Thursday, 13 November 2014

Day 4 in Budapest- castles, baths and segways

I've been giving money to homeless people on the subways and metro stations, Bec and me argued because she says they'll spend it on drink and drugs and I say it's up to them what they spend it on and if that happens to be drink and drugs then why shouldn't they? Bec says I might be making things worse.  I say don't stereotype, they're not all alcoholics and being as we're walking home from a night out with booze in our own belly I'm more than happy if I'm funding a few drinks for a homeless guy if it perks his night up.  Leaving something on their blanket while asleep is a nice way to do it I think, an anonymous gift to wake up to.

This morning we jumped on the metro to City Park to see Vajdahunyad Castle and visit Széchenyi thermal baths.  also nearby is heroes square with various monuments and a museum, but we don't tend to go pottering around museums, would rather be out in the fresh air or doing activities.  Vajdahunyad Castle looks like a fairy tale castle, I really wouldn't be surprised to see rapunzel throwing her hair down from one on the turrets.  The wooded gardens are nice especially with all the autumn colours. 

Over to the Széchenyi thermal baths for a couple of hours.  the outdoor pools are open and although it's a bit nippy outside the pools are supplied by hot springs which makes it fantastic to bath in on a fresh autumnal day like today in a building that could be mistaken for a palace. 

Indoors there are many different smaller pools of varying temperatures, I've not got the staying power for the saunas and steam rooms but do enjoy a soak in a hot pool.  Cold water though I'm not so good at, so after jumping out of a 40'c pool it took me 5 minutes to gradually and very bravely lower myself into a cold plunge pool, I did it though and as I proudly sat there submersed some Hungarian fellas just came along and plunged in without any fuss whatsoever!

Subwayed it back into the city to meet up for a segway tour we booked.  whizzed around the city with a guide informing us about all the main sights.  I can't resist messing about doing slaloms between lamp posts and bollards of course but try getting on one and not racing around even just a little bit, not possible. Pedestrians and traffic love it anyway so don't worry.

Since we've been here Bec likes to ensure that we eat and drink at authentic Hungarian places so even if we're really hungry and have been searching for an hour then pizza or thai or whatever is banned.  Still following that rule we somehow ended up in an Indian hare Krishna restaurant tonight (?!)
Had a few forralt bors and cakes at the winter night markets and retired back to the hotel. Fly home tomorrow.
In reference to my previous comments on Hungarians being miserable and unwilling to smile I now wish to retract that statement and make an official and whole hearted apology to the nation of Hungary and the people of Budapest.  I have since found Hungarians to be friendly, helpful and able to smile freely and spontaneously of their own volition.  I blame my previous comments to be based mostly on isolated experiences in a shop by Ferenciek tere metro station where the staff have a customer service policy of snatching, abruptness and dirty looks.  This does not and should not portray the rest of the Hungarian nation in the same way with the exception of the girl on the information desk in the Gellert baths.  To the people of Budapest, I apologise, you are good people. Köszönöm!

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