Beautiful Blue Danube Waltz - 2002

After the show, we were invited to try driving a “fly” type carriage with one horse, ride the cute little donkey or one of the horses. Three of our group took the challenge and rode the burro. Another was able to get a horseback ride but we missed out as they had retired the horse before we had completed the burro-riding experience. We found the burro's back was quite slippery and his little belly hard to grip. Sliding off was easy – getting back on was harder. Only a moment’s dignity was lost. After the individual riding and driving possibilities, we were invited to climb aboard a covered wagon to ride through the farmland owned by the farm. The wagons were rough-riding, hard-seated vehicles pulled by two horses. There were several wagons required to accommodate our whole group. We all enjoyed this visit to the Magyar Horse Farm immensely—a good experience for sure! At lunch today, we celebrated a friend's birthday with little gifts and good wishes. The River Aria supplied the delicious chocolate Esterhazy pie and ice cream. Our afternoon was free until 3 PM when we had our second Hungarian lesson. Erika is an effective teacher and she had us answering questions, singing Hungarian folk-songs, and learning vowel and consonant sounds which was not easy for our ears and tongues. All this in spite of the fact that Hungarian is not a cognate language with English since it is not in the Indo-European family of languages. At 4 PM we left the ship again to visit the St. Mary's Cathedral on Holy Trinity Square. There was a Franz Liszt statue for the 100-year memorial of his death in l886. The Square also contained a World War I memorial statue, as well as one of King Stephen I, the first Christian monarch and the creator of Hungary itself. We were to see Saint Stephen cathedrals and churches all over Hungary since he is also Hungary’s patron (and only) saint.

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