THE GRAND STEAM OF THINGS Getting hot in here? Taking off all your clothes? Then take a dip in a Budapest Bathhouse.

It’s a hot August night the kind you feel Neil Diamond had in mind when he wrote the song - and Budapest is just too darn humid. While the locals appear untroubled by the heat, the sweat starts sliding down the arms of the sun-baked Scottish tourist within seconds.

As luck would have it, Budapest is the perfect place to take a bath. Soaking up the atmosphere, socialising and revitalising tired, ailing bodies at one of the city's thermal Spas (‘Furdos') is a renowned local custom that's also a major tourist attraction. The Romans are said to have enjoyed a dip in Hungary‘s hot springs but it was the occupying Turks who built many of the city’s most enduring, lavish bathhouses in the 16th century.

The oldest of these Ottoman baths is the Kiralyfurdo. built in 1565 by the Pasha (governor) of Buda. As befits a steam house offering a genuine Middle Eastern bathing experience, the Kiraly is ostentatious, housing a main swimming pool beneath a giant stained glass dome, as well as various saunas, steam rooms, and warm pools. In keeping with tradition. most bathe naked. although shy folks can hire a white apron to protect their modesty, and there are alternative opening times for men and women.

Also worth a visit is the Szechenyifurdo. one of Europe's biggest open-air baths. located right in the middle of a park. The best known and most centrally located spa is the Gellertfurdo, located behind the Gellert hotel. An impressively ornate stone facade gives way to a veritable labyrinth of small steam rooms and pools, massage parlours and treatment rooms (including, weirdly. a dentist) all clustered around the main, mixed bathhouse. While massage is not included in the entrance fee. an hour’s pummelling will set you back about £5. Plunge away. (Allan Radcliffe)

to those

(7()lltlt‘,£tll(lf‘OlOd to established destinations such as Prague am 53' ' catch on. A return flight t'nrr‘ the UK can he purchased for {ll‘rVT'tlt‘tl ‘rgw‘ S‘f’Ft‘i 53100. so it's worth sht‘r‘r '3: around and checking out a range L" hudget trawl sites. And. ot (‘ou'stx a king's ransom ‘.‘.’|H he added to the flight cost it (‘Ollltt-‘Cllllg to l written from Edinburgh 0r Glasgov.’ ll‘e E: Feriht‘gy airport includes t‘.'.<‘ ferri‘r'ia's - worrdli. harried Z‘A and PB and is located 10 miles tror‘.‘ the mi, swim

laxr tare.

.ir‘rl thi': Britta ll'ils 1‘:

Thri- [)ar‘iiilii‘: -;‘.

{llf".£tlf§ a'e :‘t"r>r‘.'...;-:.- book a rrfigixzrtg rzrie courtesy cf the- Arrrir‘ir't M!!lll‘-1lf38€?l‘.‘i‘€fi (leak in the .i"i\..i' "ai‘r (“iffo it INS?

the :lr".<=r:; "



:lwwu"! fr" Budapest i'.

‘. .m’w h ("3" iv» "V‘.f*‘;trfl.'1’f"l 'i‘

lvleaii‘srl‘ne t‘iiJéw we" firtl‘fw ltu'tgir-t

‘1K:(i[)I‘K/I.lf’l' t'.!'£""‘"

Budapest is a (‘on‘haratixelx ret‘eri‘. l‘1lf‘» or the- addition to the trudge! tranetler's "or" tin-s- essential tourist trail. At: a result. tt‘e gm: viii. tuppenm ha'pennx tlights that t‘t‘ aw- '

;!l?{\""""’l I “""'9‘

film. this "‘awr; It" I

“N: H .'i/:a' speak


Statue Park

I Buda Castle The Castle Hill quarter covers the Spectacular Royal Palace the historical Trinity Square. Matthias Church and Mary Magdalene tower and the celebrated Fisherman's Bastion. Intrepid travellers can scale the hill by 'Furiicular' cable

I Gellert Hill Once believed to he a meeting pomt for Witches. Gellert Hill houses the

l iberation Monument and Citadel, and offers a sweeping panoramic View of the City.

I Statue Park This open-air exhibition of grant monuments that used to dominate the parks and streets of Budapest is truly breathtaking.

I Chain Bridge The first permanent crossing tor the city. completed in 18/19. survwed the war destruction, and is now a deserved Budapest icon. particularly stunning when Viewed by floodlight.

I Parliament The ornately busy facade of this turn-of-the- century structure dominates the Pest bank of the Danube. and is one of the biggest national parliaments in the world.

I Vaci Street One of the first streets to be pedestrianised. this Pest esplanade IS worth a nose down, and is a favourite wrth well-heeled shoppers.

I Vomemarty Square Home to the bustling Gerbeaud and Art Cafes. a great place to meet people. Or Simply relax wrth a drink and watch the world go by.

I Pest Concert Hail A must- see for the determined Culture vulture. A masterpiece of romantic architecture at which Liszt. Brahms. Richard Strauss and Bartok all played.

I Inner City Parish Church Once used by the Turks as a “103tu this Gothic church prowdes an inSight into Hungary's tumultu0us religious histOry.

I Kiraly Bathe Dating baCK to 1565. the impresswe thermal bathhouse is a wonderfully grand location in which to take the thermal waters.

(Allan Radcliffe)

"-1 Set, 2',“ " THE LIST 111