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The thermal power of Budapest. Route for their Real Spas


Continuing the healthy exercise of walking, we arrive at the Municipal Park, (Városliget), located behind the Square of the Heroes. In its vicinities there are several cultural and leisure institutions very popular, as the Zoological Garden, the Fun Fair, the Great Circus of the City and the Castle of Vajdahunyad, erected in a small island. 

Similar to a great artificial lake, the pond has a double function. In summer one can row in boat and in winter to skate. At night it is illuminated offering a beautiful show. In winter "aromatic hot sips" are sold to make more bearable the decreasingt temperatures. The Park harbors other buildings such as the Museum of Agriculture and the Baths of Széchenyi, only thermal spa located in the part of Pest.

Széchenyi Baths


The contemplation of the thermal sanctuary of Széchenyi moves me. We wait shift and we buy a ticket?7 Euros - to enter in its facilities. Would it be possible to play a chess game in their floating boards.? . It is the image of the urban tradition that identifies this immense spa, one of the biggest of Europe. 

Its area?it has 15 pools - and the therapeutic water whose temperature doesn't overcome 38ş that impresses and much more its construction. It is a noble building of great monumentality where a special attention has been lent to the statues and stained-glass windows that decorate the spa, the works were carried out by excellent artists from Hungary. 

We go acroos its wide and luminous rooms of pools and we perceive the effect of the romans bath culture in the bathtubs, the greek culture and also the prints of the bath culture of the north (Finland and Russia). The rooms of baths and steam are different for man and women that ought to take turns during the week. 

Since today is odd day, we enter in the section of baths where somebody tell us that we should cover the intimate parts with a "apron" or something similar. In other rooms they allow to be totally naked. We experience the different types of heat in the fourth sweters. Finally we get lost in the service of Balneotherapy: pool baths, baths with salted water, mud treatment and bathtubs with dioxide of carbon. 

The methods of traditional baths treatment have experienced a change. The treatments by thermal water now are combined with other psicotherapéutics. It is a therapy to be remenbered with pleasure. 

The present building was construted in 1927. The section of baths and the complete department of physiotherapy ( day time hospital ) was settled down in the same year. For a group of studious of the thermal baths, to know and to participate of the thermal atmosphere, in this emblemátic public baths, it is an enriching experience and futhermore an activity of great professional value. I feel really fortunate. 

The spa of Széchenyi, dispose of two well differentiated sections:

The daily hospital service. Here the treatments with thermal water are included in the public health and therefore everybody may benefit from these healthy waters, by medical prescription. We see people of all ages. The great majority with articular problems, others undergoing rehabilitation after orthopedic operations, mostly due accidents or with problems of disk hernia. The medical services are assisted by specialists. 

The other section, the zone of pools or public baths, are used by people that want to enjoy the bath as entertainment: baths of bubbles, water jets, massages, etc. Men and women wrapped in bathrobes, crossing the corridors from a pavilion to another. I like the atmosphere. 

The Hungarians go to their spas to treat rheumatic, stomach, intestinal, gynecological, heart ailments, of the skin or the bones. But others do this as a social act, following a millennial tradition that allows them to meet their friends or the family, to practice sports or, simply, to allow to be caressed by the warm and beneficent waters while spending the time slowly. It is the authentic culture of the water in the society of the well-being. 

The spa is open the whole year. Its therapeutic waters are loaded with ions of sulfate and sodium, with a considerable content in fluorides and boric acid, of hidrocarbonato of calcium and magnesium. Also for cures hidropínicas. The water has certain alkaline components. They offer me a glass of water for drink. I savor it slowly and I don't dislike. It is well tolerated even without necessity of making treatment. 

We meet with the rest of the group in the hall of stained glass windows and Roman statues. After a bath of health and having enjoy the magic waters of Széchenyi, I feel completely revitalized, the same as the rest of my colleagues. We leave without the desire photo of the chess game. It will be next time. 

It is the lunch time. This part of Pest, is known for its elegant and luxurious restaurants like Gundel the best in the whole country. According to the program, we should stop here. Our host in Hungary, excellent gourmet, comments that the typical plates are influenced by the magiars, turks, the peoples of the Balkans and the Italian inheritance. Although the secret of the Hungarian cuisine should be looked for in the preparation that allows in each plate to deploy all its aroma. The most popular ingredient in the Hungarian cuisine is the paprika and the plates that are seasoned with it, they are denominated paprikás. 

The careful service and exquisite atmosphere allows us to enjoy even more apleasantly a delicious menu: City Park Salad with sauce of blue cheese. Turkey breasts grilled with sauce of mushrooms and glazed vegetables.Crępes to the Gundel style, padded with apricot marmalade and almond lining. We accompany it all with wine of the house, a Gundel Egri Leányka 1999. 

Before saying goodbye, we thank the personnel of Gundel their attentions. Restaurant of great category that received illustrious clients as the Queen of England, Alberto of Mónaco, Hillary Clinton, Antonio Banderas, Jaqués Chirac, among others.

The time is pressing and we return toward the center of Pest, direction Isla Margaret. We also admire the West Railway Station (Nyugati tér) work of engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel, author of the famous Torre Eiffel of Paris. Very close has been installed an aerostatic globe that rises until about 150 meters, offering an astonishing panoramic view of the Danube in all its extension and beauty.


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