The shame!

22:41 Paul Robinson 1 Comments

6.30pm, 11th April, Easyhostel Budapest

Monday was my final full day on my trip and for the first time, I had nothing planned. I'd had a really good (and unexpected) time in Budapest so I was happy to go with the flow.

I browsed through some tourist leaflets and the Central Market seemed to be a popular spot, so I went to check it out. I've been told that eastern Europe has the continent's best kitchen and if it does, it was on display here in the market. The stalls were full of vegetables, oils, alcohol, meats (fresh and dried) and tonnes of paprika and dried chilli.

I decided to try some more local food, called langos. It's basically deep fried bread with topping, but don't dare call it pizza. I went for the classic Hungarian sauce which was made from tomatoes, peas and sausages. With my food, I was handed a plastic knife and fork, which were utterly useless. Cutting through the bread was impossible. I managed to snap the knife and fire oily sauce all over myself. I got a few "tuts" from the locals who were watching me struggle. Unfortunately, that wasn't the only time I would embarrass myself today.

After the market, I walked to the Gallert Baths. I was totally distracted by the view of the bridge, Lady of Liberty and the Citadel.

Eventually, I arrived at the Gallert Baths. This was quite different to the spa I visited yesterday. I could imagine lots of Mafia deals being brokered in these Romanesque Baths. There are no changing rooms, each person has their own changing cabin, which even had a bed in it. I did cycles of warm pool, steam room and ice bath. After two hours I was exhausted but I really enjoyed the laid back luxury. There was no rush and no vying for attention.

The first time I walked into the steam room, I couldn't even see my hands because the steam was that thick. I went and sat on the first flat surface I could find, which was right in the middle of a wooden bench. After about five seconds, I know something was wrong. The bench was so hot, I could barely make contact. An Aussie guy in the room spotted me flinching and said,
"Mate, that's where the steam is coming from."
Even through the steam, I could see him laughing. I felt like such a prat. I was wilting like a flower and quickly moved to an actual seat. It was too hot to be embarrassed for long though. I spoke to the Aussie again in the ice bath and we both burst out laughing. A while later I was back in the steam room an American did exactly the same thing as me and sat on the hot bench. I had the opportunity to look an old pro and point out where it was safe to sit. I like to do my bit.

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