H20: Thermal baths, waterpark, and Lake Balaton

Trip Start Mar 05, 2002
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Trip End Jan 2003


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Sunday, July 21, 2002

After Pecs, we spent a few days in Budapest. Hungary seems so modern and is so much easier to travel in than Romania. Almost everyone seems to speak at least some English, and people here are incredibly helpful.
In Budapest, we visited a thermal bath house. There were several pools with natural spring water known for its curative properties. We really enjoyed that. Another day we went to the waterpark. I know it seems silly to come all the way to eastern Europe to go to a waterpark, but if you were here when it was this hot, you would do the same thing. At least I think you would. The waterpark was quite impressive. About eight different pools of varying water temperature, fountains, waterslides, a wave pool, and a pool with a strong current that would pull you in a circle.
My relatives Pal and Moni were nice enough to let me stay with them for three nights in Budapest. They even had a cake for me because they knew my birthday was coming up. It was really nice to feel taken care of, and to be able to leave my backpack unlocked, and just completely relax.
Budapest is a great city, with lots to do and good food. We went twice to a great Mongolian Barbeque restaurant where you can have all the meat, salad, sides, wine, beer, and sangria you want for about eight dollars. We stayed for a few hours there one day. Apart from swimming and eating, we did manage to do a little sightseeing, walking along the water and in front of the Parliament building. But not much. Since I'd been to Budapest twice before, it wasn't as much of a priority for me to sightsee as it was to keep from melting in the sun.
From Budapest, the plan was to go to Croatia, but Lisay and I decided we wanted a little more time in Hungary, so we are saving Croatia for next month. When Yarrow and her boyfriend left for Croatia, Lisay and I came to Lake Balaton in Hungary. We spent a couple days in Siofok, and arrived here in Balatonfured today. The lake is enormous, "the largest freshwater lake in Europe outside Scandanavia." You can rent all sorts of funny paddle boats, shaped like swans or dolphins or alligators. The lake is really shallow for about 40 meters out, so you can walk really far out and not even be up to your waist. I've never seen a lake like that. But there are lots of sailboats on the lake, so it must get deep eventually.
I think I should rename our trip "from one body of water to another," since that seems to be the general pattern lately.
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