The mist and gray of the previous evening had given way to sunshine on Saturday morning. Tony, Clayton Theodore and I walked over to the dreary-looking grocery hoping for something more “Ost-algic” than a fresh and modern market with all the trappings of a Tesco. Darn.
Tony and I visited Ostrava
last fall to tour the old blast furnace, but did not spend any time exploring the city, so after breakfast we drove around taking in the sights. And what glorious, socialist sights they were!
A beautiful building that is now a Polish cultural center, we think. Ostrava is but a few kilometers from the Polish border, so there is probably considerable cultural overlap.
The Ostrava City Hall in its massive socialist glory.
Scenes from the courtyards in front of the City Hall.
Down the street, a municipal building.
Our main reason for the outing was a curious event, the Ostrava-Detroit Classic American Car Show. Finding the exhibition center was quite the journey through eerily quiet roads and to points “on the other side of the tracks,” to an exhibition hall on an old socialist campus outside of town. We never did figure out the connection between Ostrava and Detroit, though.
Inside the hall it was all about the cars.
Al Capone’s vehicle.
A 1952 Russian Gaz. How the comrades rolled.
A Skoda (Czechoslovakian) Roadmaster!
My grandparents had one of these Buicks! Same color, too! Just look at the interior space!
What’s a car show without a pink Cadillac?
A Skoda limousine from the 1950’s.
A replica of Fidel Castro’s car, a gift from the Russian government.
The original Batmobile.
The tail end of the exhibition.
We felt a little strange as ex-pats to be in this tiny corner of the Czech Republic, ogling American cars just like the Czech families who had come out to the exhibition, but at the same time we felt as if the world was perhaps a little bit smaller, and we were all just a bunch of families enjoying a Saturday outing.