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July 19th 2011
Published: July 19th 2011
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I am completely in love with this city. Not only is it so beautiful, with a fascinating history, but there are a number of thermal baths. And after several weeks of eating cheese, cheese and more cheese in the small towns of Poland and Slovakia, I was thrilled to find falafel and fresh salads everywhere. I wish I were staying more than four days but I had already decided before coming here that I had better get out of the Schengen zone. I definitely hope to come back here.

The Szechenyi Baths were heavenly. There were both indoor and outdoor thermal pools and saunas in an incredibly beautiful setting. This is one of the most famous baths in Budapest and I think its the largest in Europe. It was a little strange that they wouldn't allow anyone into the lap pool without a swimming cap, but they allowed people to swim in all the thermal pools without a cap. Go figure. Since the heat in Budapest is quite a change from the cold temperatures in the Polish and Slovak mountains, I also went to the water park, Aquaworld Budapest, to cool off. This is more of a Kapolei-style water park with good slides.

Incidentally, all of the pools I've been to so far were operated by computer chip. They give you a bracelet with a chip and you use that chip to control your locker as well as buy refreshments. This is quite a change from carrying my locker keys and money around in a waterproof neck pouch. In fact in Slovakia I wore my neck pouch anyway to carry my credit cards and the little kids were staring at it.

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