Austria/Slovakia/Hungary – Day 17 – Budapest

The amazing weather continued – no rain and highs about 25 C – perfect for touring beautiful Budapest! We started Friday, October 18 with coffee and danish at the Paris cafe near the market. Then into the market to do some shopping.

We picked up some Hungarian salami, Hungarian sausage (chorizo like), wine, yogurt, fruit and cheeses. After dropping off our supplies (and realizing that I had left our cheeses sitting on the counter) we booked an escape room. Given that Budapest is the birth of the first escape room ever built, we had to try one out!

The walk to the escape room took us past the Jewish synagogue. The ‘Weeping Willow’ monument out front was full of leaves, each with the name of a Hungarian Jew who was killed in WWII. The ‘pillars’ of the trees were named for the people who helped the Jews.

The E-Exit Escape room we opted for was ‘Heaven & Hell’. The first room was the trickiest – a bit ridiculously so. The ‘multiple air organs’ which needed to be stacked to blow open the dangling curtain to reveal a dimly lit clue board was not well designed. Otherwise it was a great challenge with good twists. We technically finished it, but only with a couple of clues along the way and went over time by a smidgen. Lots of team work fun for about $60 Cdn for the 4 of us! On the way back to the apartment we stopped for a kürtőskalács – a ‘donut cone’ pastry – mine filled with ice cream – yummy :-).

We managed to find some sandals in the front hall of the apt which saved us needing to purchase some for the spa. On a recommendation from Marketa’s friend in Budapest we headed to the Rudas Bath spa. We all started with saunas which included dips into the cold pool between stints in both the dry and steam saunas. Then we split up and Mike and I headed to the programmed shower before heading to the Thermal Pools. We cycled through the whole range of temperatures from 28, 30, 33, 38 and 42 C.

We found Derek and Marketa at the Wellness Pools and we swapped venues. We did the ‘cycle’ of 50 seconds in the 42C pool followed by 10 seconds in the 17C pool – and repeat 2 more times, shower and then rest in a body temp spa. Back to the Thermal Pools we found Derek and Marketa where we followed our saunas with a ‘bucket of cold water’ dump and steam baths.

Finally when it was dark, up we went to the roof top with it’s domed top to sit in the whirlpool overlooking the Danube and the river scenes of Budapest. Eventually we were all prunes, so decided we needed to head for dinner.

This evening we feasted on truffle risotto, with a very nice wine and splurged on some great desserts. I had a raspberry creme brulee with pistachio lime ice cream, hazelnut wafers, raspberry coulis and a ground powder with nuts and lime.

Following our indulgence, Mike collected his photo gear and headed for an outing to capture the scenes along the Danube in the dark while Derek, Marketa and I walked along the river to the parliament buildings. We were serenaded by the ‘party boat’ which runs the Danube Friday nights. The river was full of tour boats – both cruise and day tours.

We beat Michael back to the apt, so Derek & Marketa went to move the car to a free weekend spot and I waited at a bus stop outside the apt (one set of keys is a real pain!!!). And I waited….and waited…..and waited. D&M had to deal with a broken parking payment machine so had problems leaving the parking lot. Finally after 40 minutes they returned, and Michael finally came back about 20 min after that.

Despite all my fretting, all was fine after all and I was able to sleep soundly after a very full day!

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