Country Dance Tour 2020

Dear friends,

We warmly invite you into the heart of Europe, into the Czech Republic. Each time we try to offer you interesting program of many different activities and locations.
During your travels you will have a chance to meet Czech folk and country dancers, see interesting places listed as UNESCO heritage sites, visit historical towns, meet people who are engaged in traditional folk production, take several short hikes in beautiful surroundings, and also explore different aspects of local folklore.
Last three days we will spend in Prague, attending the Country Dance Festival Jasana Bonuše. This time we expect callers and dancers from several countries. For festival details you can look here.
If the tour and festival is not enough for you, you can come earlier and join us for the tour extension.
This will be before the main tour and we will travel from Prague in different directions each day. As we have prepared this tour specifically for dancers of country and contra dances, you will have opportunities to dance during your stay. We are so glad and honored to have Mr. David Millstone as our caller again.

On several occasions, the Country Dance Tour filled within a few weeks of being announced. Don’t wait too long to register!

We look forward to welcoming you to Prague and the Czech Republic!

Jan Pumpr and David Millstone

The main tour will start on October 8th in Prague.
We are offering a pre-tour extension (October 4-8) for these of you who want to see more of the Czech Republic.
During the extension we will be based in our Prague hotel, but will take day trips in different directions each day.

Tour program

Sunday, October 4 (tour extension)
You will arrive in Prague sometime during the day. After you arrive at the hotel, you will check-in and relax. We can provide assistance for changing money; we know a fair place to do it. Also we will send you this info in our „Info letter“ about six weeks before your arrival, so you can do it on your own easily. We will meet you in the hotel lobby at 6:30 for tour registration. Then we will walk to a nearby restaurant for dinner.

Monday, October 5 (tour extension)
First full day of the tour extension we will spend in the North-West. The area is called České Středohoří and is full of high hills, which are of volcanic origin. Our first stop will be in the middle of these hills and we will walk to one of local view towers. After short and simple hike we will go to medieval town Litoměřice. We will enjoy mostly Renaissance architecture and have a lunch time here. In the afternoon, our first stop is a sad but important site—Terezin fortress, used by Nazis as a concentration camp. Most of the people from here finally died in death camps in Poland and Germany. We will have a guided tour in the fortress. Our next stop will be in other unique place – convent in Doksany founded in 1144. We will visit local crypt from 12. century. We will have dinner together and then will return to Prague.

Tuesday, October 6 (tour extension)
Today we will turn to the South. Our first stop will be near Příbram in a communist prison. This site, which held political prisoners, is a reminder of another difficult period of Czech history. I do believe you will refresh your mind during the lunch in small local brewery. Afternoon we will walk through the grounds of one of royal castles. We will not see interiors (we will have another chateau during the main tour) but we will enjoy this very nice and peaceful place. From here we will go to local old farm that is no longer used for farming, but where we will learn about and try our hands at some of the traditional activities. We will enjoy the company of local Czechs and eat dinner here. Later in the evening we will arrive in Prague.

Wednesday, October 7 (tour extension)
We already visited North West and South. Today we will visit West of Prague, because the East is on the list for the main tour. About an hour from Prague is a small stained glass workshop. We will go there to see this amazing work. Next stop will be nice stretching, we need to climb up to medieval castle ruin with beautiful view. Just about 15 minutes drive we need to reach famous Karlovy Vary, which you may know as Karlsbad. First of all we will take a funicular above the town. Here we will have a lunch in local restaurant and visit the view tower. Then we will walk through the city center, and you will have some time on your own. In the evening we will come back to Prague. Those who are interested can join us for a country dance evening with local dancers and calling by David Millstone.

Thursday, October 8
Today we will let you enjoy Prague. You can do it on your own if you want, or you can join us in the group. We will visit local ethnography museum and then will walk through the city out of main tourist stream. In the evening we will meet with people coming for the main tour. They will register and then we will walk together for dinner.

Friday, October 9
Our first day when the group will be complete. First we will need load the bus. Our first stop will be Royal town Mělník. Here we will walk through the town and enjoy the view of the junction of Vltava and Labe rivers. After lunch time we will stop in a local nature preserve with sandstone rocks. Nice hike for about 1,5 mile. After we meet the bus again we will move more to North and stop by „the Lord’s Rock“ Its hexagonal basalt columns reach up to 12 m (39 ft). Finally we will arrive in Krásná Lípa where we will stay for two nights. After we check-in, we will have a dinner in the hotel and then will meet with local choir who will sing for us and also will teach us some Czech songs.

Saturday, October 10
Because we will be very close to Germany, we will cross the border and will do a hike there. The hotel area is called „Bohemian and Saxon Switzerland“ and is very impressive because of rock structures. Be prepared for hike in beautiful landscape! For a lunch time we will stop in Děčín. Here you will have many possibilities where to eat. In the afternoon we will visit unusual exposition of tower clock mechanisms. Later on we will visit a chocolate factory. It is already in our „home town“. Then you will have some time to relax. For dinner you will be on your own. In the evening we will meet with local folk dance group. They will dance for us and also we will learn some simple dances from them.

Sunday, October 11
We need to load the bus today. Our first stop will be a very interesting meeting with a Czech musician who fell in love with American Old Time Music. He will tell us his story and play a bit for us. Then we will visit beautiful chateau from Habsburg empire. After lunch, we will visit a small workshop that keeps alive the local traditions of coloring textiles. Another unique stop will be old military airport. Originally build for Czechoslovakian air force, then used by Nazis and Russians as well. It is very impressive place. Finally we will arrive in Jítrava, check-in and have dinner in the hotel.

Monday, October 12
North of Czech Republic is well known for the glass production.
In addition to glass, especially in the 19th century, bead production has been very popular. We will have a tour in bead factory. After lunch time we will have another simple hike. First we will take a cable car up to Ještěd hill. Then will walk on the mountain ridge and use chairlift go down the hill again. If you prefer not to ride the chairlift, we will arrange for the bus to pick you up. After dinner we will meet with Czech country dancers and together we will enjoy David’s calling. Then we will return to the hotel.

Tuesday, October 13
We are moving on and will change the hotel again. Our first stop will be in Jičín. Here will visit local Jewish Synagogue. Not many synagogues remain after WW II, but some, like this one, have been nicely renovated and used again. This one is one of them. In this town we will have also lunch time, you can climb up local medieval tower. As a desert after lunch you will have a chance to enjoy local specialty – Hořické trubičky. We will learn how they are made and of course, we will taste them. Our next stop will be a view tower with great view. Then we will walk around a bit and learn about a horrible battle which happened here in 1866 between Austrian Empire (Czechs included) and Prussians. 200 000 men on each side! Then we will reach Hradec Králové, capital of East Bohemia. We will check-in and go for short sightseeing. Dinner will be in together the city center.

Wednesday, October 14
Today morning we will have interesting meeting with local artist who produce very nice corn husk dolls. Before lunch we’ll be able to visit very special museum of Nativity Scene. We have long tradition of it and here, we have unique – wooden mechanical scene with more 100 characters. For a lunch time we will stop in very nice Renaissance town. In the afternoon we will visit a twin fortress of Terezín. Fortunately, this time the tour focus on 18. century. This tour is made with candles and has a special atmosphere. Then we will return to Hradec Králové, have a dinner together. Afterwards we will have a dance party with local Czech folk dancers.

Thursday, October 15
Time to return to Prague. On the way we will have a UNESCO landmark – Kutná Hora with its beautiful cathedral. For lunch you’ll be on your own. In the afternoon, we will visit a nice open-air museum that illustrates how Czech villages looked about 200 years ago. After we will arrive in Prague and check-in, we will have dinner together.

Friday, October 16
Time to enjoy Prague. We will have sightseeing with a guide who specializes in Prague sites and history. Lunch will be together. Then you will have free time to explore on your own or to relax before the evening dancing. In the evening we will attend opening dance at Jasan Bonuš Country Dance Festival.

Saturday, October 17
At the festival, you can choose from programs in three different halls throughout the day. Everything is in one building, so it’s easy to switch from one dance hall to another. You will be given a detailed program in English listing the various options.
In the evening we will have live music for dancing, and we will also enjoy some short dance performances. To make everything easier for everybody, for lunch and dinner today you’re on your own; these meals are not included in the tour price. We are close to our hotel and there are many nearby restaurants.

Sunday, October 18
Morning we will spend together at the festival. For a lunch you will be on your own. Afternoon will be free for you and we will meet again in the evening for a dinner cruise on the Vltava River. That will gives you a chance to see Prague from different perspective.

Monday, October 19
Time say goodbuy. We do believe you will take home nice memories for Czech Republic. If you decide to stay in Prague for few more nights, we are happy to help you to arrange the hotel if you want.