My, my hidden treasure chest”
What a superb day, best yet but it is time to leave.
Got my butt out of bed around 5:30am in order to make it to the Turkish bathhouse before the crowds as the bathhouse experience is pretty far outside my comfort zone. Walking along the river in the pre-dawn light looking for the bathhouse while listening to Knautic is pretty trippy.
When I arrived the place was really dark, walked in and wandered around until I found someone, she laughed and said “You are first one!” and then explained all the workings, etiquette and procedures as you would to a small child who does not speak your language, she seemed to get a kick out of me at least.
Maybe I didn’t need to show up quite so early but I did have the entire complex to myself for the first hour. Soaked in various pools, cooked in various saunas and had a 90 minute rubdown, the whole experience was as close to fully blissed-out as I think I get.
Coffee and croissant breakfast, handed in the keys to my place to Gabby and stashed my pack at the train station (no one would give me change for the lockers so I devised the genius plan of changing Hungarian forints to euros at one exchange and then taking the euros to the exchange on the other side of the station and changing them back to forints, coins only please).
Was on the bus headed for the Hungarian National Gallery and realized I was having more fun just wandering, got off bus and spent the rest of the day exploring different neighborhoods at random based on where I felt like getting off subway.
Stopped at my bar for a last cocktail before my night train to Romania, all the bartenders were super friendly, made me Hungarian themed cocktails and did shots of plum brandy, Boutique Bar was a really great find.
After drinks I had just enough time to stop in at the schwarma place by my airbnb for one last fix of chicken breast schnitzel and spanish rice, same thing I had every night on my way home, told the girl there it was my last Budapest meal and she handed back most of my money and packed me a bag of pastries for the train, I cannot make this up, wow.
Back to train station, confusion, drink addled brain plus indifferent staff meant I missed my train. Asked many people what my options were, heard many different stories, basically was told to wait for the next train in 2 hours and talk to the conductor.
Very humbly presented my missed ticket to the conductor when the next train to Romania pulled in, he gave me a list of things I had to do and 15 minutes to do them in, lol, ran around the station like Jason Bourne getting stamps and currency and forms all while watching the station clock tick down to departure, hopped on board very happily with a couple minutes to spare, in a small, odd bunk but I do have it to myself. 17 hours to Bucharest!
Goodbye Budapest, a really friendly and pulsing city, all Pro here, the only Con was dropping my phone.
SOUNDTRACK: various artists although I found that the Byrdsian harmonies of The Posies worked really well, listened to Blood/Candy and Frosting on the Beater and Dear 23 multiple times, all great albums.
“So, Caroline” my fav Posies track.