Results tagged “puszta”

Mostly flat

Smpusztawell0001.JPGWe finally said goodbye to Poland (we'll have to go back one day, there's so much more to see) and drove south through Slovakia to Hungary.  As we were a bit behind schedule we rushed through Slovakia in a day, admiring the snowy Tatras mountains and warming ourselves up in hot springs (and some of the best saunas we've seen) at the fairly-tacky-but-wonderful Tatralandia resort.

It was a shame not to have longer, but this did mean more days to check out all the wonderful Hungarian food - and wine - and more time to zigzag all over the place rather than planning a sensible route.  We learnt lots, but three things stick out.  Firstly, the wine's excellent.  Secondly, most of Hungary's pretty flat.  OK, really flat - think East Anglia but with more moustaches.  Thirdly, goulash isn't what you think it is ...

Plain to be seen

Smtanya0001.JPGThe puszta - the great plain - is very important to Hungarians.  It may not sound very interesting to outsiders: it's the flattest part of the country, dotted with fairly shabby isolated farms, wells, marshland and perhaps not a great deal else.  But here it means more than that: it holds an important place in the Hungarian imagination and sense of national identity.

As we found out, though, it's also a place to hear lively folk music, eat the best bread and pork fat we've found so far (and that's saying a lot), and learn how to play the pig's bladder while cracking a whip. At least, it is if you're coordinated enough, which one of us was ...


Culinary Anthropologist