Monday, 8 October 2012

Tatra time

A huge 'thank you' to Kuba from Tychy, who forwarded this magnificent link to me - a little film I watched over and over for the last five days. Here is that epitome of post-war Czechoslovakian technical thought, the glorious Tatra 603, in action. It is a film to savour and enjoy. The freedom of the road - when only a high-ranking communist party official could have the use of such a vehicle, and roads were mostly empty.

What really made this film, Stastnou cestu, made 50 years ago, a real hit with me, was the amazingly climatic Czechoslovakian landscapes that brought back precious memories of driving through the country en route to Poland in the 1960s. In particular, the town that appears from 05:15 through to 06:50; dark, drab, grey, cobbled, narrow, mediaeval; looking like a set from an Expressionist film.

And the catchy tune; whistled intro, jazz, eerie early-electric organ, a tune that stays with you.

I wanted to find the town, and did so by googling "Czech town gate" and found almost immediately that this was Cesky Krumlov, inconveniently situated right down in the south of the country by the Austrian border.

Using Google Maps Street View, one can see that Cesky Krumlov today looks entirely different to the way it looked in Stastnou cestu, thanks to a lick of paint and... advertising. Signs for everything, everywhere. And sunshine. Still, it looks like a place well worth visiting. 

Note for English readers: the Czech language appears humorous, comical almost to the Polish ear, especially when you can almost work out the meaning; ("motor dobrze pracuje w najróżniejszych klimatycznych podminkach".

More on the Tatra, a car that has fascinated me since those drives through Czechoslovakia, in a future post, once Poczta Polska delivers me a CD that Kuba sent to me some time last week...

This time last year:
The passing of Old Poland

This time two years ago:
A glorious week

This time three years ago:
Trampled underfoot: Sobieski and the Turks at Vienna

This time four years ago:
The first, spontaneous signs, of a Park + Ride at Jeziorki

This time five years ago:
Early autumn atmospheres, Jeziorki

1 comment:

DC said...

Very groovy video, and I love the car. The wikipedia page has a photo of a version with 3 headlights, and some other beauties.

Back in the day, I wonder if there was any point to a lowly policeman trying to stop such a car knowing who is probably inside?

Thanks for sharing.