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2023 WC: Day 7

Budapest, Hungary: It's already Friday and we have somehow only been in Budapest a week. Today, someone asked me where I lived and I nearly said the New York Palace Hotel. This is normal during the World Championships. The entire week can become a blur. But we were up and at it again early this morning. First, breakfast in the most beautiful dining room ever:

New York Café
New York Café in the New York Palace Hotel in Budapest

Our morning tourism adventure was to take in the waters at the famed Széchenyi Thermal Bath in Pest, the #1 tourist destination in Budapest. There are hundreds of thermal springs in the area, with water temperatures averaging 168 degrees. The waters are said to be therapeutic due to the high mineral content (mostly sulfate, calcium, magnesium and bicarbonate) and ruins of baths from Roman times have been discovered nearby. This morning, we joined the masses, and paid $40 for a day-pass and a locker. We went from pool to pool, spa to spa, to explore the bath house. The waters were very lovely, there was no noticeable Sulphur smell that one often experiences at a natural hot spring, though there was a sign apologizing for the odor. Here are too many photos:

Széchenyi Thermal Bath
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
Széchenyi Thermal Bath - this pool was about 101 degrees
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
This pool was cooler, and for swimming - caps required unless you were bald.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
The pavilion above has private cabanas (to rent).
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
Indoor, there are many smaller spas with higher concentrate of minerals to soak your bones - all different temperatures.
Széchenyi Thermal Bath
Amusement park near the spa (not related) offers
tethered hot air balloon rides.

After repairing our old tired bodies, we again ventured into the locker rooms to change. I understand private changing rooms were offered, but I could not find one. Europeans are so less body-conscious than Americans, but I changed as discreetly as is possible while struggling with a wet bather. NOTE: I brought my oldest bather, with the elastic gone from the bottom, to leave in Budapest, giving a few inches of souvenir-shopping space in my luggage. It went into the trash can of the Széchenyi Thermal Bath.

Next on our tourism plan was to use the voucher (received from our Hop-On-Hop-Off bus ticket) for a one hour cruise on the Danube River. We again boarded the bus (there is a stop in front of our hotel because the hotel restaurant is the #2 tourist destination in Budapest) and hopped-off at the boat dock. There was barely a line for the boat and we easily scored starboard-side seats at a little bistro table on the top deck. Just as we "set sail" the sun went behind a cloud. With a little shade, a little breeze, and the coolness of the river, we really had an enjoyable hour on the Danube.

Going under the Chain Bridge in Budapest
Hungarian Parliament Building
Hungarian Parliament Building - in Pest.
Buda Castle
On the other side of the river: Buda Castle (where we visited yesterday).
Viking River Boats
One of the many Viking river cruise boats in port today.

Time for some food! Just above the boat dock (near where we had the terrible cold meal the other day) is a very cute (yes, touristy) street with nice shops and restaurants. One of the restaurants is The Hard Rock Café, so you know it is touristy. We noticed a local guy, in his pajamas, wearing a TRUMP baseball cap.

Cobblestoned, and traffic-free

We stopped at the first place we could find selling food (many restaurants close their kitchens between lunch and dinner and only serve drinks). This place had a sign that read WOK SUSHI GRILL SALAD SOUP, but just in case that did not cover your needs, they also had pastas and pizza. Something for everyone. I ordered what I thought would be chicken fingers and fries, so a photo could be sent to Lucy (her fav food group), but I was served a chicken cutlet and fries. Same food, only in a different shape. DT had a bowl of his favorite Italian pasta, Aglio Olio (spaghetti with spicy dried chile flakes).

Not Chicken Fingers

Then a BOLT taxi back to the hotel for a quick cool-off before heading back to the stadium for Day 7 of The One True Sport. Short and sweet tonight. I will first report on the decathlon because, my French boyfriend Kevin Mayer had to drop out due to injury. Oh, no! American Zach Ziemack dropped out as well. American 4x100m relay teams made it on to the next round. Americans Athing Mu, Raevyn Rogers, and Nia Akins made the 800m final.

It seems to be a thing (no pun intended) that every field event final is won on the last throw or the last jump this week. Another thrilling evening for women tonight. Long-time world leading triple jumper, Venezuelan Yulimar Rojas, was hanging around the bottom of the leader board, when she took a crazy-huge leap to earn another gold. More excited screaming from the stadium! Then Japanese thrower, Haruka Kitaguchi won the javelin gold with her final throw of 66.73m/219 feet. Kitaguchi won the bronze in Eugene last year.

Then it was time for the men and women to race in the 200m finals. Would Sha'Carri Richardson and Noah Lyles win this title, after also winning 100m meter golds? Nope, not today. Sha'Carri finished 3rd (in a personal best 21.92) behind storied Jamaican legend Sharika Jackson. Jackson's 21.41 was a Championship record. Dave's favorite, American Gabby Thomas, won the silver. A great race!

Noah Lyles 200m Budapest 2023
Noah, smoking the field.

Mr. Lyles did win both sprints! In the above photo (taken with my phone, sorry), it seems like he won by a mile, when in fact it was less than a quarter of a second. (See, times does go fast!) Lyles took the gold in 19.52, with American Erriyon Knighton earning silver in 19.75. Letsile Tegogo of Botswana was third in 19.81. All the stragglers had times over 20 seconds. The Jamaican runner (in the cart accident last night) finished 8th.

Mens 800m final Budapest 2023
Noah Lyles (left) congratulates Canadian Andre De Grasse (6th) after the race.

The stadium announcer (and all the press) have crowned Noah Lyles the KING OF BUDAPEST! Wow! What a finish, and what a night. We waited in hospitality (cocktails!) for the taxi lines to quiet down and returned to our home hotel. Must be awake early tomorrow for the women's marathon... which we will watch on television.

Until my next update, I remain, your Royal Correspondent.

Pedometer: Only 11,000. Swimming laps do not count on my pedometer.

World Athletics
Budapest 23