In case you were wondering from the previous post, yes, I did go to a thermal bath in Budapest (Széchenyi). I wasn’t going to, but I gave in to a combination of curiosity and continuous persuasion by my friend.
What did I think? Well, these thermal baths were largely overrated. I don’t regret having done it though. For me it was something completely new and out of my comfort zone, a step towards conquering fear. My fellow blogger was right, the aspect of anonymity did add some mystery to the whole experience.
Two things merited mentioning and made the experience worthy. First of all, doing a spa surrounded by gorgeous buildings that you would normally think are part of a palace or a museum…that was really cool. Also, stepping out into freezing air (-7 degrees Celsius that day in December!) and dipping into warm water, rinse (literally) and repeat – that was an unforgettable feeling. It was almost like a freeze/thaw cycle…in real life! And OK, it really was quite cheap, and the rented bathing suit was rather nice, actually.
So, while overrated, I thought the whole process was interesting and unconventional for me. I wouldn’t say whether I’d recommend it or not. Some people may be very much into thermal baths and spas and would enjoy this a lot more than I did, but personally I would probably avoid it next time.
Budapest, Hungary, December 2014 – The only photo I took of the interior of the Széchenyi baths, looking up at the lobby. Certainly felt more like a museum than a bath 😛