Day 17 – horses by Lake Balaton

Many months ago, I came across a website for country cottages next to Lake Balaton that rented out horses in the adjoining private stables to each of the cottages. I’ve always wanted to go to Lake Balaton, and I have one daughter who is mad about horses. Therefore – when I came to book this European Road Trip a few weeks ago – this stop was always going to be the furthest point of our journey. It’s owned by a gypsy family that also organises events like gypsy shindigs, peasant weddings etc.

I had a pretty shrewd idea that the children would like this stop over. And so, it has proved. I can only recall such excitement on Christmas morning many years ago. The horse’s name is Villam. The girls have to feed and water it. They get to ride it twice a day in the paddock. I’m sure that he will get groomed to within an inch of its life.

While I knew it would be a hit with Tilly and Nancy, I wasn’t so sure about Lorna (…or me). These cottages were built over a hundred years ago, and I’m not certain they had all the mod cons at the time they were constructed. The rest of our tour has been in very high standard accommodation, and Lorna has been kept in the manner to which she has become accustomed to (let’s be honest, was born into). Anyway, I think it will just about work though I suspect we will eat out a lot, rather than attempt to cook in the “kitchenette” facility.

We made a brief trip to Hungary a couple of years ago. It still hasn’t lost its communist bloc heritage, and you have a sense of going back in time to the 1970s in some respects. The music is current, but there are simpler ways of having fun; the standards of finish required are lower; and some of the morals tend to be circa 1970s England. For example, we saw a market stall this evening selling 6 different types of puppies and elsewhere saw the poster for an animal circus (banned in UK in the 80s).

I don’t believe there will be (m)any English people here, as ever Lorna’s criteria for a good holiday location.

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