Panacea - a cure for all ills....

Thursday 11th April 2013

Hungary is famous for its thermal baths – they are everywhere and are popular with the locals and tourists alike. We’ve been keen to soak up this experience but even though the prices are reasonable by western standards they have always been above the ‘daily attraction budget’ we set ourselves after wasting our money on the disappointing Nimes roman arena.

The baths have ranged from the exclusive at Lake Heviz with its colourful lily pads and maze of treatment corridors, the quirky at Miskolctapolca in an underground lake and the uninspiring one monopolised by an ugly hotel complex at Egerszolok. Many others are just like communal swimming pools.

If you believe the glossy brochures and leaflets handed out at these places there is almost no illness that cannot be cured by either bathing in or drinking the thermal water.... here goes....neurological diseases, dermatological diseases, disk degeneration, stimulating hormone production, refreshing the nervous system, rheumatoid arthritis, gynaecological diseases, intestinal diseases, reducing blood sugar levels, stimulating the regeneration of cells and metabolism .... the list is endless…..

We have finally found somewhere to put the claims to the test. The Thermal Camping site in Tiszafϋred where we are staying has its own thermal pool and what’s more it’s included in the camping price - result! The pool water is a dirty brown colour (Dave reassures me that’s the iron in the water), smells quite sulphorous and is steaming hot at between 34 and 38 degrees.

Perhaps it’s the time of year (i.e. out of peak-season) but I’m guessing the average age of the clients here at the moment is about 70 and none of them are looking too perky - even after a few hours soaking!

Dave dipped his head under the water and massaged his scalp in the hope that restoring hair growth might be another, as yet undiscovered, cure. As neither of us are suffering with any of the above mentioned diseases we are hoping a few soaks will have future-proofed us for the next few years!

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