Linguist and budding historian Martin Neudörfl is on a mission to codify and save two languages from extinction: Sercquiais, a Norman dialect from the Channel Island of Sark only four people speak as natives, and Šumava Bavarian, the West Germanic language of his ancestors from Český Krumlov – where he’s helped revive the Schwarzenberg guard, of which he is the youngest captain in history and official archivist.
Monoxylon is the Greek term for a vessel chiselled out from a single tree trunk. It’s also the name of a Czech-led experimental archaeological expedition, which first set off in such a craft back in 1995. The aim then and now is to validate in practice assumptions and hypotheses about human migration in the Neolithic age, some 8,000 years ago.
For people from a land-locked country, boat hitchhiking may not seem like the ideal way of going places. But young Czech traveller Matěj Vohryzek, who has just returned from a hitchhiking trip across the Atlantic Ocean, has proved that with a dose of courage nothing is impossible. He covered the journey in just three weeks, losing eight kilos on the way.
The great traveller Miroslav Zikmund turned 100 on Thursday. For Czechoslovaks unable to travel much under communism, the books and radio reports produced by Zikmund and his friend Jiří Hanzelka served as a window to exotic parts of the world. However, the pair were barred from public life following the Soviet invasion.
Fifty-four-year old financier, politician and adventurer Pavel Sehnal has become the first Czech to reach both the North and South pole in gruelling Last Degree expeditions. He conquered the South Pole with six other adventurers on January 13 of this year, less than two years after reaching the Arctic.
Czech pilot Roman Kramařík has completed a flight around the world in a small Cessna airplane marking the 100th anniversary of the foundation of Czechoslovakia. Over the course of 46 days, the one-time aerobatic pilot crossed three oceans and three continents, covering over 40,000 kilometres. I met with Mr. Kramařík just a few days after he landed in Prague and I first asked him what made him set out on this adventurous journey:
The Czech Republic’s famous travellers Miroslav Zikmund a Jiří Hanzelka lived a life that many dream of. They visited 83 countries with their famous Tatra 87, made over 150 documentary films and wrote over 20 books about their adventures. They brought a glimpse of the world to people living in communist Czechoslovakia and served as cultural ambassadors not only for their country but for its Tatra cars –until the communist regime clamped down on them. Now two young adventurers from Plseň want to follow in their footsteps as a tribute to their achievements
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