Back to the Present

In the morning I walked along the Danube to the wondrous architectural masterpiece, the national Parliament. Imagine my surprise when 4 young soldiers materialised on the steps and proceeded to give a precision demonstration of genuine sabre dancing. Now this is what Marilyn should introduce at her establishment. I made a brief video and if I ever discover how to upload it, I shall include In the meantime a picture of the parliament.

the National Parliament building


the National Parliament building close up


the National Parliament building side view

Then I meandered along the main retail Avenue of Budapest – think Armeni and Zegna.  This wide thoroughfare terminates at a great Park with castles and the famous Szechenyi Baths. It is impossible to describe this watery wonderland and I assumed that taking pictures would be prohibited. It is a vast complex of spa, steam, sauna plunge pools, outdoor and indoor pools and 2 large wave pools. I hasten to explain that this does not mean that groups of  young  Hungarian men sit at each end of  the pool and wink a and wave at each other, sadly. The complex has acres of mosaic tiles and I fantasise that this was exactly how the Ancient Romans and Greeks bathed. There are excellent photographs on the Web.

I was offered an “eternal youth massage” using grape seed oil to which has been added more than 27 minerals extracted from the Dead Sea. The irony of promising  eternal youth using an extract from the Dead Sea where there is no living organism, I judged would he lost on my rather muscular masseuse. But I did feel significantly younger – until I got up from the couch and hobbled to the door.


the main entrance to the baths. If only the Norwood Pool had something similar!


That evening I had made a booking at the Aranyszaras restaurant which I had stumbled across on my day walk. It had a fascinating menu, a “Michelin Recommended” sticker in the window and excellent reviews in TripAdvisor. I am an adventurous diner and as with my custom to attend local musical concerts, I will seek out local eateries and ask the staff to help choose a menu of local fare. 

It appears that the Hungarians are the European equivalent to the Chinese when it comes to utilising literally every part of a beast in their cooking. I confess that I will not allow Tofu or chicken claws to pass my lips in an Asian establishment. When in Hungary I do as the Hungarians do but I draw the line at minced bull’s testicle. Indeed the mere thought of it brings tears to my eyes and induces a brisk cremasteric reflex.
To save you the irritation of a Google search: 

The cremasteric reflex is a superficial (i.e., close to the skin’s surface) reflex observed in human males.

This reflex is elicited by lightly stroking the inner thigh with the 3rd finger. The normal response is an immediate contraction of the cremasteric muscle that pulls up the ipsilateral testis….” 

Having uncrossed my legs, here are pictures of the Hungarian dishes that the waiter recommend. 


Entree: Hazi szarvaskolbasz mustarral or.. Home made deer sausage with mustard


Main Course: Muflon porkolt, lilahagymas tarhonyaval or Mouflon stew with egg barley and purple onion. Meflon is a sort of wild deer or venison.