Hluk

It is a small town in the "Slovacko" region. I live here and I really like it because the local people appreciate the legacy of their ancestors, observe the old traditions and what is more, the young ones are taking a lot of interest too! There’s always something going on, it really is great to live here! Around, there are vineyards, plum trees, fertile fields, forests and the protected area of the White Carpathians is on our doorstep. Every year during Hody (feast festival) a Festival of Brass Bands takes place, every 3 years the Ride of the Kings. People belong to many clubs, counting just brass and cimbalom bands and ensembles there are more than ten (bearing in mind that the population is only 4,000). To put it simply – the past and present are intertwined here to create a nice way of life. Your accommodation will be either right here, in Hluk, or in its vicinity.

Brno

It is the "Capital" of Moravia (population 300,000), famous for its special dialect, medieval castle and prison Špilberk, the Petrov cathedral and the Villa Tugendhat (UNESCO heritage site). It is a city famous for its theatres, jazz clubs, art and humour.

Ostrava

Formerly a city of mines and steelworks, it was much favoured during the socialist rule. But for its smog and air quality it was also known as "Black Ostrava". Now it is a young vibrant city, full of greenery. The mines have been turned into attractive museums, we can go down the pit and see what it was like to be a coal miner. The massive steelworks constructions are not falling apart any more. Thanks to an enlightened patron, the "genius loci" has been preserved and they are now places full of artists, galleries, alternative music as well as a fun science and technology park for all generations. An amazing change can be seen in Ostrava compare to the communist times and it is lovely to be there to see it!

Olomouc

An ancient university town and also the seat of archbishops. It is full of places of interests, culture and art. It is famous for its Gothic St. Wenceslas cathedral and a UNESCO Heritage Site – the Holy Trinity Column. I also like to visit the Veteran arena where there is a private collection of old motorcycles and automobiles. Near Olomouc, there is a pilgrimage site called "Svatý kopeček (Holy Hill)", a beautiful baroque temple and a basilica minor, visited in 1995 by Pope John Paul II. In 1950, under the communist rule, the Premonstratensians were dragged off to prison and tortured, like many other priests and nuns in the Czech Republic. They often had to work in the uranium mines and whoever survived did not return until after the Velvet Revolution in the 1990s.

Zlín

Originally it was a small village, but a man called Baťa changed its life completely. He was a shoemaker and started implementing his business ideas here and consequently managed to influence the world. He had a great social conscience and a noble idea of honest work from which both the employee and employer would get pleasure. He thought of the people as well as the whole society. For his employees, he created an excellent system of housing in Zlín, built hospitals, kindergartens, cinemas, etc., and applied this strategy all over the world. Then came the Second World War and he was able to offer work to many people. After, the communists came, took everything off him and declared him a collaborator. When I was at school, we never learned anything about him, talking about him was forbidden and I never knew the town of Zlin. It was because the first communist president Gottwald renamed the town Gottwaldov. He thought people would forget but my grandma always went "to Zlin," and my mum shopped at "Baťa". I just could not understand, why we were actually going to Gottwaldov and why we bought the shoes in "Obuv "(general name for a shoe shop). The Baťa family were visionaries, their legacy can today be found all over the world - in Canada, India or South America. Only few people know that he actually came from the Czech Republic, why, from Moravia indeed! I will tell you all about the rest when we come to Zlin.

Uherské Hradiště

A royal city, founded in 1257 by King Přemysl Otakar I. It is the heart of the Slovácko region, there are plenty of places of interest and many wonderful events - fairs, a film festival and folklore events. The best is the Wine Festival in September!!! (Click Festivals). It is a folklore festival, people in folk costumes are everywhere, there is cimbalom music, wine... In addition, during the festival all the town places of interest are open on Sundays too, including the communist prison. Anyone who refused to surrender his property to the state was tortured here. We must not forget the evils of the communist regime in order to have a happy future. We all love to be in Uherské Hradiště, people know each other just like in a village, we always meet up at one thing or another. The population is about 25 000.

Luhačovice

A lovely picturesque town, hidden among the hills of the White Carpathians and famous for its healing mineral springs. In the Czech Republic, the town belongs among major spa resorts and is popular for its family atmosphere and excellent clean air. Respiratory diseases as well as diseases of gastrointestinal or musculoskeletal system are treated here. Luhačovice is also very popular as a centre of culture, there are art galleries, a theatre, concerts, music and folklore festivals. Many famous personalities of Czech culture (singers, actors) come here for treatments or just to relax, it’s a kind of a Moravian Palm Springs. I like to go there just to have a walk around, eat the delicious spa wafers, listen to a concert at the fountain on the colonnade and watch nicely dressed people strolling around, or watch the "spa dandies" on the lookout for new girlfriends to take to an evening dance in a cafe with live music. And all this takes place in the magnificent surroundings full of the fabulous architecture designed by Dušan Jurkovič, who was an exceptional Art Nouveau architect.

Vizovice

A town near Zlin, famous for its beautiful chateau, salt dough ornaments that a have tradition spanning centuries, the R. Jelinek Distillery (a producer of slivovitz – plum brandy, also kosher slivovitz and other liquors) and the Plum Harvest Festival. It is a celebration of plums combined with rock music, frequently visited by young people as well as "old rockers". During the festival, the area outside the distillery transforms into a tent city (in all weathers too).

Kopřivnice

A town located in northern Moravia, famous all over the world for its production of TATRA vehicles. It has had a turbulent history. The company was founded by Ignác Šustala in 1850 as a carriage manufacture. In 1897, they made one of the first automobiles in the world, the "Präsident". After, they manufactured not only passenger vehicles but also trucks, railway carriages, aeroplanes or trams! It is worth mentioning Hans Ledwinka, the company’s important designer. The company also produced the first aerodynamic car in the world, even before Citroën! The Communists nationalized the company, or rather stole it from its owners, whom they drove out of the country and it became a "state enterprise". Under the socialist rule, Tatra produced limousines for presidents and "top brass". After the revolution, the decision to invite Chrysler as the "saviour" was not a sound one. They didn’t do much for Tatra, on the contrary, cooperation with this company did it more harm than good, as did the division of Czechoslovakia. Neither cooperation with the American company Terex lead to anything, rather Tatra was used to create prototypes and the contract was given to an American company. Finally, production stopped altogether. Nevertheless, the latest owner is beginning to prosper and we are happy because we are all very proud of the TATRA brand. Tatra trucks have become famous worldwide also thanks to success in rally competitions, especially in the hardest rally in the world - the Dakar Rally, where Tatra first took part in 1986. Instrumental to this success is the legendary driver Karel Loprais. Out of 19 starts in this competition between 1986 and 2006 he won six times, finished second four times, once in a third place, twice in fourth and one in seventh. At that time, he was by far the most successful participant in the truck category and consequently, in 1994, it earned him the nickname “Monsieur Dakar”.

Štramberk

A picturesque town near Kopřivnice, a place where Neanderthals remains were found. There is the Museum of Zdenek Burian, a master artist who was perhaps the first person in the world to reconstruct the appearance of prehistoric animals from their skeletons. His drawings inspired Karel Zeman to make the movie "Cesta do pravěku (Journey to the Beginning of Time)", admired by Steven Spielberg (Jurassic Park, 1993) for its timeless tricks. It was made in 1955, in a time without computers. Above the town, there is the "Štramberská trúba", a round tower (a remnant of a castle from the 13th century), which now serves as an observation tower. Štramberk is also a town of legends and stories. Lovely gingerbread cones called "Štramberk Ears" are made here, the recipe is top secret, and together with the name it is protected by an EU licence. This delicacy is baked in remembrance of victory over the Mongol invaders in 1241, when sacks of human ears were found at their camp. The Tatar warriors would cut them off the heads of Christians and send them to their khan.

American Pilots Monument in the White Carpathians

This monument commemorates the crew of 10 aircraft downed in the battle of American and German planes over the White Carpathians in August 1944. During the socialist rule, it was forbidden to talk about them, only merits of the Soviet army were emphasised. Now, after the fall of communism, commemorative events take place every year at the 8 spots in the White Carpathians, where the planes crashed. The descendants of the fallen pilots often come too.