The European Banger Rally will head for Prague in September! The President's office reports car theft, and who will build the biggest VATRA on bonfire night? Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
Czechs can look forward to another prestigious international event - it appears that Prague has had the honour of being selected as the final destination of this year's European Banger Rally - to quote the organizers: piloting old bits of rubbish to an Eastern Europe scrap yard. Cars participating in Czechwrecks must cost under 100 pounds -or 4,000 crowns - but luckily for us the organizers have emphasized the importance of breaks and clutches. The Calais to Prague rally which is to take place at the beginning of September is 1500 miles long, to be covered in four days. And the winner gets one thousand pounds in cash - that is if they can find can find their way here. According to the organizers the rally will take participants through six countries: France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, Austria and, somewhat surprisingly, Czechoslovakia. Sorry to mess with your plans guys but we know for certain that the latter ceased to exist in 1993. Good luck anyway.
Czech and German scouts are enjoying their annual get together this weekend. The event has a ten year tradition and its aim is to bring together scouts of all ages from the two neighbouring states. It starts in the West Bohemian town of Pilsen with an open air music festival, and the main event is a two day bicycle ride from Plzen to Regensburg in Bavaria where more entertainment awaits the participants. This year over 100 people signed up for it, aged four to sixty. The four year old only covered part of the 200 kilometre trail by bike, but everyone else from the age of seven up is determined to reach Regensburg under their own steam. On Saturday evening they are breaking their journey in Furth im Wald.
Car theft is still a big problem in the Czech Republic and not even President Klaus is spared. This week one of his limousines was stolen from right under his driver's nose. The driver had just hopped out to buy a paper, leaving the keys inside and he came out of the store in time to see the limo disappear in a cloud of dust. The police were out in force searching for the President's lost car but by the time they found it there was only the torso left - it had been dismantled for spare parts. Well, at least the President need not request the police chief for a report on the crime scene. He can be certain thieves are working as efficiently as ever...
The end of April and the beginning of May brings two fun events for young people - bonfire night and the burning of witches on the last day of April and Sweethearts Day on May 1st - the Czech version of Valentine's Day. On bonfire night young men jump over the bonfire to show their prowess, but building the bonfire is in itself a form of art. Two Czech villages are currently competing for supremacy over who will build the biggest vatra - a pagoda built of logs which forms the bonfire. Revnice and Mnichovice near Prague are the two main rivals. In 2003 Revnice set the Czech record with a pagoda measuring 11 metres 60 centimetres. They guarded their technique jealously because when you reach a height of 9 metres it is not easy to keep the structure stable.