About the Photo Above: Not a Real Castle
It looks like a real castle right? Turns out Vajdahunyad Castle is actually a replica of another castle and was built in 1896 as part of the Millennial Exhibition which celebrated the 1,000 years of Hungary since the Hungarian Conquest of the Carpathian Basin in 895. It is, however, a much better fake castle than the Disney variety!
Pinched Nerves Are Incompatible with Travel
It’s just a theory I have which goes like this: “Pinched nerves in the lower back are incompatible with travel.” So, that’s my theory anyway. I’m not sure how it happened, but I suspect it was the metal cross bars in my bed that were cutting into my lower back (I double checked a few times asking myself, “surely that’s not metal bar between my 4th and 5th lumbar vertebrae is it?” Of course, it is possible that any number of other things might have caused the lower back pain, but I have my suspicions on this one. My wacky theories aside, if you do happen to have massive lower back pain, I recommend doing it somewhere with awesome, ancient thermo baths.
Turkish Baths Can Heal Most Everything
Sure, it is a claim made by most thermo baths, but there may be some truth to the claims. As I mentioned above, somehow I did something to my back and was in bed for about four days. Once I could walk, I hobbled from my hostel across the river to the nearest Turkish thermo bath. It was a men only day (no females allowed). Men wear each given a sort of a little bib cloth thing that you wore around your waste with the small bib in front covering your privates, but leaving everything else exposed. Of course it was thin white cotton, so I’m not totally sure it was effective at doing much anything. Mark another one up for interesting cultural experiences. Once I put my clothes in the locker and tied the little bib thing around my waist, I headed for the thermos seeking healing for my back. I followed the directions down, and further down to a large room with five pools, each a different temperature (cool to really hot). I choose bathwater hot and then spent the next four hours soaking in various pools (cool when I became too hot, hot when I could stand it). The pain and tenseness began slipping away almost immediately. Afterward, zero pain and 77% mobility. Wow! It seemed like a miracle. The next day some of the pain was back, but I could still walk. The baths cost me about $12 for a day pass, much cheaper than a chiropractor, emergency room, or even a yoga class! It was money well spent.
There as a lovely Hungarian restaurant near my hostel where most dishes cost between six and seven euros (about $7). They offered six or seven main dishes and I believe I ate one a day over about a week’s time. I had roast duck, stuffed cabbage, pork with various sauces. and even goulash; all were quite delicious.
Costs in Budapest
Hostel: $9/night (shared dorm)
Food: typically $3 to $5 meal for lunch or dinner
Transportation: the metro was about a dollar one way
Next: One week in Slovania