Happy birthday to me!  I cashed in my Vueling frequent-flyer “Puntos” for a free round-trip ticket from Barcelona through a bit of Central Europe for a birthday present… a present from me, to me!

My first stop was, Budapest, the farthest East that I have gone in my travels this year.  My favorite experience was a dip in the geothermal baths – natural geothermal “hot tubs” for your soaking pleasure with five different-temperature pools to rotate through (of which I was the only person under 70 years old…).  Followed this relaxing soak in the morning, I flipped the tone of the day with a walkthrough of the “House of Terror,” the building which housed the Hungarian Nazi party headquarters and Communist Secret Police in succession.  I rounded out my visit with a walk around the old town, including the second-largest Parliament building in the world (behind Westminster), the largest Synagogue in Europe, and the grand Budapest castle.

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