How To Get Naked, or Nearly So, in Budapest's Outdoor Thermal Baths Over New Year's Weekend | Media Hard

How To Get Naked, or Nearly So, in Budapest's Outdoor Thermal Baths Over New Year's Weekend

How To Get Naked, or Nearly So, in Budapest's Outdoor Thermal Baths Over New Year's Weekend

Cinetrip

Do The Swim, Do The Jerk, Do The Frug, Hey, Hey, Watusi:  Revelers shake a tail feather in the outdoor thermal pools at a recent Cinetrip Saturday night "sparty" at Budapest’s hundred-year-old Szechenyi Baths. (Photo Credit: Cinetrip)

Saturday night’s weather forecast in Budapest calls for clouds, and the temperature will clock in at an expected late-December level of freezing, approximately, but that will matter very little to the estimated two-thousand party-goers who will don their bathing suits and flock into the palatial Szechenyi Baths’ 77-degree Fahrenheit mineral-laden waters for Cinetrip Productions’ annual end-of-the-year party.  As usual, the Szechenyi’s two vast waist-deep outdoor pools will serve as the dance floor.  The DJs will rock the early-20th-century bathhouse until three a.m. on New Year’s eve.  Lifeguards will be on duty.  As will be the fire jugglers on top of the building.

Cinetrip

The Dome Rises: The Szechenyi’s courtyard with its two neo-Baroque outdoor pools in mid-party. (Credit: Cinetrip)

In fact, Cinetrip’s year-end Szechenyi bacchanal — this year marks their twentieth year producing disco-infernos in several of the city’s more famous baths — represents just a fraction of the winter spa possibilities in Budapest. Blessed with some two-hundred thermal springs, and with a bath culture harking back to Ottoman rule, the Danube capital’s baths basically never stop.  For its part, the landmarked Szechenyi is open 365 days a year.

Cinetrip

The Party From The Air: The grand oval of the Szecheyi Baths at night, as a Cinetrip party begins. In the foreground, the dome over the front facade facing the park. (Photo credit: Cinetrip)

It works thusly:  Seasonally, Cinetrip books its Saturday night parties at the Szechenyi during the spring, summer and early fall, moving them for the winter months to the Lukacs Baths in November. The Lukacs courtyard is a smaller, older, more intimate venue. The exception to the program is this weekend’s larger end-of-the-year party, which moves for this one night back to the Szechenyi.  On January 6th, then, Cinetrip will return its Saturday-night do to its seasonal home at the Lukacs, and will stage each successive Saturday night at the Lukacs until it makes the springtime move back to the Szechenyi.  Nota bene: at all Cinetrip Saturday-night parties at the Szechenyi, including this weekend’s, only the outdoor pools are open.  The glorious daisy-chain of tiled, neo-classical indoor pools is only open during regular hours on "ordinary" bath days.

Cinetrip

Bathe Me In the Waters:  This weekend Cinetrip celebrates its 20th anniversary of staging parties in the baths.  If you go, watch for the fire jugglers.  (Photo Credit: Cinetrip)

On those days, the Szechenyi’s outdoor pools are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and its indoor pools from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., in other words, on all days of the year, on all national and international holidays, except for those Saturdays reserved for Cinetrip parties, when the daily hours are shortened to allow for the production’s set-up.  For the spa-hungry who are more interested in the therapeutic effects of the outdoor pools rather than dancing and drinking in them, this means that one could soak away for a few hours on New Year’s day, for instance, after having presumably indulged the night before. That excellent hangover palliative noted, if one is in Budapest at the turn of the year (or at any time, really), arguably the most productive strategy is to bathe defensively, bracketing any partying.

Taking this weekend as an example, it would mean lounging in the baths until 9 p.m. or so on New Year’s Eve, heartily ringing in 2018 at the venue of one’s choosing, then returning to the baths bright and early on January 1st to soak away any possible cares that might have accumulated.  The strategy does require discipline, but the athletic rewards are immense.

Having channeled and enjoyed their bounteous geothermal activity for the last thousand years or so, the Hungarians would advise us all to embrace this one central lesson of their bath culture: You have to be able to get to the waters when you most need them.

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Cinetrip

Do The Swim, Do The Jerk, Do The Frug, Hey, Hey, Watusi:  Revelers shake a tail feather in the outdoor thermal pools at a recent Cinetrip Saturday night “sparty” at Budapest’s hundred-year-old Szechenyi Baths. (Photo Credit: Cinetrip)

Saturday night’s weather forecast in Budapest calls for clouds, and the temperature will clock in at an expected late-December level of freezing, approximately, but that will matter very little to the estimated two-thousand party-goers who will don their bathing suits and flock into the palatial Szechenyi Baths’ 77-degree Fahrenheit mineral-laden waters for Cinetrip Productions’ annual end-of-the-year party.  As usual, the Szechenyi’s two vast waist-deep outdoor pools will serve as the dance floor.  The DJs will rock the early-20th-century bathhouse until three a.m. on New Year’s eve.  Lifeguards will be on duty.  As will be the fire jugglers on top of the building.

Cinetrip

The Dome Rises: The Szechenyi’s courtyard with its two neo-Baroque outdoor pools in mid-party. (Credit: Cinetrip)

In fact, Cinetrip’s year-end Szechenyi bacchanal — this year marks their twentieth year producing disco-infernos in several of the city’s more famous baths — represents just a fraction of the winter spa possibilities in Budapest. Blessed with some two-hundred thermal springs, and with a bath culture harking back to Ottoman rule, the Danube capital’s baths basically never stop.  For its part, the landmarked Szechenyi is open 365 days a year.

Cinetrip

The Party From The Air: The grand oval of the Szecheyi Baths at night, as a Cinetrip party begins. In the foreground, the dome over the front facade facing the park. (Photo credit: Cinetrip)

It works thusly:  Seasonally, Cinetrip books its Saturday night parties at the Szechenyi during the spring, summer and early fall, moving them for the winter months to the Lukacs Baths in November. The Lukacs courtyard is a smaller, older, more intimate venue. The exception to the program is this weekend’s larger end-of-the-year party, which moves for this one night back to the Szechenyi.  On January 6th, then, Cinetrip will return its Saturday-night do to its seasonal home at the Lukacs, and will stage each successive Saturday night at the Lukacs until it makes the springtime move back to the Szechenyi.  Nota bene: at all Cinetrip Saturday-night parties at the Szechenyi, including this weekend’s, only the outdoor pools are open.  The glorious daisy-chain of tiled, neo-classical indoor pools is only open during regular hours on “ordinary” bath days.

Cinetrip

Bathe Me In the Waters:  This weekend Cinetrip celebrates its 20th anniversary of staging parties in the baths.  If you go, watch for the fire jugglers.  (Photo Credit: Cinetrip)

On those days, the Szechenyi’s outdoor pools are open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. and its indoor pools from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m., in other words, on all days of the year, on all national and international holidays, except for those Saturdays reserved for Cinetrip parties, when the daily hours are shortened to allow for the production’s set-up.  For the spa-hungry who are more interested in the therapeutic effects of the outdoor pools rather than dancing and drinking in them, this means that one could soak away for a few hours on New Year’s day, for instance, after having presumably indulged the night before. That excellent hangover palliative noted, if one is in Budapest at the turn of the year (or at any time, really), arguably the most productive strategy is to bathe defensively, bracketing any partying.

Taking this weekend as an example, it would mean lounging in the baths until 9 p.m. or so on New Year’s Eve, heartily ringing in 2018 at the venue of one’s choosing, then returning to the baths bright and early on January 1st to soak away any possible cares that might have accumulated.  The strategy does require discipline, but the athletic rewards are immense.

Having channeled and enjoyed their bounteous geothermal activity for the last thousand years or so, the Hungarians would advise us all to embrace this one central lesson of their bath culture: You have to be able to get to the waters when you most need them.

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Forbes – Lifestyle

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