The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival is one of the biggest cultural and social events in the Czech Republic. The 42nd Karlovy Vary got underway in the pretty spa town on Friday evening, with the Oscar-winning Hollywood star Renee Zellweger perhaps the biggest name ascending the red carpet at the Thermal hotel for the official opening. Ian Willoughby was at the glitzy ceremony. Radio Prague's Rosie Johnston spoke to him over the phone and begun by asking about the gala opening ceremony.
A unique find has been unearthed in the Orthodox Church of St. Peter and Paul in Karlovy Vary, a little Scops owl strays to the Czech Republic and Czechs gather to see a rare sight - a perfect replica of a historic train built in 1891 for the Austro-Hungarian Emperor Franz Josef I and his wife Elisabeth. Find out more in Magazine with Daniela Lazarova.
It's just two and a half weeks now until the 42nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, one of the biggest events on the Czech cultural calendar. This year's most famous guest will be Rene Zellweger, star of Bridget Jones's Diary, though organisers also revealed a number of other interesting names at the last news conference before the glamorous festival begins. Programme director Julietta Zacharova outlined some of the likely highlights of this year's KVIFF.
As the summer approaches many Czechs have begun planning their holidays, and those keen on travelling abroad couldn't choose a better time than now. The weakening US dollar, dropping tour prices, and above all higher spending power have all had an impact. In short, many vacations abroad for Czechs have never been cheaper.
This week, the Agriculture Ministry, Food Chamber, and food quality control bodies are holding various seminars and conferences for the general public. What have been titled "Food Safety Days" will run until Sunday and their main aim is to educate consumers about the country's food quality monitoring system and about their rights.
Prague is set to get its own version of Hollywood's Walk of Fame, Lidove noviny reported. There are plans to place the hand prints and signatures of film greats such as director Milos Forman and cameraman Miroslav Ondricek under thick glass on Na prikpe Street in front of Slovansky Dum, home to a multiplex cinema. In the mid 1990s a Walk of Fame was planned in front of the now closed cinema 64 U Hradeb, but the project never came to fruition.
This week: a gingerbread biscuit in the form of a large-than-life ear; the secret of packing a pipe; a neckerchief for a steel lookout tower and wreaths for military dogs made from bratwurst sausages. Finally, pictures by a painter who never was are on display in galleries around the country. That and more in Magazine.
In business news this week: management and trade unions at Skoda Mlada Boleslav resolve long-standing pay dispute. The state-controlled Czech airline CSA reports another rise in passenger traffic in the first quarter and, the world-famous fashion brand Giorgio Armani may have its suits made at Czech clothing producer OP Prostejov.
"Chalupareni" which loosely translates as "a country-cottage lifestyle" is a Czech term coined in the second half of the 20th century when Czechs could not travel and when all their time and money was invested in their country cottages. As a result Czechs now top the European statistics in the number of country-homes owned per head. "Chalupareni" is still going strong but as Czechs get richer many are looking around for a different kind of holiday home.
According to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office, the number of Czechs who prefer to spend their holiday in the Czech Republic is on the rise. The number of Czechs who stayed in hotels around the country in 2006 grew by 4.3 percent year on year to 6.3 million. The South Bohemian region remains the most popular destination for domestic tourism, followed by South Moravia and the Hradec Kralove and Liberec regions. Since 2005, Czechs have been spending more on domestic holidays than on stays abroad.
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