Budapest Museum at night
Chain bridge linking Buda to Pest
DiVin Porcello - our wine bar for our late night munchies
Pete enjoying his wine, ham and cheese ....... not sure what the background translation is!
Up early the following morning to start the day at the Central Market Hall, much like the Queen Victoria markets in Melbourne, stall after stall of beautiful fresh produce, cheeses, salamis and meats, paprika in every form and then the souvenirs of embroidered wares and Matryoshka dolls. After a breakfast there of crepes and hot chocolate, we spent the next couple of hours walking up Gellert Hill and the Citadel, Budapest Museum, Budapest Castle, Heroes Square and the Fisherman's Bastion with its spectacular coloured tiled roofs.
The city centre is a network of paved roads littered with outdoor cafes and market stalls, hanging baskets of flowers from every street lamp and live entertainment never far away. And with an Indian summer happening, everybody was out and about.
As they drive on the right hand side of the road, we had to remember to look left before crossing - something that takes some getting used to after being conditioned all our lives to look the other way.
After lunch, we spent a couple of hours at the Gellert Baths, one of the many thermal baths in Budapest. Ornate ceilings in colourful mosaic tiles, thermal pools ranging from 18 degrees to 40 degrees and saunas up to 70 degrees. On weekends the baths are mixed and swimming costumes compulsory as opposed to weekdays where males and females are separated and costumes are optional. Thank goodness it was Saturday !!!!
The view from the citadel looking south over the Liberty Bridge
Looking north over the Elizabeth Bridge and the Chain Bridge
The view down the Funicular Rail from the Museum
Impressive coloured tile roof of the Fisherman's Bastion
A beautiful city to explore on foot
Szimpla Kert Markets
After checking out of our hotel, we took the underground to the Szechenyi Baths for the afternoon - probably Budapest most famous baths. It is the largest medicinal bath in Europe and its water is supplied by 2 thermal springs - 74 and 77 degrees Celsius. Set in an acre of land, there are 18 different pools, 3 main outdoor pools and the rest indoor heated pools. We systematically made our way up one wing jumping from 18 degrees all the way up to 40 degree pools, and then sauna and steam rooms the warmest being 70 degrees. An hour outside in the large pools where strong jets would pummel your feet or in another pool a whirlpool is created and you are carried along and quite a good speed and can actually find it hard to exit.
The famous Szechenyi Baths of Budapest
Inside one of the many thermal pools
The large outdoor pool with the whirlpool section in the middle
A late night flight home and crawled into bed some time after midnight but what a wonderful city to explore. "Koszonom" - "thank you" - the only Hungarian word we learnt - 'Koszonom Budapest for an awesome weekend'.