Compact archive July 27, 2006

Slalom Racing World Championships in Prague

Four hundred contestants representing seventy countries will compete in Prague from 2nd till 6th August for the title of the world champion in slalom racing. The competition returns to the Czech Republic after almost forty years.

The organisers count with an extraordinary interest of the public. The reason is that the Czechs have never returned from this competition without a medal. Therefore, the beginning of August in Troja offers an unprecedented opportunity to witness the victory of Czech representatives “at home”. Our most famous competitor will be Stepanka Hilgertova who won twice at the Olympic games – in Atlanta and Sydney.

Organizers thus decided to extend the capacity of stands and provide additional 300 places. Other “extras” awaiting the watchers and participants include a renovated boathouse, new gyms as well as restaurants and climbing walls. The evening opening ceremony takes place on Tuesday 1st August at Krizik Fountain and the programme includes Vangelis, Smetana’s Vltava and fireworks.

Given the fact that slalom racing is an Olympic discipline, this championship may be seen as a stepping stone which enables Prague to move closer to the organisation of the Olympic games themselves. Prague contemplates candidature for organising the games in 2016 or four years later.

More about the whole event can be accessed at the official pages of the championship.

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Amateur bands compete for one thousand dollars

Go Unplugged competition starts in Zlute lazne (“Yellow Spa”) today in the evening. A total of nineteen amateur music bands entered the competition. They will compete on successive Thursdays for the main prize of one thousand dollars. The winner will be also given an opportunity to release own CD. Furthermore, the band will also shoot its own clip.

The winner will be chosen by the audience of the concerts. Starting from today, every Thursday between 17 and 22 hours four bands will perform on the stage of Go Zlute Lazne. The music styles will vary and will include for example rock or jazz. The voting stops on 20th August and the final evening will take place four days later. If you would like to listen to possible future stars, you may be interested to learn that all of the concerts are free.

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Repair of Rasin Embankment finished

Repair of the longest embankment, measuring 1.3 kilometres, has finally reached, with the opening of the last section, its end. The cost of reconstruction of the waterfront, which celebrated its hundredth birthday, exceeded three hundred million crowns. The entire renovation lasted ten years and took place under the careful supervision of conservationists since the area is protected.

The opening of the embankment was accompanied by an exhibition of the objects found during the works. There were for example an iron, porcelain statutes, a broken cavalry sword or a massive brass shell and other weapons. Two hand-grenades were also discovered – one of them was luckily harmless but the second one caused evacuation and a pyrotechnist had to be called to deactivate it. The objects also included a mysterious 1.5 metres large decorative stone.

Other embankments are to be reconstructed in the future. Some people would appreciate if these parts of Prague could play a larger role in the city life and be for example dotted with lovely cafes. They might become a calm oasis in this way.

Tachometers voluntarily measured by police radars

Queuing cars without any tension or swear words filled yesterday Letna plain. What may seem even more perplexing is that the vehicles queued voluntarily. The enigma disappears when we remind you about the event that was reported about recently – free check up for tachometers.

The vehicles had to drive through a shown track and keep the speed at 50 kilometres per hour. Most drivers were surprised to find out that their speedometers actually showed mostly 3 – 5 kilometres more than what was measured by the police radar. Therefore, keeping the speed at the allowed limit for the urban area ensured drivers were actually safely underneath it. The European norm gives the tachometers ten per cent tolerance but the upper limit is deviation of six kilometres per hour.

This opportunity was used by eight hundred cars which was for the organizers rather unexpected given the hot weather. They therefore decided to continue with measuring at the same place each whole Wednesday till the end of the holidays in the case the interest persists.

This measuring should not only be understood as a test of the functioning of tachometers. The drivers should trust their cars more and thus also keep eyes more on the road rather than checking the speed constantly.

Prague's beaches

Tropical weather, which has settled in Prague, acts as an irresistible invitation to spending one’s free time in or at least near water. One of the places where these cravings can be satiated is Prague’s beach along the embankment of Vltava river in the fifth Prague district. It is needless to say that beach definitely does not suffer from a lack of interest. Nevertheless, problems about its building permission have surfaced recently.

Next year should bring a pleasant alternation in a sense that the first town district also wants to have its own sandy beach. Its location should be the riverside Na Frantisku which can be found between Cechuv and Stefanikuv bridges. Sadly, you have to wait for this new bit of paradise till the next summer because the waterfront is still under reconstruction planned to terminate in September.

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Prague: Sleep when you get back home

Prague municipality with Czech Airlines shared the costs of a new advertising campaign promoting Prague that has just appeared on CNN. The price of the campaign was six million crowns which is a very good deal from the famous channel broadcasting into many countries of Europe, Africa as well as Middle East. The likelihood it will bring success is enhanced by the fact that CNN usually presents countries rather than cities and Prague is thus bound to stand out. CNN actually offered to show two advertising spots (each lasting 30 seconds) for the price of one. The advertisements will appear 24 times per week for three months.

The city used the opportunity and targets with each of the two ads a different group of potential tourists. One of the spots is directed more at entertainment and shows Prague as a dynamic and friendly metropolis. The other one is more traditional and contains shots of the Golden Lane or Krizik fountain on the background of the historical panorama. The aim is to lure into Prague well-educated and wealthy tourists of all age groups. The participation of Czech airlines can be explained by the mutual benefit of a higher number of tourists coming to Prague both for the city and the airlines.

This campaign is first ever on such a massive scale and is believed to be a good marketing move that should increase the revenue from tourism. Every tenth tourists makes his decision to travel based on some visual representation of his future destination. Prague with Paris are the most dramatically expanding touristic areas and the increasing interest in Prague’s case is attributable mainly to Asian tourists.