Tour to Czech Republic/Slovakia 2016

Day -1

The big instruments are all loaded ready to go ūüôā

CLYO_Prague_sticker  Here we come!

Day 1

¬†0745 and we’re off!

Cambridge services and all well. Already¬†experts in the CLYO discipline of ‘counting from the back’Tour16_2












Hopefully it won’t rain all week! We are reunited with Ric and Jane our main drivers from Perugia 😄

Tour16_4Our EU adventure is now officially underway ūüôā



13 hours into the journey, all well.
Good night sun

The 03:40 loo stop somewhere in Germany – all part of the tour experience 😄
(About 260 miles to go)

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Day 2

Crossed into Czech Republic at 0635 and the sun is out 😎

11:45 and we’ve arrived at hotel after an hour or so finding our way into Prague!
Very hot, all safe.
Just waiting to see when rooms will be available and then plan the afternoon


 Tours are always about dealing with what you find Рtoday with a combination of us arriving early and a busy hotel meant that we had to wait over 4 hours in the heat for all our rooms to be ready.
No-one could have dealt with it better than CLYO – an absolutely exemplary, chilled attitude.
Amazing – so proud.



Day 3

First rehearsal under way in Plezn! A wonderful venue!

Three standing ovations! The tour is definitely underway with a bang!








Update from Meg (cellist):

The first concert is all over and the music aspect of the tour has officially commenced. The people of Plzen were treated to warm and sweaty renditions of Sarka and Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake alongside Lehar’s The Merry Widow and Vilja. Not forgetting the truly beautiful Lark Ascending from our fantastic leader Sarah Twaddle which received tearful applause. Our first audience were so special and lapped up the three encores, which were both emotional and loud, as well giving three standing ovations, (a rare occurrence in the area). The buzz has hit everyone in the orchestra and we are thoroughly looking forward to the next three concerts although thankful for the rest day!x

Day 4

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Morning after the triumph before – CLYO chills after check out before exploring Prague
Tour16_17Still life legend (‘Kips’ I think!) with goldfish pond

Tour16_18Three and a half hours into our slow journey to Olomouc and the game of I spy is reaching metaphysical stage!

Today we have learned that roadworks on main roads in Czech Rep can turn a three hour journey into a five hour one – just like home!
As ever we kept ourselves entertained on the trip and the hotel here in Olomouc is lovely.
All safe and well.


Day 5

First early morning run on the tour (in the rain).
Olomouc is one of the main centres of Moravian culture with stunning churches and the largest number of baroque statues in Central Europe – which means a lot!
All v quiet at the hotel when I got back – we’re going to need all our energies to do three concerts in three days so great if everyone sleeps.
Looking forward to the Archbishop’s Palace later.

Tour16_24 Tour16_20Tour16_21 Tour16_22 Tour16_23 Tour16_19

Tour16_25Setting off later as the weather is a bit poor so my view whilst I have a coffee is happy people in five big groups playing cards – including the viscous Scandinavian Snap! Tour16_26





Just getting to rehearse at KromńõŇô√≠Ňĺ Castle after a ‘damp’ lunchtime!




Max rehearsing Dvorak and sounding great in this wonderful hall!Tour16_27

Tour16_28Trish Holch Arrived in Bratislava and found this at tourist information !

Tour16_29 Just over 30 minutes to go!

Tour16_30 They did it again!

Tour16_31 Tour16_32 Wonderful performances from Max and Megan tonight and hugely appreciated by the large audience

Depending on the signal etc. we hope to broadcast the Merry Widow Overture from Bratislava on Saturday using Facebook Live on the CLYO page. It’s the first piece in the programme at 18.00GMT. Fingers crossed!

Day 6

Tour16_33 The morning has been spent in the impressive town of Olomouc. We took the opportunity to take our first full orchestra photo against the Holy Trinity Column, which is a World Heritage site. Now on to Slovakia!
DS x¬†Tour16_37 Tour16_36 Tour16_35¬†Lots of posts about the orchestra and the concerts but let’s hear it for the team – Hannah, Julia, Sarah, Julia, John, Kipps plus our two student staff, Jacob and Rob.
These are the wonderful people who devote themselves all tour to looking after your young people, day and night, who have helped me organise the trip, prepare the music etc, etc.
They are the best team and we are all blessed to have them.
DS x

Tour16_38 Tour16_39 And again! A wonderful response from our first Slovakian audience. Now en route to Bratislava in a very happy (and noisy) coach.



Arrived safe in Bratislava, our third hotel in just over three days!
This is a true tour and CLYO are responding like a true orchestra.

Day 7

Three concerts and eleven standing ovations down, we’re now in Bratislava and preparing for our final great opportunity – playing in the home venue of Bratislava’s professional orchestra – at the Slovak Radio Hall.

Another great programme showing our many and varied talents and don’t forget we are hoping to relay the Merry Widow Overture live on Facebook – tune in just before 6pm UK time.

Everyone at home can be very proud of our CLYO.

Just to add even more sparkle to tonight, in the audience we will have the Deputy Head of the U.K. mission in Bratislava and Baroness Neville-Rolfe Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Business Department in the British Government!
Can’t wait to blow them away with the wonder that is… 😄


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Tours are all about experiences and playing in the Slovak Radio Hall is sure to be just that 😄



Unfortunately there is no signal and no wifi so we will not be able to stream the overture tonight. However, this is the excellent hall we’re in today and it’s great to hear CLYO in this acoustic – they are sounding very professional.

They did it again! Six standing ovations! More news to follow shortly!

Well… 4 concerts, 18 separate standing ovations, 13 encores, audiences in love with CLYO and one happy and proud CLYO.
John will post some of the video when we get back but I can honestly say that tonight was one of the very finest CLYO performances – ever.
What a privilege to play in such a great hall.
An outstanding tour and thanks once again to the outstanding team who made it possible.

Day 8

Tour16_45 First wave of returnees, checked in and through security at Bratislava airport, bound for Manchester.
Only one person left their passport at the hotel, meaning emergency taxi, I’ll leave it to you to guess who it was… 😎




After just over five hours we have crossed into Germany and heading towards N√ľrnberg. It’s been a nice, quiet trip so far! (At least on this coach!)


10.5 hours in and a beautiful sunset over W√ľrzburg.


Calais is behind us and we should arrive in Dover at 6am!