Budapest featured trips to two bathhouses: Kiraly and the Gellert Thermal Baths. Kiraly was dark and impossible to photograph (aside from a sneaky image of the dressing room), so it was immediately ruled out as a location for a water sample. It was also over 500 years old and "pristine" wasn't an apt description.
I fell in love with Gellert online and learned after visiting that Matthew Barney's Cremaster 5 was filmed there. My biggest packing travesty was neglecting to bring a swim cap because it prevented immersion in the outdoor pool above and the one where the sample was taken below. I still regret not swimming laps in a pool a couple centuries old.
Visitor Map and location of clear water sample (hand model props to Cass Fey)
We thought that bringing a camera into the bathhouse could be grounds for immediate expulsion and didn't want to test that theory. This photograph was taken quickly when life guards were walking in the other direction with towels concealing the camera. The ledge in front of the swimmer is the precise location where the sample was collected. We walked to the balcony (visible in the background near the sky light) to snap a few images of the glass specimen container.
More illicit photography as this was taken behind the protective camouflage of a plant.
Porthole views of the indoor pool lined the tiled walkway into the changing rooms. Light boxes with imagery of the interior thermal baths decorated the other side.
Budapest was easy to love as it is the land of swimming pools. With that came sunburns that screamed skin cancer and sagging bodies too large to squeeze in such minute clothing.