The labors of vacation


The last day of our trip was dedicated to a last round of shopping and a visit to A-List Spa. It was quite cold so while waiting I went into the H&M store, not for shopping but rather to warm myself. Sad to say the store played good music and on every section in the store there was at least one item that stood out as good enough to buy. Ranging from ties to shoes and shirts the store simply offered more than any other I’d been to. I decided it was OK to buy a pair of pajamas pants on sale, but other items I could shop while back in Göteborg.

Across H&M lies Gerbeaud, a classic café depicted above – prices were on par with the fame so to say. That said I should admit that the hot chocolate and the tasting platter of cakes were really really nice. And just watching the interior was an experience so I do recommend going here.20130113-211310.jpg

After making sure we had eaten enough sweets for one day we continued with a little bit of shopping, and when I say “we” I mean Mona. I had little luck in finding anything, and several of the stores lacked male clothing at all. So the total amount of shopping I did totaled just below 10 EUR, better to spend money on pampering and experiences. Just half a block from Gerbeaud was A-List café where Mona would get a haircut and we both would get a pedicure – they did offer fish-eating-pedicure but we went for the traditional one – it was nice and not expensive so we can recommend it as well. It was quite popular though, and hadn’t we booked in advance this morning we would probably not been able to get a slot.

For dinner we were somewhat boring and went to Café Kör again, it was in the neighborhood after all. We even went so far so we had the same dishes, which again tasted really good. It should be said however that the small excuse for a salad (two slices of tomato and a little bit of lettuce) includes not slices of your regular green paprika pepper as one might guess but it’s spicier cousin the green chili pepper. We went to bed rather early after packing our bags, the taxi would pick us up at 0430…

A little bit of everything


20130109-114630.jpgAfter an early breakfast, we headed off to Central Market Hall. The building was impressive and huge, one could likely fit 4-5 versions of Göteborg’s market hall inside this one. First floor are where the locals shop their groceries while the second floor is split up – food/beverage stalls in one area and tourist junk on the other. Apparently the prices were lower here than on the streets but if you aren’t into buying plastic souvenirs or totes labeled Budapest in the first place there is little to shop here.

Instead we walked to Isis Day Spa which had received good reviews on Google Maps, it turned out they were short on staff during this time of the day so we unable to have pedicure treatments in parallel. Not fond of taking turns I went for their deep tissue massage while Mona would go on a local excursion. The deep tissue massage is something I’ve looked forward to do for quite some time, and I will still continue that search, after 10 minutes or so of warming up I asked the masseuse if she really was doing deep tissue massage to avoid any misunderstandings – she explained that yes, this was “strong massage” and I quickly thought about canceling the session there and then but decided I’d just let her do her thing. It was still nice, not as strong as I’d like and definitely not what I had expected.

After the massage I went to the hotel, grabbed our bathing equipment and met up with Mona so we could give Király Baths a try. We took the tram after a quick misunderstanding with the ticket vending machine who gladly stole our money without returning ticket nor coins. We stopped at Batthyány tér for a quick pancake lunch (I had the suspicion I’ve been there before but couldn’t be sure) before finding the baths.


Király baths sure would do good with some renovation (outside entrance depicted above), but it was good saunas, pools and quite cosy – it should be noted that Mona’s “silver” chain she wore changed color to something very dark though after spending time in the water so something was in the water that wasn’t present in Széchenyi – I’m sure it’s healthful though 🙂


After two long relaxing hours we took the tram to West End Business shopping mall ( Nyugati pályaudvar station) to see if we would find any reason to check in luggage for the upcoming return flight- no luck with that shopping. We left with the tram towards the Jewish district to have a look at some of the restaurants the alternative guide mentioned.

We settled for Frici Papa, which was very cheap but not that cosy, and service as well as taste unfortunately matched the price. So we headed towards Szimpla for a few glasses of mulled wine and had a look at the concert there before returning to our hotel (still carrying wet swimming gear and towels) after a long day of mixed activities.

Meeting Pieter

20130108-102407.jpgAfter a slow start of the day with some research and blogging we would aim to do a bit of shopping today. We started with various chic design shops near Károlyi park pacing towards the Jewish district where Mona had spotted a skirt at Printa earlier. The design focused again much on recycling and many of the shops had bags made out of old bicycle tires, electrical cords, coffee bags or similar materials.

As we got into the Jewish district we paused to look at some weird statue looking like someone falling out of a house and onto the ground. A passerby explained to us it was a monument dedicated to some gentleman who saved a lot of Jews from death camps. The guy was very passionate about the statue and explained he lived in the area. I got a bit guarded and made sure my pockets were out of reach and my camera hard to snatch, he had sort of a disheveled look but who am I to comment on their fashion.

Mona was more at ease with his company and he kept talking and wanted to show us more things, and explained he worked with renovating/architecture and he was indeed well versed in the buildings. He insisted that he should show us various buildings, synagogues and things not mentioned in guidebooks or as he put it he wanted to show us “his Budapest” and since we were in no hurry we joined his “tour”. I guess we spent little more than an hour, including being let into a minimal synagogue where he apparently knew the Rabbi. As we left he asked for a small gift for his recent grandchild which put me off a bit – then again I guess it was fair so we gave him 10 EUR.


I realized that I had neglected my cardigan this day and was a bit cold though, we headed off to Printa where Mona tried the skirt (and bought it) and then came to the conclusion that we needed to eat something but it would be tight for us to visit Kiraly Baths today and then head out to dinner so we settled for a warm chocolate and a toast at Barbar Chocolate. Here we bumped into a Swedish couple we met on the trip from the airport as well as a couple from the Underground tour – they had just got back from a shooting session that they had enjoyed, small world 🙂 The chocolate so thick with dark chocolate it was barely liquid and my chili flavored one had quite the sting but it was a nice place.

When returning to the hotel we rested for a few hours before heading over to the Buda side in order to get dinner at the place Mona had visited earlier, Szatyor. It was cosy, grubby with some DJ playing in the background and I enjoyed a bean goulash while Mona had a lasagna. After a beer we walked home though, admitting we indeed are getting older every day…20130108-100442.jpg