Over my two week holiday in the middle of my semester abroad I spent time in Budapest, Vienna, and Prague with some friends. All of these places are very different from the two places I have lived my whole life. Those two places are New York City and London. However, one of these places in my opinion was very different to what I was used to culturally and that was Budapest. One of the things that was viewed differently and had a big impact on daily life was the baths.
To me, these did not look like giant baths, these looked like swimming pools. However, I did not understand the cultural significance these baths have for the local people in Budapest. The baths have been around for thousands of years. The one that we went to was apparently there for just over 500 years. I did not understand the cultural significance and the history behind most of these baths until I was actually in one, and experienced it first hand. The architecture around it must have been at least a couple hundred years old. However, the bath itself felt like a giant hot tub. It was very warm, and I felt very relaxed once I stepped in. That was when I realized, this is a place where people go to relax, and take some stress away from their daily lives. As we were leaving, people with business suits started stripping into their bathing suits. It was weird to see, but then it hit me that the baths were not meant for certain people, they were meant for everyone. Then to find out that people have been in this bath for hundreds of years made me think that this was no ordinary swimming pool like at home. These baths were of big cultural significance, and I felt honored to be in one of them with tourists and locals alike.
Here is a video about thermal baths, and the exact one that we went to..
Until next time…cheers everyone!