New week and the weather is changing. The 3-months heatwave (according to the meteorologists the warmest summer in a long time) is officially over! I like warm weather but there is a limit even for me. It’s nice to change habits from the hot days to more normal temperatures like 20-25. It’s even gonna rain they say!
Going from summer to autumn means transition and as the weather changes so are my habits. It’s not just clothes, food, drink, sleeping patterns, cat nap time etc. For me it’s going from taking cooling baths outside to return to the indoor baths. There are A LOT of fascinating stories surrounding the thermal baths in Budapest. I will write these stories as time goes by.
The Széchenyi baths outdoor pools are open all year. I highly recommend a visit when it’s freezing cold out! It is a real treat! The Széchenyi baths are the only thermal baths on the Pest side. The other thermal baths, Gellért, Rudas, Király and Lukács, are all to be found on the Buda side. There are also the Rác bath (closed for renovation) and Császár baths (merged with the Lukács baths 1946). The Császár baths are known from the roman times (around 100 B.C).
Széchenyi is one of the most visited by tourists for a good reason. Gellért is truly beautiful just to see and to swim in the pool is an exceptional experience. In the summer the outdoor wave pool still entertains after 90 years. The wave pool was the first of its kind in the world. In the inside pools a bathing cap is obligatory! I forgot that in the early 90’s and was harshly told off by of the old style women pool guard! Rudas is dating back to the late 14th century at least. Király is unique in two ways. Firstly it still looks Turkish and it doesn’t have its own well. The water comes from the nearby Lukács wells. And Lukács…well it isn’t a tourist destination. But without a doubt one the most atmospheric spas in Central Europe.
Which one you prefer is a matter of taste. The tourist experience is Széchenyi and Gellért. Rudas with its new wellness area and roof pool is a popular destination. The adventurous finds the way to Király or Lukács.
The last indoor season I’ve been going to the wellness section at Rudas. A nice long morning with water massage, an hour in the roof top pool and a swim in the pool. After that the 43 degree pool followed by the 12 degree pool and for closing a good steam upstairs. After those 2-3 hours you need a good lunch and a well deserved nap!
On Saturday an exhibition at the castle caught my interest. The exhibition was Fortepan. Fortepan was launched 2010 by Ákos Szepessy and Miklós Tamási. It contained photographs randomly found at house clearings, demolitions, on the street…Today it is a non-profit organisation and the website contains over 100.000 photos from Hungary open to anyone to browse and download in high-resolution, free of charge. It keeps expanding via donations from families, amateur and professional photographers, along with public collections. A rich cultural treasure with pictures from all walks of life. Fascinating and engaging.
Many pictures moved me. One is on the right. It’s from the upraising 1956 against the Soviet union and the Hungarian communist dictatorship. There were rumours that the regime had secret prisons hidden in the constructing areas of the metro. The man on the picture is either coming up from a reconnaissance mission or is just about to enter the endless metro tunnels under Budapest.
I totally lost the sense of time in the very well organised exhibition and I plan to go back before they close the 29th of September.
Music wise it has been a productive week. My Musical Landscape The Inner Wastes of Gewsgiumue is now live on Spotify! I will try in the coming weeks and months to get radio- and airtime for this piece.
Until next week!