October 5, 2013

#117 Hotel Gellert

Hotel Gellert

The Turkish invasion of Hungary (1541 - 1686) left Budapest with a tradition of public bathing. The Gellert was built in the 1900s over 18 hot springs and pools and modeled after the ancient baths at Caracalla. The buildings themselves are Art Nouveau filled with stained glass and intricate mosaics.  I assumed that photography in the spa wouldn't be allowed so I didn't bring my camera, but there were a lot of people snapping pictures.





The spa is separate from the hotel, but a stay at the hotel comes with a complimentary entry to the baths.  It seemed like a bargain price at 84 Euros (breakfast and spa entry included), and this is what you get for that price at a luxury European hotel. 


The key was awesome, although really unwieldy and heavy.





Some things to know before you go:
  • Swimsuits are now mandatory (only as of January 2013).
  • Just because swimsuits are mandatory doesn't mean that some people will not interpret that as loosely as possible.
  • Europeans do not care what you look like in a swimsuit.  
  • They also do not care about what they look like in a swimsuit.
  • Bathing caps are mandatory in the indoor swimming pool.
And most importantly:
  • Bring flip flops!  The floors are wet and slippery.  You will need non-slip shoes to get around.  
Alas, I did not have flip flops and I spent much of my time trying not to fall. After many close calls, I was almost entirely successful at staying upright, but as I was searching for the exit ...  you guessed it... fell, right on my butt. This resulted in a serious case of bruised tailbone which has plagued my ability to sit down, stand up, climb stairs, tolerate my stupid backpack, and travel on buses and airplanes.  Also, if you are wondering what the pattern on the floor of the exit looks like...
It is embedded in my palm.  I spent the next few hours light-headed and sick from the pain.

But the time spent in the water, was actually delightful.

Potential TMI read on at your own risk!

It has been a million years since I went to a pool of any sort, and I found out that with the natural buoyancy of boobs - I will likely never drowned ... unless of course the buoyancy of my chest forces my head backward, underwater. Drowning by boobage.  It might be a real thing.