Next we decided to go to an outdoor pool. We found that the wave pool and another pool were closed in the winter but after running around in our bathing suits in the freezing cold we found another hot spring pool. It was lovely, especially since it was outside. From here I climbed a few steps and eased myself into a barrel filled with extremely cold water. I had a really lovely tingling feeling when I got out but quickly raced to the nearby sauna. After another barrel experience it was time to find the old thermal pools.
It was a lovely experience to visit these baths. If we had wanted to make a day of it we could have opted for massages, facials and everything else that a spa offers. I was quite content with our visit.
At the end of the tour we returned to one of the bars with a very high ceiling and ornate decorations. Behind some thick velvet curtains was a room that resembled a wide corridor with seating all along it. This was the smoking area and also the area where secret assignations were made. Then we were treated to a female opera singer singing from Madame Butterfly and a second song, a waltz, during which she picked a man from the audience to dance with her. He got right into the spirit of the song and it was a bit of fun.
Our afternoon ended in a coffee house across from the opera. Budapest is filled with these beautiful rooms, all with high ceilings and ornate decorations, where you sit in very plush chairs, to drink your coffee. Of course the whole experience wouldn't be genuine if you didn't have a pastry with your espresso, a raspberry tart and some apple strudel. Lovely.