Baths and Culture

It’s funny how easy one get can used to freshly pressed orange juice and instead of being happy for the luxury get annoyed when there is some stupid tourist who takes too long time ahead of you. I guess the comfort is one can get used to not having awesome breakfast as well, at least I hope so. The plan for today was to walk all the way to the Széchenyi Baths, passing Szimpla again since it was a farmers market today.

Szimpla was almost crowded, which is rather impressive given it’s size, with people 20130107-201822.jpg selling various vegetables, sandwiches, jams, cheese and what not. The smell of mulled wine mixed with sound of some band jamming along and some (well behaved) children laughing made in all a very friendly experience – in the end we didn’t buy anything though but instead continued our walk.

After finally getting to the baths, renting some towels (which looked remarkably like bed covers) and locking in our belongings we huddled through the courtyard into the warm open pool. After getting warm, but not too comfortable we ventured out in the cold again, and headed for what turned out to be the saunas. Széchenyi is huge, there are no maps and the few signs are in a language outside my realm of understanding. It took the lot of my Hi-Potion searching skills to find all baths and saunas on this level to get 100% completion. After close to three hours and with the nice ending of the being in the warm outside pool in light snowfall we called it a day.

The snowfall was beautiful, but not so warm so instead of walking all the way back we went to a nice old school subway station, turns out the line was opened in 1896 and is the 4th oldest one in the world. Instead of going all the way back we decided we would stop in the Jewish district again for some food and then go directly to a classical concert we had booked tickets for.

We grabbed a burrito at El Rapido, a mexican place close to Szimpla – we were told yesterday by the guide that she thought the name was funny because they were everything but fast on service – but that their tequila selection compensated well for the wait. We can only state that empirical tests have shown that indeed slower service has only been found in regions of South Africa in prior travels – it tasted nice and was ridiculously cheap though. We then hurried to pick up our tickets at St Stephen Basilica, turns out we were one hour too early – good that we rushed 🙂

20130107-203009.jpgIn order to kill an hour we chilled at Costa Coffee nearby. I was impressed by four groups of students “studying” on a Sunday evening – it looked just like in Sweden where youngsters (not myself of course) play with their iThings, flirt, drink chocolate and in general do anything except actual studying. When we left we overheard them speaking Swedish with each other…

The concert was really good, especially the guy playing the organ. The basilica itself impressive but not sufficiently heated for my liking. After an hour and half we headed home in the now rather empty streets. We realized that today we spend more money on coffee than food, or put in another perspective, we ate for about less than 2% of Fridays budget – it’s definitely possible to live cheap here 🙂