Exploring Central Europe: BUDAPEST DAY TWO

It was raining when we awoke, so the Gellert Baths seemed a perfect choice for today. For those who love spa and wellness, Budapest is unique for being the only large city in the world in which fountains of mineral healing water exist in large numbers—warm thermal water flows daily from its 118 natural thermal springs. The Gellert Baths are the most famous and, therefore, touristy but were a great experience. Should we return, we will search out the less known, more local baths.

Swim pool (spas too dark for pictures)

Swim pool (spas too dark for good pictures)–pic taken from cafe on second level

Gellert has two thermal spa pools, one at 30 degrees Celcius and the other at 40; there is also a lap pool kept at a slighter lower temperature. Opened in 1918 and part of the historical Gellert Hotel, it also offers massage services as well as steam rooms and private spas. We could not get a massage or rent a private space as these are reserved well in advance. However, we did enjoy the public spas.

After our “soak,” we headed to the Great Market Hall to do some shopping for dinner. Unbeknownst to us, however, it closed early on Saturday and most of the vendors were closing down. We quickly picked up some sliced ham, cheese, and a bottle of wine (that ended out being a bad choice); and I bought a sweater set that I had spotted earlier.

Great Hall Market--three-story building with produce on main level, fish and meat in the lower level, and clothing/gift items on the second level--all at very good prices

Great Hall Market–three-story building with produce on main level, fish and meat in the lower level, and clothing/jewelry/gift items on the second level–all at very good prices

From there we went “home” to begin packing (taking train to Prague tomorrow). We had our light meal from the Market with the not-so-great wine (tasted like sherry), and caught up on email, etc. before calling it a day.

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