szechenyi bathsToday was our last full day in Budapest, tomorrow we head to Vienna at lunch. I went with my stepmother-in-law (Joyce) to the Szechenyi Baths. It was…an experience. Definitely not a tourist spot, it was full of friendly and hearty locals enjoying the sunshine at the giant outdoor baths, which were basically like 3 large swimming pools. The designation of men’s and women’s areas were a little murky, so Joyce stumbled across at least one naked man while trying to figure out where we were going. She was horrified; I just sort of thought this is Europe, there are naked people everywhere. All shapes and sizes squeezed into Speedos and tiny string bikinis, it was great fun. This photo is the main lobby, I didn’t get any photos of the actual baths. You have to lock all your stuff up once you get inside. We also had massages in a no-frills facility with a sturdily built woman who was kind of charmingly shy.

We’ve eaten incredibly well here in Budapest. The first night we ate at Paris Budapest Bar in our hotel, Sofitel. I had this great chilled pineapple-mint soup with crispy prosciutto and a shrimp, then duck for dinner. Then we ate at Tigris the next night, where I had the best meal of my trip so far: veal cheek with buttery, sour creamy noodles. Saturday night we went to Spoon, a boat on the Danube that had the world’s worst service and a prix fixe menu for the race. Last night we went to a great restaurant right on Vaci utca called Cafe Cyrano. I suggested it after walking past, and I had a great veal dish there. It has wonderful seats outside, so you can see the passersby while the sun goes down. Then tonight we went to Gundel, the best restaurant in Hungary according to my father-in-law’s knowing research. I finally went for the foie gras, which is everywhere here and very cheap. It’s not my favorite thing on earth, but it was certainly better here than in other places I’ve been. But I had a beef fillet that was really wonderful, and again we had great outdoor seats.

chain bridge at nightUnfortunately I don’t have photos of any of this food. It’s not really easy to explain why you’re hauling a camera around to dinner.

After dinner Adam and I went out to the bank of the Danube and shot some great photos of Chain Bridge and its surroundings. This one is my favorite from my bunch. They’d just had the street cleaners out, this one may end up on our growing photo wall at home.