Cruising the Danube from the Black Sea to the North Sea
April-May 2023: Day 14

Kalocsa, Hungary


We woke this morning in Hungary, our fifth country in eastern Europe. After breakfast we took coaches to the town of Kalocsa for a visit to St Mary's Cathedral and the Holy Trinity Square, but the cathedral was closed for repairs. Then by coach to the Bakod Puszta horse farm for equine entertainment. We were back on board the Scenic Jade by 1330 for lunch and then we cruised towards Budapest.

St Mary's Cathedral and Holy Trinity Square at Kolocsa

Our coaches parked just outside this town so we could walk the short distance to the square. Kolocsa (and Hungary more generally) claims to be the paprika capital of the world, with a large museum dedicated to the spice on the edge of the square. However we were here to view the cathedral and other buildings. Several of the buildings associated with the cathedral were undergoing repair, as was the cathedral itself. One boasted a new copper roof, shining bright red in the sun. Work had slowed when excavations found part of the foundations of an earlier cathedral on this site. The church complex includes the Archibishop's Library that holds 150,000 books including a rare Luther bible.

Passing a new bridge over the Danube
A glimpse of the cathedral at Kolocsa.
Houses in Kalosca
This town is blessed with storks nesting on the power pole.
Beside the bus park and the walk into Kalocsa.
Picnic tables beside the river
St Mary's Cathedral
The shiny new copper roof
The bishop's library with the Luther Bible
Foundations of the original cathedral uncovered during strengthening work.

The Bakod Puszta Horse Farm

On our way to see the horses the rain started, light but wetting. On arrival we were rushed into the shelter of their grandstand for a taste of elderflower water and a taste of the local staple food - bread with pork dripping and paprika. Hungary claims to be the paprika capital of Europe, so we were given everything with paprika. We then took our seats for the horse show. Traditional cattle and cart; 3 in-hand carriage; 4 in-hand carriage; horsemen riding, whip cracking etc. The show injected a sense of humour with one rider (the "apprentice") on a donkey. He was in fact the oldest and most experienced of the performers. The display culminated in a team of 10 horses in hand with the horseman standing on the rear two. Then we walked through barn with the animals and mud, past the souvenir counters and back to the coach - wet and muddy. We were back to our ship by 1230 for lunch.

Welcome to Bakod
Have your photo taken with girl in traditional costume
Now the show - first the traditional cattle and cart.
Then the horsemen....
and their performing horses.
Or donkey!
Using the stock whip to knock over blocks.
Of course only the donkey rider was successful
Now the two-in-hand.
And the four-in-hand
Then the eight on horseback.
Then off they all rode.
In the barn.

The horsemen at Bakod.

More horsemen

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Last updated: 30 May 2023