train, and then when we got to Nagyvarad ter we went up 2 sets of stair cases before we chose the right one to walk 1km to our campsite. I don’t normally take 2 trains, and walk a km after doing hot pools! Once back at Nico we decided to check out the restaurant – I had veges and kumara chips, and Jody had chicken and grilled veges which was just ok. Then we polished off the rest of the limoncello, must make some plans to replace that! Actually Jody is quite a bad influence on me! It is quite nice listening to the NZDAC 2017 playlist – current rocking away to Mania by Michael Sembello (who knew who sang that song?)Read more