This year the 24th Leipzig Opera Ball is being held under the banner of partner city Brno in the Czech Republic. The motto for the fairy tale ball night is “Ahoi Česko” (Hello, Czech Republic) and the Opera Ball raffle is as always a must, with the proceeds going to social projects in the city of Leipzig. Porsche is once again donating the main prize, a silver 718 Boxster with a red top. And where better to put this car to the test than on the narrow switchbacks of the Bohemian roads that lead to Brno?
Influencer Magic Fox and fashion blogger Masha Sedgwick started their journey to the Czech Republic at the Porsche plant in Leipzig. They not only got to know the many facets of the Boxster but also immersed themselves in the culture of Germany’s neighbour. They followed the trail of Ferdinand Porsche, visited the Konfit restaurant where head chef Pavel Rohoška created this year’s Opera Ball menu, and checked out the famous Villa Tugendhat. Masha wrote down her impressions and experiences from the two days in a travelogue.
Do you know that exhilarating feeling that comes over you when you press down on the accelerator of a sports car? Your heart beats faster, your eyes focus and time goes by in slow motion.
Last week I got the chance to really floor the pedal on the racetrack.
In the Porsche 718 Boxster at that! This was made possible because Porsche is one of the car companies with their own racetrack, and while it’s mainly used as a testing ground, it can also turn a dream into a real adventure now and then. Before being delivered, each car is given a comprehensive driving test here to ensure that it fulfils all of the company’s quality requirements. You can test and experiment to the limit, take all the bends and make the tyres screech. You can guess that they didn’t have to ask me twice about taking a test drive, am I right?
So I get behind the wheel and hit the gas. I play around a little bit and make a few manoeuvres, but the car stays safely on the track. I move up a gear, because who says that we girls don’t enjoy a few extra hp? My concentration is razor-sharp and I decide to test the limits. I lean into the accelerator and up the speed. Have you ever tried full braking on the asphalt? Scary. After just a half-hour test drive I’m drenched in sweat. My thoughts are focused, my body full of adrenaline.
But the racetrack was just a test drive for the trip ahead of us.
So where to? To Brno, a partner city of Leipzig’s around 460 kilometres away. With Daniel Fuchs by my side I hit the road, aiming for a first short stop along the way that’s a perfect match for the car we’ve chosen: The birthplace of inventor and legend of the automotive industry Ferdinand Porsche, where the company history of Porsche Holding originated.
So we head for this historical site and after a short drive we’re at a house that’s quite inconspicuous at first glance. Only when we draw near do we appreciate its strange appearance. What looked like an ordinary family home is in reality a museum. And in the middle of the room is an ancient automobile that’s one of Ferdinand Porsche’s first creations.
Fascinated by this sight we enter the building and advance step by step, consumed by history and the flood of information surrounding us in the silence. We learn a lot about the history of the car and the many technological developments – from the stone tool to the exoskeleton. We listen to the past, look into the future and ask ourselves: Which developments have led to the status quo? And what progress and findings are going to take us forward in our development?
Surrounded by idyllic landscapes and little villages, we continue along the highways of the Czech Republic toward Brno. We make a conscious decision to avoid the motorway, preferring to enjoy nature and live in the moment. We put down the top of our convertible, breathe in the fresh air and bask in the sun’s rays and the invigorating wind flowing past us. We take it slowly along the winding, narrow country roads, prolonging the trip a little, driving 500 kilometres, 600 kilometres while hardly noticing the distance we’re racking up.
Suddenly, at sunset, we arrive in Brno and check into the Barcelo Hotel, happy and exhausted. The architecture of the hotel is charming and it has a wonderful location in the middle of the old town of Brno, partnered with Leipzig since 1973. Brno is also a significant industrial and administrative centre in the Czech Republic that’s very popular due to its lively cultural scene and its architecture. I’m also quickly taken with the latter as we take a walk and come across the most exciting sight that the city has to offer: Villa Tugendhat, a purist architectural masterpiece of the modern age. The architecture, the view and the interior had me in raptures straightaway. Everything is simple, timeless and elegant. The walls are glazed and the dividers between the individual living areas are made of onyx. The whole interior is decorated with expensive stone and fine woodwork. Only the very best was used in this building – it symbolises timelessness and class without even the smallest trace of pomposity.
We’ve managed to tick off most of the items on our Brno agenda, but we’ve got one mission left to fulfil: finding the perfect dress for the Leipzig Opera Ball! It has to represent both femininity and elegance while also making a good match for our car – the silver shine and red interior of our Porsche 718 Boxster. We take a walk through the city centre, capture a few moments with our camera and practically stumble across my perfect dress. A subtle pink with asymmetrical, light ruffles, exactly how I had imagined it. I’m delighted with it, as it’s the perfect mixture of highlight and restraint. A dress that doesn’t beg for attention but still gets it.
So we leave Brno at the end of our successful mission, full of lasting impressions and wonderful memories. An empty motorway without a speed limit opens up ahead of us. We take full advantage, driving 150 km/h, 200 km/h, 250 km/h. The wind rushes past, Brno vanishes behind us on the horizon and “Feel Good Inc.” comes on the radio, summing up exactly how I feel.
718 Boxster: Fuel consumption combined 7.4 – 6.9 l/100 km; CO2 emissions 168 – 158 g/km