AT THE end of August, the 28th year of the European Pony Express crossed Slovakia and made a stop at Železná Studienka, on the outskirts of Bratislava. Spectators were able to enjoy the 19th century atmosphere, when postal deliveries were made by mounted messengers.
At the Klepáč Mill located at Železná studienka, messengers handed over a greeting from Žilina Region to the head of the Bratislava Region, Pavol Frešo. It was accepted by his deputy, Gabriella Némethová.
The Pony Express was at one time the sole deliverer of the country’s mail. The event provides a fun opportunity to learn about its history, Némethová told the TASR newswire.
The route across Slovakia is about 600 kilometres long, and 60 riders take turns. There are eight post offices along the way, in which postmasters take over and stamp the packages. Messengers always ride in pairs and spend about 20 kilometres on horseback, dressed in replicas of historical uniforms, complete with period leather mail pouches.
The route goes from the Czech-Slovak border, crossing the Bumbálka pass, then through the centre of Žilina, where it splits off into northern and southern routes. The northern route continues through Ružomberok, Slo-venský raj and Košice to the Slovak-Hunga-rian border crossing at Seňa. The southern route bypasses Trenčín, continues through Galanta and ends in Bratislava.