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Hans Bonzel

My wife and I were having a short holiday for the first time in beautiful Wales early 2011. The week started in Dolgellau and the last day we spent in Cardiff. Walking around in a sunny but cold Cardiff we heard some violin music floating in the air in a shopping street! Like a magnet, we were pulled by the music or was it also by the warmth, which came from somewhere upstairs in a shopping mall. The violin shop had a small entrance and a friendly man (Chris we heard later) asked what the purpose of our visit was, and that was basically none! After some stumbling words, Chris asked me whether I played violin, and yes I did (although I hadn’t played for a while). Immediately I was offered the opportunity to try out three beautiful instruments, which I accepted since we enjoyed the friendly and hospitable approach. It took a while to get my fingers warm, not only from the cold but also from not playing for months. One of the violins was a beautiful Sebastian Klotz violin mid 18th century, which I loved at once. A violin, however, is not something you normally buy as an impulse investment, so after a very nice hour or two of trying we left with doubt in our hearts. Back in the Netherlands I realized that I really was keen on the violin. I did some research on the net to find out more about Sebastian Klotz and expressed my interest to Chris and Cecile. On Easter Monday I returned to Cardiff. Chris and Cecile were so kind to open the shop especially for me during their Easter holiday, and I played most of the day. Even their daughter came in and played for me so I could also listen and compare from a distance. It was a wonderful experience with a very friendly welcome in Cardiff. I bought the beautiful violin and with it a nice bow. Chris and Cecile, thanks for your warm hospitality and we hope to see you again when we are over in Wales!