Budapest in the off season? Why go?
Budapest's thermal bath spas are reason enough. Over one hundred thermal springs located under Hungary's capital city feed waters rich in calcium, magnesium, sulfate, and bicarbonate to its numerous thermal bath spas.
My inspiration for my latest novel, Budapest Romance? Three weeks spent in early December a few years ago in the thermal bath spas of the beloved city of my father's youth. I was there to settle his estate. By the time I left, I was changed forever by the unforgettable pleasure of bathing in Budapest's thermal bath spas.
Foremost among them is the Széchenyi Baths, Europe's largest thermal spa. With three outdoor and fifteen indoor pools, the Széchenyi Baths is Budapest's largest public bath house and its least expensive, about $12 a day. Usually "best" and "least expensive" do not travel in the same company. In the case of the Széchenyi Baths, they do: safe for a tourist to visit alone and very clean too.
Located in Budapest's City Park, the Széchenyi Baths were designed in 1913 by Győző Czigler. Its front entrance features a rooftop border of magnificent sculptured figures looking rather playful, befitting the way spa-goers feel after a few hours of relaxation in the Széchenyi Baths' warm thermal waters.
Budapest is known for its good food, fine wines, and gorgeous architecture, but I recommend it to you above all for its thermal bath spas. Other notable ones include the Gellért Baths, Rudas Baths, and Király Baths. The latter two were built in the 16th century by the Ottoman Turks and are worth visiting for the architecture alone. Budapest's thermal bath spas are open year round, with pools heated up to 104 degrees, indoors and outdoors. Airfare to Budapest in winter months? Deeply discounted. This experience is closer to being within your reach than you might imagine.
But if time or funds do not permit, please linger awhile between the pages of Budapest Romance where more of Budapest's spiced yet sweet ambience awaits you. Budapest Romance came out in Dec. 2014 and is available in paperback or ebook editions on amazon.com or in audiobook format at www.audible.com/BudapestRomance. This 266-page contemporary sweet romance is about two foreigners finding each other in the thermal bath spas of Budapest: suitable for readers aged 16 and up.
Thank you for journeying with me here. May your 2015 be as effervescent as the warm thermal baths of Budapest.
Cover photo of decorated arch in the Gellért Baths, Gellért Hotel, Budapest
Rozsa Gaston writes playful books on serious matters. Women getting what they want out of life is one of them. Her latest book Budapest Romance can be found on amazon.com or as an audiobook narrated by actress Romy Nordlinger of All My Children, One Life to Live at www.audible.com/BudapestRomance. Other books include Paris Adieu, Black is Not a Color, Running from Love, Dog Sitters and Lyric. Her upcoming novel is Sense of Touch, a fictionalized story of Anne of Brittany and Queen of France.
About the Book
When Kati Dunai travels to Budapest to settle her father’s estate, the last thing on her mind is the pursuit of pleasure. She’s a busy international conference planner, her life rooted in Manhattan.
But from the moment she sets foot in the city of her father’s youth, it’s pleasure that pursues her. At the thermal bath spa hotel where she’s staying, she meets a Dutchman who reminds her of Béla Dunai, her Hungarian refugee father, who fled his homeland shortly after its 1956 revolution.
Jan Klassen is in Budapest to mend from a motorcycle accident. His scars have healed on the outside, but inside, he cannot forgive himself for the consequences his son now lives with forever.
Jan has never met a woman like Kati before. Her blend of New England restraint with gypsy spirit captivates him. While Jan introduces Kati to Budapest’s leisurely pace of life, Kati introduces Jan to her own leisurely pace of sensual exploration as their attraction to each other grows over six magical days.
When Kati returns to New York, their relationship continues. But it’s not just an ocean that separates them. Kati’s corporate job with frequent travel is the antithesis of the slow-paced pleasures she enjoyed in her father’s favorite city, one of Europe’s crown jewels.
Which will Kati put first—her new career or her new love; a man who reminds her of the father she never fully understood? And is it the Hungarian pleasure-loving side of herself that she really needs to understand before she can offer her heart to the man who has awakened her to who she truly is?