Monday morning…time to rent a car and travel beyond Budapest for a few days. We start with a quick hour drive in a southerly direction to the small Hungarian city of Szeged. I think I may be in a fantasy world. Szeged is pedestrian friendly, filled with green parks adorned with colorful flower beds and fountains where children are delighted by the unexpected rise and fall of water. I watch from the distance at a quiet fountain as an old woman sits, removes her shoes, plunks her feet (green socks and all) into the water and reaches out for the stream of cool water to rub over her arms. We continue through the park, sit down for a cup of coffee topped with a whipped cream dollop (I try not to consume these extra calories…for about two seconds, then I give in….yum).
We eventually return to our sublime hotel Tiszavirag (translates to Mayfly) and ask at reception for the -1 floor spa to be activated. We head down in our fluffy white robes directly into the dry cedar sauna equipped with a bucket of eucalyptus-laced water to pour over the coals. After we have sufficiently sweated, I get under the shower and then enter the steam room filled with opaque heavy steam. This room detoxifies like no other. I sit with my eyes closed, inhaling the thick lemon grass air When it is time, under the shower again and this time into the “sea climate” spa. It is a comfortable temperature (appropriate for street clothes), along one wall is a cedar bench with an ess shape profile, there are red heat lamps above, and some backlit agate-type stone on the walls. I lean back into the cedar, let my feet dangle and breathe in the salty, richly oxygenated air.
No more words except…..do not hydrate with sauvignon blanc 🙂