We were up and out by 8.30am walking down the hill to the thermal baths......luckily it wasn’t far and we didn’t get lost. During our regroup around the table last night we thought we’d do the baths first then have breakfast afterwards. At the baths, we paid for a cabin, which is really just a lockable cubicle for two, got changed and Pearl went in search of the towels. If you want to hire a towel, slippers, bath robe or bathing hat which, incidentally is compulsory in the big indoor pool you have to pay extra, but you have to pay for each item at different ‘stations’ to get them. After queuing for a while Pearl returned with our towels and alternative ‘free’ blue plastic shoe protectors to act as bathing hats, should we need them. Bri-Mark apparently didn’t need them, they having significantly less hair than what us ladies have. We tried ours on and must say did look rather fetching .....not! We went in search of the outdoor thermal pool, walked round in circles a number of times, passed our cabins at least three times until after what seemed like ages, we eventually made it to the outdoor pool.
Walking down the steps into the 36 degrees pool was absolute bliss and we sat in happy contemplation watching the steam rising and admiring the view. We were soon joined by Bri-Mark who had been relaxing in the 40 degree indoor pool.
We must have sat in the pool for at least thirty minutes before our bodiesi started to shrivel. Pearl and I took ourselves off to the sauna and then had a dip in the cold water barrel. Brrrr......... it was rather chilly but left the skin feeling all tingly......lovely! We then took ourselves inside to the 40 degree pool......this was even more blissful on the old joints but didn’t have the same ambience as being outdoors. After a couple of dips in the cold plunge pool we showered and went to get changed. One has to be a contortionist if two people are to get changed at the same time in these cabins, so limited is the space. We managed it and then went in search of the exit with our wet towels and cabin bracelets presuming these were returned when you exited. Surprisingly there was no one there so we posted our bracelets in the special box, left our towels on the chair by the turnstile and went through only to be informed by Mark that Pearl had paid a deposit on the towels! A regroup was urgently required by Maice and I. What to do? We couldn’t get back in through the turnstile as we no longer had our bracelets! In the end Maice ducked under the turnstile, took the towels from the chair where we’d left them and went in search of Pearl and Dianne. Fifteen minutes later they finally emerged with deposits fully refunded and after a quick regroup we headed off in search of somewhere for breakfast. We all felt very relaxed and chilled after our long ‘soak in the bath’ but concurred that the system was so confusing, the staff extremely unhelpful and it needed us girls to sort it out to make it more efficient.
We regrouped and found a nice little cafe not far from the baths, went in and immediately rearranged the furniture so that we had three tables together. Bri-Mark and Dianne had an English breakfast, Hungarian style, Pearl had a three egg omelet and Maice and I had a smoked salmon and fried egg bagel......it tasted better than it sounded. The waitress, bless had absolutely no sense of urgency, spoke very quietly and moved like a sloth. How that cafe stays in business we’ll never know!
Having filled a gap, Maice and I walked back home while the others went food shopping for snacks and tomorrow’s breakfast. We regrouped in the kitchen and the vote was unanimous.....we’d have a quick lie down until 2.15pm then we’d head off and use the Hop On Hop Off buses. One would think the clue was in the title, hop on hop off and that travelling on these buses would be straightforward. But no, nothing in Budapest seems to be simple or straightforward. We ‘hopped’ on the bus and then had to ‘hop off’ a few stops later as it had finished its cycle so had to ‘hop on’ another bus and went to sit upstairs. The bus was actually an open-topped bus but as this was winter it had a lid on it so we literally had to bend right over, literally touching our toes in order to get into a seat......not the best when it comes to health and safety. We were that cramped we felt like we were sitting in a sardine tin! The bus proceeded to go back to stop one, passing the places we had just been past and then started the route again. We finally ended up where we wanted to be, Heroes Square where we had a twenty minute stop for photos. We all split up with Maice and I stumbling across the huge empty ice rink before seeking a loo.
We found a loo in the tourist information office and paid 200 hufs for the privilege.....mind you we did get a piece of kitchen towel for some sort of usage, we know not what!
We made it back on the bus with seconds to spare and continued on our journey, past the Ferris wheel for the fifth time, past the synagogue for the fourth time, past the opera house for the third time......I’m sure you get the drift of our journey which we presumed would just be a continuous loop, passing things only once and not doubling back. Never mind, we sat quietly, hunched up in our little seats listening on our earpieces. Maice managed to doze off for a while until we came back to the stop we wanted, well we thought we had!
The outcome of one of our previous regroups was to eat tonight at another Trofea Grill. Mark had booked a table for 6pm, now all we had to do was find it. As you know, our track record for finding places this holiday hasn’t been too successful so Pearl took charge and managed to guide us there without too many deviations. The same terms applied as on New Years Eve but we had three hours of eating and drinking instead of the eight hours we had then. Champagne, wine and beers were ordered and replenished on a regular basis much to the chagrin of our young waiter who seemed to disapprove of topping up our drinks. For a young guy he was pretty grumpy......how could we get a smile out of him we wondered. We called him over and told him he reminded us of Cristiano Ronaldo and he managed to break into a semi-smile but that was it. He was delighted to inform us that our three hours were up and we had to leave........I don’t know what he didn’t like about us......we were very well behaved that evening!
Us girlies decided to go home whilst Bri-Mark went for a few scoops in the local bars. We trudged up the hill, got home and went straight to our beds. Dianne was feeling the worse for wear when we got in, suffering apparently from spinning room syndrome......must have been the fresh air that affected her. A good nights sleep is what she needs.
We didn’t hear Bri-Mark come in but doubt they’d walked home like us. No doubt there’ll be a few tales to tell around the breakfast table in the morning!
Good night all.......xxxxxx