Saturday, August 15, 2009
Chris and I headed to the Széchenyi baths in Városliget (City Park) today. These baths are the largest set of baths in Europe (15 different pools, multiple saunas - crazy). The baths are pools of all sorts of temperatures and are made up of all sorts of chemical properties (they stem from thermal springs). The feeling you get is clashing, because you are surrounded by Neo-baroque architecture and trashy Hungarians, Frenchies, and all sorts of other folks (some not trashy) all at the same time. It is like a public swimming pool and then, not at all. Like a doctor's office and an insane asylum and then like a beauty retreat. Upon entering the baths, we made some banal inquiry to one of the security guards. His response: "They [the baths] are dangerous, but funny and good." We were delighted.
Here, Chris enters the baths, wading in water to wash the outside world off his feet and to enter and be healed (the baths are subsidized for Hungarians by the government because of their healing powers). These are the minerals, elements, things in the waters:
Let the healing begin:
This is not an insane asylum, this is a high-speed whirlpool that spins you around through the force of the people who churn the water and the water itself. Chris said he felt like one of those lures (fake rabbits) that greyhounds run after on a racetrack.
That's right: 212 degrees Fahrenheight in these saunas:
Followed by an ice cold pool. Chris again (because his references are so dead-on): "This was like a body reset button."
To be sure he was properly treated, Chris drank up to five liters of the sulphur water before leaving. As expected, his many ailments have all fled.