After we had passed Budapest by night, our next stop was Solt (speak: Sholt) in Hungary. Some passengers chose to visit Pécs, we decided to see the horseriders in the Puszta. We arrived by bus at the sprawling ranch, where we were offered all sorts of drinks, mostly alcoholic, like their famous Stierblut red wine and snappsz. Then the horse riding show began.
The riders with blue cloaks gallopped around the course with different waggons, with horses or oxen. They demonstrated how the horses can fall to their sides and get up again instantly. They swung their whips and let them crack in the air. Some ladies from the audience stood in front of the balustrade and had to play “mother-in-law” while the whip gently enclosed them without hurting them. Next the whiplashes pulled down wooden pins off blocks or cracked in cadence. The riders rode races and tried to snatch a large kerchief in turn from the leader.
The “clown” fellow is a plump rider on a donkey. The two of them always made the crowd laugh, like when the donkey stood backwards or walked in the wrong direction or grabbed the kerchief when no one was looking.
After the wonderful riding show there were more drinks and a ride in a large waggon for all the guests, out to the end of the field around a historic straw hut and camp and back to the stables. These were duly visited and all the horses petted. We saw goats and rabbits as well.
Outside the ladies had set up the inevitable stands selling paprika, in sachets or tins, snappsz, wooden spoons, dishcloths, magnets, blouses with embroidered flowers.
Our next stop was the small Paprika Museum in a villa in the village. There we could see all the products and the history of paprika production.
Afterwards we were invited to a traditional dance at the Embroidery Museum. The young couple showed us several dances and when they had finished, a spectator was asked to count the number of petticoats the young lady was wearing – an astonishing 10 layers atop a waist cushion! Inside the shop they offered very many pretty items of clothing and tablecloths. Unfortunately I couldn’t find anything in my size… We liked this excursion very much as we saw so many traditions of Hungary.