Thermal Baths and Bodies

IMG_8452After a night of not so good sleeping due to Mirsada scratching herself the better part we got up and scouted for a place to serve us breakfast.

Todays plan was to first visit a spa, famous for their extraordinary mud baths, and then catch some highlights and views in general. We decided that it would be a good idea to get to know the city by using their local transport system. The first thing we learned was that the bus driver did not accept cash, one would use some pre-purchased ticket once the bus started moving. Well, we would pay next time.

Again we found our way to Lukacs a little too easy, luckily this was offset by the lack of any english instructions at all. After some german-spanish-english-body language we got one massage for 30 minutes (to get two was impossible) and two tickets to the baths. They claimed to have no mud baths. And we have to buy two very awesome swimming head wears.

They have a rather refined system for using lockers which goes something like this; You enter any of the two locker rooms (both with a mix of men/women) and change to your swimwear in a booth. You then wait for a guy to pick you up, show you an empty locker and gives you a small coin with a number on it. He writes this number inside the locker on a mini blackboard with a piece of chalk. The trick is now that the locker has another number than the one written on the inside, which you must memorize. When you get back the guy will then ask you to show him to your locker and if the number written inside doesn’t match the number on the coin you have, he quickly close the locker again assuming you tried to fool him. Not that obvious but I guess very few people manage to steal from others’ lockers with this system.

The thermal baths were nice and relaxing, the ones enriched with sulphur feels rather “heavy” and of course has the fragrance of an egg-fart lingering. After trying the outside pools I entered a sauna which was warm but not that warm. I there see a string with a handle in the sauna and think that pulling this perhaps cause some water to appear by black magic over the heater increasing temperature and moisture. This was not the case. Instead a loud ringing started, and of course seemingly couldn’t be turned off. All the swimmers outside looked at Mirsada though since she’s just outside. After a very long half-minute or so a guy came up and pressed a button next to Mirsada ceasing the alarm. We bumped into another guy working there in the place who explained that the mud baths were not open until august (or something), it only took about five people working here to get that information.

After some hassle with the massage (they were a bit reluctant to let us split the time since 30 minutes was cheaper than 2 * 15 but gave up when their english failed them) we hear the sounds of crackling thunder and it started raining cats and dogs. We decided to cut the castle hill for today and instead aim for some food and an exhibition called Bodies which we both had read about earlier and were happy to see was present in Budapest.

We got some pizzas (quattro carni for me, thank you) and manage to get a nice view of their parliament between the showers and then try out the Metro in order to get to the exhibition. The metro was rather self-explanatory and after we got our tickets we managed to find our way to the exhibition rather easy.IMG_8421Bodies was one of the coolest exhibitions I’ve seen, I recommend you to pay it a visit if you have the chance – it tours the world so chances aren’t that bad. Basically it’s like a long biology class with sculptures with muscles, tendons, spleens, kidneys and all organs visible and a few skeletons.

The catch is that this isn’t sculptures. This is real cadavers, allegedly unclaimed recently deceased chinese given by the chinese police to chinese universities for studies. A company then employed some experts ensuring that these guys died a natural death and then preserved them or pieces of them to display in this exhibition. By rather advanced methods different plastics have been used to replace e.g. blood veins down to a cellular level. The effect is a blend of awesome realism and beauty.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAfter that nice combination of art and science we try some hungarian specialties at a nearby restaurant. Apparently hungarian home-made noodles look like macaroni and paprika looks like carrots, either that or we both got someone else’s order.

A quick walk home in the now again pouring rain and our second day has come to an end.