Before our trip, a woman just back from Budapest told me not to miss the baths there. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Was I
going to take an actual bath with soap and maybe a vigorous scrubbing by a hefty washer woman? Well, sort of. The baths were beautiful swimming pools–some indoor with marble and mosaics, some outdoors surrounded by gardens, some steaming, some cooler to cold. Any number of spa treatments were offered as well. My masseuse wasn’t hefty, but she certainly had the attitude. “Take it off,” she said of my swimsuit–no towel, no drape, no options. She gave my muscles what-for, and I got into my suit and got out.
The little “Heidi dresses” we’ve seen in shops since Bavaria, yank my heartstrings till my eyes water, but I’ve held my purse-strings hoping for better prices. We finally found them in Budapest’s Covered Market. Sizes vary wildly, but I managed to get one with grow room. There were irresistible dolls too, and an indulgent top I was forced to buy by a lady who pulled me into her sewing room and primped me into it. Bless her!
Rather than leave our last hour in Pest on the table, I walked along the Danube to the Four Seasons–the “holiest hotel in Budapest.” According to our guide, people walk into the restored palace and say “Oh my God!” When they get their bill they say, “Jesus Christ!” I might have been awestruck before I
started this trip, but last drop of awe had wrung dry at the Opera House a few hours earlier–frescos, busts, kilos of gold leaf, priceless rugs, and mirrors in each box to aid in checking out the other guests. The hotel did well to rank as just another pretty façade. Still, I savored the outing. Several street musicians serenaded my return to the ship, including a great rendition of the William Tell Overture on drinking glasses. I got interesting pictures too. I’ll bet someone knows what this.