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Monday, May 9, 2011

Saab meeting in Roudnice nad Labem or there and back again

My first big Saab meeting was in Czech Republic, in Roudnice nad Labem, 380km far away. I've considered a bit about go/no-go because of the distance but a combination of a possible largest Saab meeting around with a long convertible trip on the way back home through 2/3 of Czechia outside of the highways was a too strong temptation.

Meeting at 5:30 in the morning. The wake up one hour earlier was brutal but the drive through the sleeping city was somehow dreamy. 4 cars are coming from Bratislava, a 9-5 SC, 2x 9-3 convertible and a 9-3 hatchback. An hour later meeting with other four cars from the saabunderground squadron behind Brno. Next 9-5 combi, a wonderful 900, a 9000 and one more.

We continue 200km to Prague in an 8 cars convoy. A bit slow but nice. Without any incidents except one stupid tailgater. Another meet somewhere after Prague with around 30 cars. And a 40km drive to Roudnice nad Labem.

The meeting was at a grass field near a small airport. 190-200 Saabs, parking sorted out by types. The most crowded were 9-3s and 9-5s, but around 20 convertibles (all types except the latest 9-3 Griffin). Than wonderful real enthusiast pieces Sonetts, 96 and 99, all properly restored. I could not choose my personal top one, there were too many nice cars. Excellent weather, good mood, discussions with interesting peoples I would otherwise never meet. Some nice chats. The program was to go around and selecting top of each type. The "suprise from the sky" were 3 parchutists trying to land on a swedish flag. Two of them missed maybe a meter, one was exactly right. Than announcing the winners of each category and a short ride of all cars in the close countryside. That was hmm... emotional. The end was around 15:00. I've slept in Prague, the rest of the crew was driving back to Bratislava.

My pictures can be found here.

There are many more picture galleries on the internet : here, here and here, and another one, and more, more and more ...... and many more coming, they are collected here. My favorite galleries are from the saabunderground squadron - 1, 2, 3 and 4.

On the next day I've started around 11:00. In Prague was a city marathon which means a large part of the center closed but I found a way out. Than I took this road :

Larger map

The 420km were wonderful. The road to Tábor was ok. The river Nežárka reminded me on a historical science fiction comics Tvrz (Fort) from my childhood about an astronomer coming from a Paris conference back home to Czechia. At a drive to the weekend house at Nežárka he finds himself in the 15th century and later he helps "the good" in a wooden fort against the bad with gifts he brought for the family - a Polaroid camera, a casette recorder, electric lamps etc.

After Nežárka the countryside started to be full of small lakes, fish ponds and I was driving in a constant changing environment - through fields, woods, small hills, there were some castles and churches on the road. Telč is a wonderful town, protected by Unesco and than the already known Náměšť nad Oslavou and around, which was a place of the Saabunderground orientation "race" described before. Mikulov is a beautiful town, than another Unesco area Valtice - Lednice and than to Bratislava. Somewhere around was a meeting of historical military cars, I saw many around, unfortunately could not find where. The roads were in good condition and it took me about 6-7 hours, sometimes very chilled ride, sometimes more sporty. I was again very lucky about the buyers choice of my lovely 275 hp Saab cabrio. It was running fabulous. I absolutely recommend to try this road to everyone who does not has to hurry from Prague direction Bratislava.


  1. Hi Alex, excellent describe of your trip. And nice blog too... kerim79 from SUG (Brno)