We have driven a 1.000 kilometers to arrive in Frankfurt. So a little time to rest seemed necessary. After staying five days in Germany, we continued our journey on Tuesday 25th of August in direction of Czech Republic. It wasn't such a long way, in order to get to the border of Germany and Czech Republic we drove 350 kilometers.
We crossed the border at a town called “Cheb”. A nice center with colorful buildings. The town seemed very much prepared to receive German visitors, no wonder situated at the frontier. Everything was written in German, almost everybody could speak German and Czech. Their knowledge of the English language was, comme si comme ça, but we succeeded in managing ourselves.
Nothing at sight regarding musicians. They talked to us about a music festival that was planned in the week-end, but we didn't really wanted to stay too long in the town. So after a wonderful lunch..........hmmmmm.......and equipped by a map of Czech Republic and a dictionary we continued our destination to a town called “Karlovy Vary”.
Karlovy Vary is a bigger town, apparently known for its thermal of natural salty warm water. Besides this attraction, the town seemed to be loved by Russian tourists. Everything written in Russian. The atmosphere in the town seemed so touristic and wealthy (bourgeois) that we didn't really felt at home in the town. In some very touristic restaurants, they were playing music for entertainment. Nothing really special and the one gentleman we asked if we can register his tunes, didn't really agree for us to do so.
So by Thursday we arrived in “Prague”. Our timing couldn't be better as the town is hosting an International Folkloric Festival, there was music and dance performances. Off course that was our place to be. We registered some nice concerts and shows from different countries; Czech Republic (Prague and Bron), Italy, Cyprus, Congo, etc. Please enjoy one of the dances presented to us.
That first day in Prague was very beneficial to us. In the evening on th same day, we were sitting next to people who started playing music and singing songs along the Vtlava river. We also registered this evening, even though there was a lot of talking in between, our recordings do give the ambiance that was present during the party. Apparently every Thursday musicians and their friends come together to play music, sing songs and have some drinks.
Off course the capital of this country is a wonderful city. Very very nice architecture, lots of Churches. We visited the Cathedral and the Castle that overlooks the city. We also paid a visit to the Kafka Museum. Otherwise our journey in Prague was very much oriented around the festival. After a disturbed evening, we decided to stay in a hostel. A student campus where 5.000 students could stay. The buildings were probably built in the communism period (you could tell by the architecture) inside it looked like a hospital. It was very clean and everything. We thought that all students in Prague probably study very hard in order not to stay too long here.
In Prague we also met a friend of Olivier who currently lives there with his family. Olivier and Arnoult didn't see each other the last 6 years. As Arnoult plays the guitar and has a nice voice, he agreed with us to register him playing. We recorded a Russian, a Turkish and a French song, great performance by Arnoult.
By Sunday the 30th of August we decided to leave Prague and continue our adventure in the direction of Austria. During our drive we passed a town called “Hladov” where we celebrated our 2.000 kilometers. We stayed the night in a town called “Znojmo” at 15 kilometers from the Czech and Austrian border. In the region of “Znojmo”, the Czechs make wine.
And for those of you who wonder:
Wilkommen means “welcome” in German
Na shledanou means “see you another time” in Czech