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VII. Special-Interest Trips, Visits and Expeditions

The 1992 rotel expedition to Italy. The group in the Piazza Santa Croce, Florence.

A visit to the distillery at Dalwhinnie, Scotland (the 1997 expedition).

Two participants in the 1997 expedition on a foggy top of Ben Nevis, Britain's highest mountain.

Bustle on board a rotel = rolling hotel (the 1997 expedition).

Members od the Society often negotiate the summit of Lovoš Hill in the Bohemian Mid-Mountains, Czech Republic.

One foreign colleague once called the Czech Handel Society a ‘Handel Travel Agency’. Though said with a pinch of salt, these words were not far from the truth – the group travel activities go far beyond anything expected by such a special-interest association.

The most interesting local trips included: 1st Concert at Náměšť nad Oslavou Stately Home (14.–16. 6. 1991); ‘Johann Rudolf Chotek (1748–1824) and his Relations to the Works by George Frideric Handel’ (12. 10. 1991); ‘Easter with Handel 1992’, Malá Skála, near Turnov (17.–20. 4.); ‘The South-West Moravian Castles and Stately Homes, and their Music History’ (11.–13. 9. 1992); celebrating the 308th anniversary of Handel's birth, Zákupy stately home (19.–21. 2. 1993); ‘Touring the Spring-Time Bohemian Mid-Mountains with the Czech Handel Society’ (13.–15. 5. 1994); celebrating the 311th anniversary of Handel's birth, Zákupy stately home (23.–25. 2. 1996); ‘Rodrigo’ & ‘The South-West Moravian Castles and Stately Homes, and their Music History’ (18.–19. 5. 1996 ); ‘Masters of European Music at Brtnice’ (29. 6. 2002); ‘Count Chotek's Concerts with Music of George Frideric Handel at the Stately Home Nové Dvory, near Kutná Hora, in 1815. A Bicentennial’ (3. 10. 2015 – 17th Workshop of the Czech Handel Society, an all-day trip out of Prague).

Of special importance are the foreign rotel expeditions: ‘Touring Handel Locations in Italy’ (3.–16. 11. 1992); ‘Touring Handel Sites in England and Ireland’ (2.–20. 9. 1994); the Venice Carnival (24.–27. 2. 1995); ‘Mainland Greece and Crete – Mythology, Arts and History’ (27. 10.–17. 11. 1995); ‘Spain and Portugal – History, Arts and Nature’ (12.–29. 10. 1996); ‘Northern England and Scotland – Nature, People and History’ (19. 8.–3. 9. 1997).

Since 2000 several representatives of the Czech Handel Society have, in autumns, travelled by car to Italy for the sake of staying a week on the estate of the princely family di Collalto e San Salvatore in the townlet of Susegana, near Venice. The place of stay is mostly the summer lodge called ‘Sfondo’, situated in a picturesque hilly landscape rising at Susegana from the vast Venetian Plain. From the lodge, those staying there undertake study trips to both near and far surroundings – e.g. to Venice, Treviso, Vicenza, Padua, Verona, Mantua, to the mountain range of the Dolomites, Castelfranco, Brescia, Ferrara, Modena, Bologna, Milan, Pordenone, Parma, Cremona, Florence… (first visits during the stays in chronological order).

Short-time work and rest stays were always popular at a village cottage in Ohařice, close to Jičín, East Bohemia, which from 1985 to 2008 served as a reliable base for frequent meetings of the Society's members and guests. The same purpose is now fulfilled by a similar cottage at Tužín near Jičín, East Bohemia.