I came back to the hotel around 6:30, after spending a couple delightful hours at the Gellert baths.



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I thought briefly about walking around a bit more, but my back had been acting up earlier– I think my $15 Costco tennis shoes may not be that great, or rather, are providing exactly the kind of support I paid for– so I decided against it.

The Gellert is really terrific. I haven’t been to a hot springs/spa kind of thing in ages– I think the last time was in Japan, when I was an exchange student– and I think Gellert dates back to Ottoman times (or the springs were used then, anyway). It’s ridiculously complicated to navigate– to get from the entrance to the lockers, you have to go down a lot of twisty little passageways, then though the room with the cabins and up the stairs. It’s hard to miss the cabins, but the lockers are found by wandering around until you happen upon a sign.



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But I found everything, got changed, and eventually made my way to the main swimming pool. I spent a few minutes there, then went off in search of the steam baths. (It looked from the signs out front as if you bought separate admission to the swimming pool and steam baths, but they’re all connected, and once you’re in, there’s nothing to stop you going from one to the other.) After a little more wandering around, I found the way, through yet another set of cabins and what look like massage tables, to the steam baths.



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The steam baths are pretty outstanding. There are two big ones, at slightly different temperatures; a vast steam room that you can’t see the back of (it’s slightly strange to have people just disappear into this mist); and a hot-tub sized that’s kept about 45 degrees (8 centigrade). At first, I figured there was no way I was going to try the last; by the end, I was jumping in on my way between the steam room and the mineral baths. It’s a bit of a shock at first, but well worth it.



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