Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Budapest: Baths, Beer & Beauty

After about 12 hrs of traveling, I was happy to arrive in the Budapest airport. At least I was until we went to the ATM and faced choices ranging from 10,000 forint to 200,00 forint with no idea what the translated to in dollars. The fear of wiping out our savings accounts at the push of a button must have been written on our faces, because a nice Hungarian man came to the rescue.
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Anyway, I was right to be happy about our arrival. Budapest is surprisingly fabulous. Historic buildings. Quaint streets. Spanning vistas. I'd put it at the top of the list on this trip.
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The river Danube
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We walked up a million steps to get to the castle at the top of the hill. There we saw some views and found a church that eerily resembled the corn palace in South Dakota.
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We never made it to the terror museum (about communism), but it sure looked interesting from the outside.
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The baths were half swimming pool - half medicinal spa. I have trouble believing the medicinal part, since I got sick 2 days later. But, they definitely smelled like minerals...or something. That said, there were about 40 different pools (big and small) ranging in temps from steam rooms to 18 C (BRRRR). Gorgeous place/day...
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Here's a list of the minerals we were treated with...
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Budapest also had, in Jake's words, "amazingly cheap beer." After walking all day, every day, they sure tasted good. We tested it at this place twice (day and night). It is a local bar that is essentially squatting (the police turn a blind eye) between two buildings.
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Eg├ęszs├ęgedre! (Cheers)
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