From the 18. to 20. October marks the 8-th anniversary of Saab Session Slovakia. The Saab meeting, which has meanwhile become a tradition in October, took place in Bojnice this time and was the second largest Slovak meeting to date with a total of 81 vehicles and almost 200 participants from eight different countries. There were participants from Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Germany and you hardly believe it, also from Georgia.
As I was at many other Saab meetings last year, unfortunately I did not have time for the Saab session, but this year it was time again. Packed suitcases, filled up and with cleaned car it went against 16 clock from Vienna on the way to Slovakia. The approach with the station wagon ran without problems, except for two smaller traffic jams on the highway, I arrived without problems against 19.30 clock at the Hotel Pod Zakom. In the parking lot and in front of the hotel entrance the cars were already lined up side by side. In front of the hotel entrance, the classic Saabs of 96, 99, and Sonett Parken were able to present themselves and attracted curious glances from residents and vacationers. So many cars and the Saab flags in front of the hotel entrance were something special in the spa and not everyday. I was able to grab one of the last parking spaces in the hotel parking lot and parked next to the Polish Saab-YouTuber Saab Voyage .
Many of the participants sat in the dining room at dinner and after registering / signing up and accepting the Saab bag at the organizer, I sat down to my friends. Meanwhile, they know each other already, there is already a kind of family atmosphere, those who do not know each other, that they have met at one or the other Saab meeting yet. The complete newcomers are also recorded immediately and so you get into conversation with everyone. There are hardly any language barriers in spite of different countries, Saab drivers understand each other that way and so on the first evening you could meet new people and meet old friends again. It was then until late in the evening shop talked, chatted, photos shown plans of future Saab purchases and Saab restaurations discussed.
On Saturday the program started after the extensive breakfast in the hotel then differently than usual equal with a Schlossbesichtigung. On the previous meeting you had to go to the sights or program points by car, but this time you could walk to the castle Bojnice / Weinitz, because the hotel is located in the center of town and therefore everything was within walking distance. The next day some other participants arrived, unfortunately some of the participants could not be accommodated in the hotel, as well as the well-known German Saab-YouTuber JustusI then met in front of the castle entrance.
The other participants came to the meeting because they only had a short journey, this time as day visitors. It then shared the people as well as it went in the respective national languages, so as to get a castle tour in their language. So we visit the interesting castle, including a hell below the castle. Then there was free time, lunch time, a little stroll through the spa town of Bojnice or a visit to the Tiergarten Bojnice. Shortly before 13 clock then all met in their vehicles, the cars were parked, the road temporarily blocked and so could all participants, about 75 vehicles, drive away from the hotel and drive in the Convoy direction Cicmany. At each crossroads or crossroads there were stewards / marshals, roadblocks, signposts and thus all could drive without interruption, loss of participants or someone stranger entering the column in a beautiful chain through the autumnal slightly mountainous landscape.
The convertible drivers were able to drive open thanks to the warm temperatures. Arrived in Cicmany we parked our cars on the right side of the road and made a first coffee break and then visit the old houses. Cicmany is well-known for its folk architecture, the painting of the houses and the entire village is a listed building. From there we went back to the convoy with the roadblocks set up for us on the way to Dlzin to the airfield. The small airfield is located on a small elevation and there all the Saabs lined up in a row and we could take the photos of our cars there. The cars were examined, they showed each other the upgrades performed, looked at the mounted rims and many still learned about functions on the vehicle he did not know yet. After the final photo, we went to our cars, turned around and formed a two-row.
After that, a small dose of Saabs was always released from the airfield and we drove back alone to the hotel parking lot. If everyone had come to the hotel car park at the same time, there would have been a little traffic jam. So everyone could park in peace. Then everyone had time for dinner again until dinner. After dinner, there were still prizes for the best-looking Saabs, the fun price Saab in the worst condition, but it still made it to the meeting. There were also awards for kilometer kings and finally the longest journey was awarded. This time, the price for the longest journey did not go to the Swiss or Germans, but to a Georgian. He drove his 9-5 NG over 3300 km to the Saab meeting. Of course, that gave big applause. No one had expected that one really goes so far.
Afterwards people chatted, celebrated and exchanged contact addresses with the new acquaintances. It was again a very successful Saab meeting with many interesting people and a large variety of models. Starting with an 96, Sonett, a Topolla, a Turbo X, numerous 9-5 NGs, the black 9-5 NG Sportcombi and a 9-7X everything was represented. A participant from Poland had to arrive with a foreign brand due to a defect on his Saab.
On Sunday, those who did not travel too far home made their way to the Technical Auto and Motor Museum Novaky, where there was a small interesting collection of Tatras, Ladas, Pragas and motorcycle brands from the former Eastern Bloc countries. After the museum visit, we gathered in the parking lot in front of the museum, chatted and started to say goodbye to each other, and then everyone started at his pace on the way home. On the return trip, I took advantage of the good weather and made a few stops on the way, so I arrived back home in the evening.
I was pleased that this time a total of 5 vehicles from Austria drove to the meeting. Greetings to you at this point. I'm looking forward to the next year and hope again for many participants. I hope to see the familiar faces again next year, but it would also be nice to see new faces as well. The possibly long journey pays off. Last but not least, I would like to thank the entire organization team of the Saab Session for the great event.