Thursday, October 13, 2016

Taking some time to "soak it all in" in Budapest! Day 7 continued 6/1/16

After touring the Parliament Building, and then heading to St. Stephen's Cathedral, we picked our luggage up at the hotel and made a quick stop at our ship.  We finally were boarding our river cruise!  We took a taxi to the dock, which was only a few minutes from the hotel, and there we were....boarding one of Viking's newest ships, the Viking Vilhjalm! 




But this was only a quick stop on board. As I mentioned earlier, we weren't sailing until tomorrow, which meant we still had plenty of time left in Budapest! So, we had sights to be seen here still! Alycen, Alex and I were off to the Thermal Baths! 

Budapest is the only capital city in the world that is rich in thermal waters with healing qualities, so I've read. So, it's not surprising to find that there are several 'Historic Thermal Baths', and we were out to visit one!  We chose the SzĂ©chenyi Baths, which is one of Europe's largest public baths with 18 pools, of which 15 are spring fed. The hot spring thermal pools are rich in calcium, magnesium, hydro-carbonate, sodium and sulfate.  They also have significant amounts of fluoride and metabolic acid and the waters are recommended to help with joint diseases, including arthritis as well as other orthopedic issues.

This was our first trip on the subway! We made it without too much confusion! 


The building is quite ornate, both inside and out...


We pre-purchased a package that included towels, slippers and individual changing "locker" rooms.  These rooms were perfect so that we could store our belongings in them while we were in the pools.  We also received individual bottles of soap and shampoo.

Once we were changed we went right outside. This was the cool, lap pool.  Here if you went underwater, a bathing cap was required. This was strictly enforced. This was not a thermal pool.








After a bit cooling off we moved to the thermal, outdoor pools. 



The water is a bit greenish from the minerals. It felt absolutely amazing!






Each of the pools had a sign that indicated the water temperature.


We stayed outside the entire time, and never made it to any of the indoor pools. We were enjoying the outside too much!








Unfortunately though our time here had to come to an end...we had to head back to the ship for our first "event"! We thoroughly enjoyed our afternoon at the baths though and definitely would go back! It was incredibly relaxing and definitely a great afternoon experience!  Next time, we need to try to make it inside!

We made our way back to the ship and Alex and I unpacked. We were staying in a French Balcony stateroom on the main deck. For those not familiar with river cruise ships, they are all essentially the same size and shape. It's what goes on inside that makes them different from one another. Throughout this "journey" I'll be posting pictures from on board the ship, rather than try to do it all at one time. The ship was very nice and we enjoyed the modern decor. 

Our cabin was somewhat small though, as you can see from the pictures...








The bathroom was basic, somewhat small, but we made do with everything. 



I'm often asked just what there is to do on a river cruise ship. Without the big entertainment venues or multiple dining options, what keeps everyone busy? Hopefully as you read about our upcoming days, you'll see that we never had a dull moment!

After getting back from the baths and changing, we had our "Welcome Briefing".  This takes place in the lounge and the Vilhjalm team talked about the ship and what we could look forward to during our time on board, as well as what our options would be for tomorrow.  After the briefing, which is always during cocktail hour, it's time for dinner.

While I don't remember exactly what the choices were for any meal, there is always a standard menu that doesn't change throughout the cruise and then a specials menu that is different every night.  





After dinner, since we were still docked in Budapest, but at a different spot than our previous nights - what better to do than go up onto the sun deck and take some more pictures of this beautiful city at night!














Even though we hadn't sailed yet, we were on board. Our cruise had officially started! Tomorrow and for the next 7 days, we'd be in the hands of Viking! We were excited to begin the next phase of this journey!

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