Photo: David Kubíček

In Magazine: what do Czechs expect of their holidays? Sunbathing, shopping, surfing the web and with a bit of luck, some sex. A Czech tourist on holiday in Bulgaria complains that there were “too many Bulgarians on the beach”, a botched translation job has made South Moravia the butt of ridicule and Lebanese-based designer Blanka Matragi wows the public with a glass dress.

Photo: David Kubíček
What do Czechs like to do on holiday and who do they spend it with? According to the results of a poll conducted by the Blue Style Travel agency thirty percent of Czechs go on holiday with their partner and children, another 30 percent with their partner only, 35 percent prefer to holiday with friends and five percent either go alone or with their current lover. When it comes to holiday activities then sunbathing is top of the list –preferred by one in three women and one in five men. Seventy percent of respondents say they combine that with outings and 65 percent like to see historical sites. Only one in ten Czechs fill their holiday time with sporting activities. And there is a growing demand for adrenalin sports. While last year only five percent of holiday makers chose an adrenalin packed holiday this year their number has tripled. As far as sex on holiday is concerned the majority of Czechs do not have great expectations. Four in ten respondents said they were looking forward to sex on holiday – to be precise 42 percent of women and 40 percent of men. 50 percent of respondents said they looked forward to surfing the web and a third of respondents –presumably ladies – said they looked forward to shopping.

Photo: imagerymajestic /
Complaints from tourists is something travel agencies are used to dealing with on a daily basis but some complaints border on the insane. The travel agency recently made public some of the most absurd complaints that it was forced to deal with this summer. A Czech tourist on holiday in Dubai complained that although the television in his hotel room offered more than 1,000 channels, he hadn’t found a single one in Czech. Another complained that he had been woken up every morning at 5.30 am by a call to prayer from the nearby mosque. And as soon as he went back to sleep the same thing was repeated at 6 o’clock, he complained. A tourist holidaying in the country complained that he had been woken up at dawn, daily, by a rooster and the head of the package holiday had failed to resolve the problem throughout his entire stay. A man fond of his food wrote to say that he had been inadequately fed and that the breakfast menu only offered a choice of “four kinds of ham, three kinds of salami, three kinds of cheese, jam, honey, butter, cornflakes, milk, yogurt, fruit, vegetables, and ham and eggs. And possibly the most surprising complaint came from a holiday-maker who had chosen to go to a seaside resort in Bulgaria only to find that “there were too many Bulgarians” on the beach. Well, it takes all kinds…

Lednice chateau,  photo: CzechTourism
The South Moravian region on the other hand has an altogether different problem. Its new web page which was to attract thousands of foreign tourists to the region has become the butt of jokes nationwide. Although the page cost one million crowns it is near-incomprehensible in places and chock-full of mistakes. Whoever was meant to translate it clearly left the job entirely in the hands of the google-translation service and failed to check up on the end result. Consequently the town of Lednice which boasts one of the most picturesque chateaus in the region has been translated as Fridge, the town of Kloubouky u Brna as Hats in Brno and the town of Skalice as the town of Vitriol. The German version of the web page is equally entertaining and moreover advertises a concert with the singer Jožka Černý which is presented to potential visitors as “Abend mit dem Schwarzen Joschka” an evening with black Joschka.

Photo: Jiří Koudelka / Museum of Glass and Jewellery in Jablonec nad Nisou
Jablonec is a town famous for its tradition in glass jewelry, but this month visitors to an exhibition called Fragile Beauty were in for a treat. The Lebanese-based designed Blanka Matragi owner of the prestigious salon "Blanka Haute Couture“ in Beirut put on display one of her latest art creations - a glass dress aptly named “Orchid”. The dress, on loan from the Nový Bor Glassworks Museum, where the designer created it with some of the country’s best glass blowers, weighs 80 kg and the skirt is made up of five blown glass petals. The dress attracted 600 visitors a day to the museum which is an absolute record. Due to its overwhelming success it will remain on show in the museum’s lobby until September 23rd, despite the fact that the exhibition it was loaned for is now over. So there’s plenty of time to see it.

Josef Hrabák,  Tomáš Pluháček - head of the Zubr brewery,  photo: archive of Zubr brewery
A bottle of beer has caused a big stir in the Zubr brewery in Přerov. It is of course not just any old bottle of Zubr beer, but a bottle that’s 80 years old. It was discovered by one of the locals when he was cleaning out the attic of his aunt’s family home. “It must have been forgotten here by my great-uncle, the finder Josef Hrabák, told journalists, I thought about selling it over the internet but then I thought how happy it would make the brewery to have it –so I gave it to the Zubr brewery as a gift.” The brewery is indeed happy and is now carefully analyzing the contents of the bottle which by all accounts contain the original Zubr Grand brew from the years of the First Republic which inspired the present Grand made by the brewery. “We will finally see how close the two recipes are,” the head of the Zubr brewery told reporters.