November 11th, 2007 – by: boxinbcn
MEMENTO PARK, BUDAPEST.
After a fantastic breakfast at the hotel we headed to Memento Park - see the review! It was an interesting visit and it was nice to see the area between central Pest and the park which turned out to be about a 25 minute drive. It was getting colder by the minute, the gloves that I brought from Spain aren't going to be enough for winter here and in Poland. By the time we finished the visit it was snowing hard. Since there wasn't anything to do at the park, I waited about 20 minutes inside the bus watching it snow and writing in my journal until it left at 1.
Once we got back to Deák Ferenz Tér we decided to take the Metro to the Széchenyi Gyógyfürdö (Baths) in Városliget (City Park). This would turn out to be one of the highlights of the trip.
MEMENTO PARK, BUDAPEST. Stalin's Boots.
These baths were opened in 1913 in a beautiful secessionist building. The hot springs here are supposedly the hottest in Budapest
and there is a vast complex of pools in the complex - everything from "too hot!" to "freezing!". When we checked in, after paying the 2300 Florint fee, we were lead into an enormous dressing area with little individual dressing booths where you can change and lock away your things. You can also rent a bathing suit and a towel if you don't have these things with you. The towels are actually sheets and aren't too efficient as far as drying goes, but it was fine anyway.
As soon as you get checked in and changed, you can work your way from pool to pool, experiencing the different temperatures and the atmosphere in a typical Hungarian bath house.
MEMENTO PARK, BUDAPEST. Monument to Soviet - Hungarian friendship.
This is where the locals go! The greatest part of all was at the enormous outdoor pools. The water is about 40ºC and it was snowing very hard. It was really beautiful to be in this enormous hot pool, with steam blowing around everywhere and large snowflakes landing on your head and shoulders. At one end of the pool, a group of men were playing chess, right in the pool, periodically dunking themselves into the water as the cold snow made them uncomfortable! I've since read that Széchenyi is famous for outdoor bathing in sub zero air temperatures and for its highly competitive chess matches. After being in the water for a while, you don't even feel too cold when walking a few steps across the pool area back into the building.
MEMENTO PARK, BUDAPEST.
So, we stayed there for a couple hours and had a really nice time. Once we were completely waterlogged and wrinkled we dried off, walked back to the Metro station and headed back to Vaci Street where we had lunch at a restaurant with typical Hungarian dishes that looked good. Here's another place that I can recommend - it's called Sörforrás, the decor is nice, the service was friendly and the food was really good. One thing to keep in mind in Budapest is that a tip is usually included on your bill, so you don't need to add more. At least that was the case in all of the places that I had meals at.
After lunch we wandered around Váci Street a bit more. I was looking for something nice to bring home as a souvenir, but didn't find anything particularly interesting - I ended up buying some Hungarian salami and a tin of Paprika.
MEMENTO PARK, BUDAPEST. Monument to the Workers' Movement. These two enormous hands represent the working classes prepared to hold the world in their hands and create a paradise.
... It was still snowing and the street with brightly lit shop windows and the big snowflakes was a beautiful winter scene. Finally we made our way back to the hotel and got a cab to the airport which was 3000 Florints more expensive than the cab coming from the airport to the hotel. This is because we ordered it through the hotel. I asked beforehand, so it wasn't a surprise, but with the cold, wet weather I didn't feel like making an effort to find an alternative. Anyway, it's something to keep in mind for another time.
Budapest Sights & Attractions review
Memento Park is a small park on the outskirts of Budapest where the statues, plaques and other city monuments dedicated to communism have been install… read entire review