We spent the last weekend of our recent holiday, staying with our friends Lynsey and Johnny in Brno. It allowed me to get to know the second city of the Czech Republic better, having previously only paid flying visits there to plan, and then more recently to conduct, Church services. For Sybille, it was her first ever visit.
Walking into Námestí Svobody, the main city square in Brno, early on the evening of Friday 27th July, we found that a series of sand sculptures by various artists had been created as part of what is called the ‘Golden Sand Festival’. However, despite its English name, the associated website www.goldensandfestival.cz , is only available in Czech or Slovak! But I still have been able to glean from the website that this is the third year of the festival. The first occasion was in Olomouc in 2010, whilst in 2011, it was held in Nitra, a city in western Slovakia.
On the left is a photograph of one of the sculptures whilst below are photographs of two more examples. One has to admire both the amazing skills of the various artists whilst feeling sad that they can only be temporary structures which will eventually have to be moved and destroyed.
Along with football, (soccer to my American readers), and tennis, the other major sport in the Czech Republic is ice hockey. Of course, to Czech people it is just hokej, as what I know as ‘hockey’, (field hockey to my American readers), is virtually unknown here. For the first time in many years, the leading ice hockey club in Brno, Kometa, won the Czech championship and the sculpture pictured below celebrates that triumph. Of course, in this day and age, the club’s major sponsor Starobrno, the local brewery, has to feature too!
These days, sponsors are almost always needed before any artistic or cultural event can take place. This certainly is true of the ‘Golden Sands Festival’ so another sculpture featured the logos of the various organisations and companies who had contributed towards it being staged. It is a somewhat eclectic mix I think you will agree, ranging from the the city of Brno, via McDonalds, to Johnny Servis, the local supplier of portable toilets 🙂
Much as I love living in the Czech Republic, one drawback is that it is a landlocked country, a very long distance from the sea. Therefore, alongside the display of sand sculptures, the Brno city authorities had created the ‘Brno beach’, with deckchairs and a beach bar. Somewhat illusory but still great fun!