Camping in the hills of Buda

A tasty bowl

By Susan

We arrived in Budapest in the pouring rain after spending 10 hours sitting overnight on a smelly train. It took us a while to get going but we eventually found the bus stop we needed to take the bus to the campsite and set up camp. Things got better though – it stopped raining and the mud dried up a good bit.

The fruit and veg markets in Budapest were great. They were built in the late 19th century – to celebrate the milenium of the city (as were a lot of other monuments and buildings – and the metro line too).

So last night we bought lots of fruit and veg and had a meal in an edible bowl. We bought a loaf of crusty bread, cut it in half and hollowed out the two halves to make bowls. Then we filled them with a stew made of aubergine, peppers and tomatoes and used the soft bread from the middle to dip. The bowls looked beautiful, worked well and tasted great! Pete thinks the edible bowl idea is one of Don’s but that he maybe heard about it through Jamie and Caitlin – he’s not sure. It was delicious and we ate it in the late evening sunshine.

The baths in Budapest were amazing – incredibly relaxing and apparently full of minerals that are good for bones and joints. We spent hours going to and from different termperatured baths and I also loved the sauna.

A highlight of Budapest for me was visiting the synagogue – the second largest in the world (the largest is in New York apparently). I’d never been in a synagogue before so I was really interested to visit it. This one was on the edge of what was the Jewish ghetto during the second world war. The woman who gave the tour was the daughter of a Jewish mother and a Catholic father, both of whom had lived in the ghetto, and both of whom were lucky enough to survive the war. Her parents had hidden people and helped others to survive during that terrible time.

Back to Budapest for another bath

By Pete

I’m not usually much into baths – I much prefer a long shower (too long has sometimes been the complaint). Baths normally leave me sweaty and bored but the baths we went to in Budapest (Szechenyi furdo) were something else. They’re more like a cross between a bath, a swimming pool and a water park. Baths outside, baths inside, some warm, some tepid, some hot, saunas, plunge pools, fountains, Jacuzzis. My favourite is definitely the circular outdoor pool that sometimes has a jet powered current so that you can just lie back and go round in circles…

This isn’t the first time I’ve been to Budapest. I was here a few years ago in Autumn and so I’ve always associated the place with (aside from great baths) beautiful shades of orange, yellows and reds – I spent a good bit of my last visit wandering around some of Budapest’s beautiful parks. In Summer, the parks are obviously very different – still beautiful but very green and full of people making the most of them.

To me, Budapest seems absolutely full of big old grand buildings. Every time you turn a corner there’s another one. It’s a great place to wander around. Susan and I did a walking tour not long after we arrived to try and get a bit more of a sense of the place. One of the things I was left with was the realisation that the Hungarian empire (or the Austro-Hungarian empire I guess) was really big and wealthy at the end of the 19th century. I know I probably should have realised that before now but history was never my strong point…

P.S. One little detail that Susan didn’t mention about the edible bowls was that we used the saw blade of my swiss army pocket knife to do the bread carving. I’ve had that knife for years – my brother Dave gave it to me when I was about 12 years old – thanks Dave – and although I’ve used it lots, I’ve rarely used the saw blade until my recent discovery that it makes for a pretty good bread knife. So there you go…


  1. Hi Pete & Susan
    You certainly are experiencing a variety of activities and scenes. Susan, you must have felt at home with so much greenery, as in one of the photos.
    Where is the photo of the fabulous meal in the edible bowl?

  2. Hey I was in Budapest last month and had a ball at those same baths, i spent an entire afternoon being swished round the circle by the water jets. Fab fun.

    I did also go to the Gellert baths which i can also recommend, really amazing buildings and superb baths.

  3. Ok. So I’ve heard from Jamie and seen Don’s response and it turns out that my memory was about right ? I heard about the edible bowl from Jamie and Caitlin but they got the idea off Don. Don (being the honest man that he is) won’t take full credit for the idea though – he learn’t about it from an Arnotts colleague during his biscuit making days. Apparently the idea comes from Durban. Here’s a link for more info if you need it:

  4. … and now I understand the context of Jamie’s query about the bowls. Seems I was a bit behind in my aroundaboutway. Glad to see it’s all sorted now. Will cross Jamie off my list of folk who don’t make a whole lot of sense. Which really only leaves 2 or 3 work colleagues and all those people in Melbourne who think taking your shirt off is the only way to protest…

  5. I am so glad you went to the Szechenyi baths. They are fab, and that’s where Chris proposed to me, at 37C: perfect temperature! (of course he didn’t go down on bended knee as he would have drowned!). Budapest is a place I would return to every year if I could.

    Keep the postings coming! I especially love the sound recordings. Thanks guys!!

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