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Riding an Amish Buggy through Intercourse, Pennsylvania

February 27, 2012 at 4:42 PM | by | ()

Our buggy in the snow

Intercourse in the winter. Intercourse in the snow. Intercouse in the sunshine. We experienced all the puerile jokes our hearts (and friends on Facebook, Twitter and Foursquare) could take on our road trip to Amish Pennsylvania the week before last, but there was far more to our weekend away than Intercourse, Paradise, Bird in Hand or Blue Ball*—the towns we visited.

One of the things that most enchanted us on our first visit to Lancaster County, three years ago, were the Amish buggies that share the road with cars. How we loved looking at them and taking photos of them (it was two years later we were told one doesnít photograph the Amish or their buggies).

This time, we may not have photographed them (ok, we did photograph them, but from far off and with a big zoom), but we did get to ride on one. There are a few buggy ride outfits, but on recommendation we went with Aaron and Jessicaís Buggy Rides, based on the main road between Intercourse and Bird in Hand. Donít expect a Jessica or an Aaron Ė the business is owned by a man named Jack. Jessica is his daughter, and Aaron was his first horse.

On our half hour tour through wind, rain and snow, a guy called Tom and his horse Chino took us on a two-mile circuit around the countryside. The ride itself was marginally interesting—you can drive around the roads, and though we went through an Amish farm, itís just as easy to drive up to one thatís selling produce. But what was fascinating was hearing about the Amish lifestyle (Tom turned out to be Mennonite, but for obvious reasons, gave us more details about the Amish).

Those tiny outhouses you see? Those are the phone huts. The covered bridges? They exist because the green lumber, from which they were made, needed to be protected. The language? A mix between German and Dutch. Totally fascinating.

But the absolute best bit was riding in the buggy. The inside was surprisingly cramped and unsurprisingly cold, but moving around at a different pace really does make you look at life differently; the Amish donít have anything against cars, we learned, but think buggies are a more sociable way to travel, and a way of taking life slowly and calmly. And you know what? After half an hour in one, we think they may have a point.

Buggy rides cost $10 for the half hour tour. There are plenty of discount tickets around, but we felt too embarrassed to use ours.

*Slight cheat Ė Blue Ball is in Delaware, but we made it there all the same.

Photos: Juliab for Jaunted

Archived Comments:

Love the sign in the buggy

"tips appreciated."

Nice view

The buggy ride sounds interesting, you can go anywhere but cuba, and they pass a lake full of blackwater! <>