Eurorando 2006

This event was organized by the Czech Tourists´ Club (KCT), deputizing the European Ramblers Association.

EURORANDO 2006 took place from 2nd to 10th September 2006 in South Bohemia with České Budějovice being its centre, as a second year of that kind of meeting in the whole history of European walking. Within this event, 1,665 foreign walkers from 15 European countries (Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Italy, Hungary, Germany, Poland, Portugal, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Great Britain) and 122 Czech walkers arrived in South Bohemia for a long-term stay (4-8 days).

For a short-term stay (2-3 days), 690 walkers arrived from abroad, 225 from the Czech Republic and for a one-day stay, 684 walkers from abroad and 806 from the Czech Republic arrived. Thus, in total 4,192 walkers participated in the walking part of the EURORANDO 2006 event. During the week, approximately 1,300 participants took advantage of our walking programmes, the others only partly and some had prepared their own programmes.

The participants took use of the of wide programme that we had prepared and offered: every day they could choose one or more from the 32 prepared guided trips in the whole area of South Bohemia. Moreover, they could also choose a visit to one of the 24 historical objects or museums.

On Thursday, September 7, an international conference „Walking and Youth” was held within EURORANDO 2006, with 86 delegates from 7 European countries. Eleven lecturers from Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Great Britain, Slovakia and the Czech Republic pointed out the most fundamental topics that must be developed so as to preserve the programme of mediumterm outdoor stays of youth, so far ensured by the walkers´ clubs and other organizations dealing with youth, and endangered by new acts and orders in some countries. The conference participants approved a common declaration, which is to be submitted to ERA Members´ Meeting.

On Friday, September 8, an event for parents with children called „Fairy Wood” took place. Total of 1,500 children with their parents took part in this event, together with 260 foreign participants of EURORANDO who cooperate with youth, or parents with children in their mother countries. They found the event excellent, unique in a way. They appreciated that this year´s already 7th year dealt with characteristics of EU member states and their regions.

In the evening of the same day, a large international two-stage folklore concert was held. In a two-hour programme, 13 Czech folklore groups, representing particular regions of the Czech Republic, and 5 folklore groups from abroad (2 from Germany, 1 from France, 1 from Poland and 1 from Slovenia) performed. Almost 2,000 spectators enthusiastically applauded the performances of particular groups.

On Saturday, September 9, most of EURORANDO 2006 participants met early in the morning in a closing ceremonial parade through the town. In total, 3,730 participants took part in the parade, which, being accompanied by singing and music, entered the centre of the town of Ceske Budejovice and finished at Premysl Otakar II Square. In front, under the EU flag, marched the head representatives of the European Ramblers Association and the organizing Czech Tourists´ Club, together with the Governor of the South-Bohemian Region, Jan Zahradník, being followed by walkers from particular countries under their flags, in the sequence of the Czech alphabet. The parade participants were in a good mood which indicated they were looking forward to the culmination of the week´s programme.

The Governor of the South-Bohemian Region, the Mayor of the statutory town of Ceske Budejovice, doc. Miroslav Tetter, CSc., and another representants of the region and cooperating organizations saluted the parade from the platform. The closing speech gave the President of the ERA, Jan Havelka.

In the afternoon, a spontaneous entertainment began at 6 stages throughout the town, iniciated by the performances of folklore groups and brass-bands. The purpose of this meeting was fulfilled: participants from various countries, of various nationalities, were singing and dancing together, and forming new friendships.

During the final discussion with representants of German and French organized walking, we agreed that the event favoured close cooperation of European walkers´ clubs, supported the idea of regular cross-border meetings as well as the idea of establishing EURORANDO as a traditional European walking event (repeated every five years, each time in a different country, each time with a new motto).

The event has also revealed what the programmes of the European walkers´ clubs agree on: understanding and protection of countryside, learning history and protection of historical traditions and objects, mutual understanding of people from various parts of Europe.

At the same time, the event has also fulfilled the EURORANDO 2006 motto: European walkers met in one of the new EU member states, accepted in 2004.

Ing. Jan Havelka
Honorary President of the European Ramblers´ Association
Honorary President of the Czech Tourists´ Club