Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Paralelni Polis, Cryptocurrencies and Steampunk in Prague

Paralelni Polis is a place where we feel comfortable in and it is the center of Bitcoin-activity here in Prague. We spent our days in Prague with the King family or sitting here in this place with our computers. We just let our pictures speak this time, so enjoy the cryptocurrency world in Prague and our visit to a really cool, steampunk-inspired bar!


Paralelni Polis är en plats där vi känner oss hemma och det är centrum för Bitcoinaktiviteten här i Prag. Vi tillbringade våra dagar i Prag med Kingfamiljen eller så satt vi på PP med våra datorer. Vi låter våra bilder tala denna gång, så njut av kryptovalutavärlden i Prag och vårt besök på en riktigt cool, steampunkinspirerad bar!

Paralelni Polis is another reason why we like Prague so much. Here is where the Institute of Cryptoanarchy is located and where the Hacker’s Congress 2017 will be held in a few weeks. We will  be there, will you :)?

Close up on the sign outside the entrace.

Paralelni Polis accepts only bitcoin and litecoin, so you have to hold some cryptocurrency or change fiat money to real money at the atm inside the cafe when you want to buy any food or drinks here.

Coffee, beer and internet access is all we need 🙂

Paralelni Polis hosts regular Bitcoin meet ups, mostly in Czech. Occasionally there are English-speaking meet ups, like this one where a really cool it-woman, named Gili, talked about traveling the world, how to live of only cryptocurrencies while not having any bank accounts. It was awesome to meet and speak with Gili and hope that we will meet somewhere else in the world.
We will also hold an English-speaking Bitcoin meetup here on October 3rd, so come by and say hello to us if your’e in Prague!

Bitcoin is hot in Czech Republic so we got to appear on Czech national TV, in the background (can you spot us?), when they had a half-hour long programme about Bitcoin. They aired live from Paralelni Polis, so they wanted us to look busy meantime 🙂 Thanks Rebecca for the screenshot!

We also met up with Daniel, a fellow Cor.ax-conference attendee. We introduced him to Paralelni Polis, the King family and Bitcoin, and it was nice to get to know each other here in Prague.

Alza.cz is i huge electronic retailer that has just started to accept bitcoin as payment. They even have a Bitcoin atm, so we took Daniel here so he could get his first bitcoins.

At Alza you can buy everything from kitchenware, mobile phones to Tesla cars. If you buy anything with bitcoin, then be aware that you need to wait for one confirmation for smaller cheaper stuff to six confirmations if you purchase more expensive stuff. We can recommend to either buy online first or go to the Vietnamese market next door to have lunch while your’e waiting.

If you’re not into cars, then perhaps electric motorbikes would interest you. They also have a game room and a VR-corner, so there is no problem to spend a few hours inside this store.

Daniel stayed a few days in Prague and we went out for dinner during his last night in Prague and then we thought that we would check out a cool, steampunk-inspired bar here in Holešovice. From the outside the Cross Club (the name of the bar) looks like a tiny bar with a small outdoor seating area, but we were so wrong.

The cross club just blew us away, with its interior design and lightning. It is spread out like a labyrinth on several floors with different dance floors, a pinball room and bars. This is a DJ-booth on one of the dance floors.

One of the bars at Cross Club. This night club is a really cool experience that we can recommend if you come to Prague!

The outdoor area we first saw is just a tiny part of the night club. There is so much to explore here and you find cozy corners everywhere, so Ulrika thought that this night club was well-suited for introverts, not so much open areas and you can easily find a booth or a corner where you can get away from people 🙂 Daniel took a picture of us together (Thank you Daniel for the picture!). More pictures from Cross Club can be found in the slide show below

 

We hanged out with the King boys so that their parents could prepare for the coming birth, and it was Winston and Henry who showed us the way to another cafe in Prague, where they also accept bitcoin as payment.

The boys were eager to show us all the games the cafe have and the cool interior of the place.

We ordered fika and played Monopoly here, but “A Maze in Tchaiovna”-cafe offers a lot of different things from poetry nights, Ted-talk nights, free Language lessons etc to more adults only activities. Just check out their schedule online!

Absolutely love to see this sign! It is also lovely to see how interested Winston and Henry are in crypto-currencies and how much they understand. Henry created his own bitcoin-wallet necklace with his public and private key printed on the back, of course BIP-38 secured 😉 He was so proud of it so Ulrika had to make a short movie of him with his very own bitcoin-wallet. Then it was time for Edward to meet his family, but more of that in our next blog post.

Here are som links, if you want to take a closer look on anything we written about in this blog post:

Back in Prague hanging out with the Kings

We were back in Prague for a special reason and we came here to stay for an unknown length of time, because we waited for a special person to join us. We love to spend time with our friends the King family, their travel and unschooling blog can be found here, and we realized that we’ve only known each other for two years, but it feels way longer. The first time we met each other was in Bali 2015, after we got in contact through the Swedish Bitcoin community on facebook, and we share the same values and thoughts about moral and ethics, so it is nice to hang out with them.   


Vi var tillbaka i Prag av en särskild anledning och vi kom hit på okänd tid eftersom vi väntade på att en speciell person skulle komma till oss. Vi gillar att tillbringa tid med våra vänner King-familjen, deras rese och unschoolingblogg finns här, och vi insåg att vi endast har känt varandra i två år, men att det känns som att vi känt varandra mycket längre. Första gången vi träffade varandra var i Bali år 2015, efter att vi kom i kontakt med varandra i den svenska Bitcoingruppen på Facebook. Vi delar samma värderingar och tankar om moral och etik, så det är trevligt att umgås med dem.

We were now back in Prague, hanging out and helping these guys! How many pregnant, almost 40-weeks, women do you see climbing around in a park?

We went here to take care of Winston and Henry when their little brother would decide to come out.

And to see cool stuff like the Výstaviště (the industrial palace) in Prague, which is an exhibition ground built in 1891 for the World’s fair exhibition.

Out on a walk in the Park Stromovka in the rain with Caroline and the boys in the first half of August.

Stromovka park!

The Czech Republic is not famous for its natural lakes, so Caroline and the boys took us to a nice outdoor pool during the hottest days in August.

Winston and Henry got hold of our hats and sunglasses!

Pontus is useful when you want to be an airplane.

Henry want to compare his tummy with mom, whose is bigger?

We found a child-size motorbike outside a restaurant, so the kids had to try it out.

Henry a.k.a Daredevil, driving with his eyes closed and hands in the air.

Pontus and I also explored Holešovice and surroundings, and found both a small harbor and an allotment garden. This part of Prague is really nice to explore by foot. More pictures can be found in the slideshow below.

 

We found a floating tiny house, built with a container, along the harbor! It looked really nice!

We also had a local pig walking around in the neighborhood with her owner #thingsyouseeinPrague

There are a lot of local pubs and restaurants here in Holešovice, this one stood out, but we didn’t try it.

The public transportation system in Prague is so easy to use. There are subways, trams, buses etc to get around here. There is even a small boat called P7 that you can take, which goes between Holešovice and Karlín.

The P7 boat that took us over the Vltava river. The island Štvanice can be seen in the background.

The King family had described for us how to find the tunnel under the Vítkov hill, and we found it! Now it was exploration time.

The tunnel goes straight through the hill and we wondered if this was some kind of bomb shelter during the wars.

We found the National Monument on top of Vitkov hill and it was an impressive building built between the world wars in honor of the Czechoslovak legionaries. It was then used to promote and glorify the Communist regime after the second world war ended. Since 2009, the building has been reconstructed to be a National memorial site.

We got a great view over Prague from Vitkov park. Below are more pictures from the park and Holešovice. We walked more than 10 km this day, so we got to see a lot of interesting architecture.

 

You’ll find a Vietnamese market in Holešovice where the Vietnamese community have their businesses. Social engineering during the communist years had Vietnam and Czechoslovakia to send people between each other, like a forced cultural exchange. We heard that most Czech people moved back to this part of the world after the communists were removed here, but the Vietnamese decided to stay, go figure! We love Vietnamese food so we loved going here to eat.

We hanged out and did a lot of things during these weeks, but most of the time we were just patiently waiting for the fifth member of the King family to join us. More about that later!

Gozo – diving around the former Azure Window

Malta and Gozo are known to be good for diving, so we had to descend below the surface here. Our main purpose of our visit to Malta was the Corax conference, but we had one day scheduled for diving and the choice fell on Dive systems Malta and their “Diving around Gozo”- package.  We only had time for two dives, so we went to the “Inland Sea and Tunnel”- and the “Blue hole”-dive sites. The Azure Window is not standing there any longer, but luckily for us, it is now part of the marine life next to the Blue Hole, which was one of our dives here.  If we had more time on Malta, we would have loved to dive around some of the spectacular wrecks from the world wars that are laying around at the bottom of the sea next to Malta or explore more of the fantastic underwater limestone-caves here, but we have to spare them to another time. Going to Gozo was also interesting, we had been to Malta one time before, but we had saved the Northern part of the Maltese archipelago, because we knew that we were coming here for the conference. Below are pictures from our last days on Malta for this time.


Malta och Gozo är kända för bra dykning så vi var tvungna att ta oss en titt under ytan. Vårt huvudsakliga syfte med besöket på Malta var Corax-konferensen, men vi hade en dag planerad för att dyka. Valet föll på “Dive systems Malta” och deras paket “Dykning runt Gozo”. Vi hade bara tid för två dyk, så vi bestämde oss för att dyka vid “the Inland Sea and Tunnel”- och “the Blue hole”. Azurfönstret står inte  längre där, men lyckligtvis för oss är det nu en del av det marina livet bredvid “the Blue Hole”, vilket var ett av våra dyk. Om vi hade haft mer tid på Malta hade vi dykt vid några av de spektakulära vrak från världskrigen som ligger på botten runt Malta eller utforska mer av de fantastiska kalkstensgrottorna, men vi får bara spara dem till en annan gång. Att åka till ön Gozo var också intressant, vi hade varit på Malta en gång tidigare, men vi sparade då den norra delen av den maltesiska skärgården till en annan gång, då vi visste att vi skulle komma hit för konferensen. Nedan finns bilder från våra sista dagar på Malta för den här gången.

We went diving with a fellow conference-attendee during our last days in Malta. We would only have time for two dives, so we choose the smaller island Gozo to be where we would explore the underwater wildlife of the Mediterranean sea. This is the first time diving in this part of the world so we were quite excited about what we would encounter down there.

We had gotten to know our dive-buddy Per during the conference and now we met up with him early in the morning outside our dive center.

We got suited up with dive gear, not this old relic though – it is just a historical piece standing in the dive shop.

We went with Dive Systems Malta and they had nice new sets of dive gear. They also give you bigger tanks in their standard equipment. With a bigger oxygen tank you will be heavier, mind that when you have to walk to the dive site from the parking lot (see the videos further down), but you will have plenty of oxygen. This is good if you’re a heavy breather.

It takes around 2.5 hours to go from Sliema on Malta to the East part of Gozo, where we were going to dive, including taking the ferry between the islands.

We got to see the landscape in Northern Malta while we we’re getting closer to the town Cirkewwa, from where the ferries are departing.

Malta is mainly beige, with a few colorful spots here and there.

They do have a few parks here and there so when we saw a bit of green, we just had to take a picture.

Even an old English phone booth breaks the seemingly endless sandy look of Malta.

The ferry departs frequently, so we didn’t have to wait long for a ferry to take us to Gozo.

Mġarr is where the ferry takes you when anchoring on Gozo. Gozo is the second largest island in the Maltese archipelago and Gozo has long been thought to be Ogygia in Homer’s Odyssey, where the nymph Calypso held Odysseus captive for seven years.

Gozo is more rural than the main island Malta and Gozo has been inhabited at least since 5000 BC.

We arrived at Dwejra around lunch time and suited up for our dives. It was really hot this day, as you can see in our videos below. We were curious what we would see below the surface and we concluded that it was different from diving in Southeast Asia and in Central America. However, we loved the limestone underwater caves and the different corals and fishes here. The parrot fish, a common and really colorful fish in SE Asia, where not colorful at all here. The famous Azure Window, that fell into the sea in early spring of 2017, was also interesting to see. The Azure Window was a main tourist attraction of Gozo, but is now laying in pieces at the bottom of the sea next to the Blue Hole. We had two great dives here, then it was time to head back to the main island Malta.

Peculiar thing seen in Gozo – be aware of the CCTV cameras in the toilets :p

Back to Malta and the sunbathers! If you want sand beaches instead of cliffs, go to Gozo or Comino!

We also had time to participate in the Balluta Parish Our Lady of Mount Carmel – festival, which happened in Balluta bay in the end of July 2017.

The first Carmelite friars went to Balluta bay on the 22nd of May 1890 and first had a small church, but the increasing number of followers made it so that they had to rebuild the church many times since then. This is the current church today, standing in S:t Julians.

Close up on the top windows in the church, looks kinda like a scary movie with this light setting.

“Our Lady of Mount Carmel” or “the Blessed Virgin Mary in her role as patroness of the Carmelite Order” is what is celebrated during this festival. Here, the friars carrying around a statue of her at the festival.

The festival ended with fire works and our time on Malta ended here as well.

We said goodbye to Malta and headed North again, this time to Prague visiting our friends there.  Our hostel had an interesting map of Europe hanging on the wall, picturing the main products of agriculture in different parts of Europe.

Liveaboard – Diving in the Andaman Sea part II: Similan Islands

Part II of our liveaboard adventure begins when we entered the waters of the Similan National Park, a very famous dive area with a lot of dive sites and beautiful Islands. Part I was all about the Surin Islands and Richelieu rock, a more remote location where most boats that come there are dive boats. Now in the Similan islands we would encounter a lot more tourists and people snorkeling near the beaches. We were here in the beginning of March, so the high season for tourists were over so there weren’t to many people here. However, we can imagine crowded beaches here during the peak of the season.  


Del II av vårt liveaboard-äventyr börjar när vi kom in i Similan Nationalpark, ett välkänt dykområde med många dykplatser och med vackra öar. Del I handlade om Surinöarna och Richelieu rock, ett mer avlägset område där de flesta båtar som kom dit är dykbåtar. Nu på Similanöarna skulle vi möta många fler turister och människor som snorklar nära stränderna. Vi var här i början av mars, så högsäsongen för turister var över och då var det inte alltför många människor där, men vi kunde föreställa oss hur trångt det skulle kunna vara på stränderna här under toppen av högsäsongen.

Day 2 of diving we entered the Similan National Park, which consists of 11 islands. Similan means nine (in Yawi) and from the beginning the park consisted of nine islands making up an archipelago, but in 1998 two more islands were included in the National park, Koh Tachai and Koh Bon.

We reached Koh Tachai, the most northern island and latest added to the Similan National park list of islands, around lunch on dive day 2. Some information about Koh Tachai: Original name Koh Bua after the unique Lotus flower that used to grow on the island. The 2004 tsunami wiped away all flowers so the island was renamed after one of the first fishermen who came to the island after the tsunami: Uncle Chai (TaChai).

Our dive number 8 on this trip was scheduled during the sunset so we didn’t bring our gopro for this dive.
More information about Koh Tachai: The island is located between the Surin Islands and the main Similan Archipelago, quite close to the Richelieu rock where we dived previously that day (dive day 2). Whale sharks and Manta rays can be seen here, but luck wasn’t on our side on this trip.

Next day, dive day 3, we had traveled to Koh Bon for dives number 9 and 10. Koh Bon has two main dive areas, the ridge/bay and the Pinnacle, which is deep and prone to currents. The first dive for us here was next to the ridge.

Our tenth dive on this trip was north of the ridge and it was here that we got to see our first Guitarfish, which we first thought was a shark, but it belongs to the family of rays.

Then it was time to travel down to the main Similan archipelago, the original nine islands which have given this part of the world its name. We did our last dive of the day here, before it was barbecue time with our dive companions and the dive crew.

We did only three dives this day, so our barbecue party could start early.

Erica, Vita and Shing while waiting for dinner. We had good times together on the boat.

The sunset on dive day 3. The morning after would be our last dive day with the Sea dragon’s liveaboard.

Dive day 4 and we would have our last two dives on the West side of the archipelago. We also had time to visit Koh Similan, the largest island out of the nine islands in the archipelago.

We headed up on the “mountain” on Koh Similan to get a better view over the island.

It is an easy and short hike up a human-made trail, so shoes are not needed. The white powder on our feet are sand from the beach.

The view over the bay, Ao Kuerk, on Koh Similan. We don’t have a lot of pictures with us together so we took the opportunity to be in the same picture together.

The water is crystal clear so to jump from the rocks was amazing.

We found a strange looking dead creature near the beach. More pictures from Koh Similan can be found in the slide show below. Then it was time for our two last dives on the trip.

 

We had all three dives in the archipelago on the West side, which is known for its huge boulders and swim-throughs. Diving on the East side is said to be different with gently sloping coral reefs and sandy patches.

Then it was time to get back to the mainland and for us that meant to get back to Khao Lak and waiting for our friends to arrive.

Our first time in Berlin

From Dubrovnik to Berlin, in a month we had managed to travel south to north across Europe and our focus was to visit old and new friends. Berlin wasn’t in our plans from the beginning, but a certain sport retailer had us convinced that we wanted to go here. Why not try to see some of the historical grounds here in Berlin while we stayed here, we said to each other, so here are some pictures from Berlin! 


Från Dubrovnik till Berlin, under en månads tid hade vi lyckats resa från söder till norr genom Europa och vårt fokus var att besöka gamla och nya vänner. Berlin var inte i våra planer från början, men en viss sportaffär hade övertygat oss om att vi ville åka hit. Varför inte försöka se några av de historiska platserna här i Berlin under vår vistelse sa vi till varandra, så här är några bilder från Berlin!

Our purpose in Berlin was not to explore the historical sites of the city, but we couldn’t resist to walk around one day and see some of the historical areas and Die Mauer was one of them. More about this day later.

First, it  was time to upgrade our gear and we went to Berlin solely for the purpose of visiting a Decathlon outlet.

They sell everything from outdoor gear and ballet clothes, to scuba equipment, sailing and horse stuff, so this is the biggest sports goods retailer that we have visited.

Pontus shoes needed to be upgraded, so say hell to a new pair of cheap, but qualitative, Kalenji sneakers.

The Decathlon store we went to is located at Alexanderplatz, a large transport hub in Berlin.

You get a good view of the Fernsehturm, a communistic propaganda building constructed between 1965 and 1969. The Ferneshturm was intended to be a symbol of communist power and of Berlin.

Fika-time at Alexanderplatz.

and waffles that got our sugar levels spiking.

There is a construction company in this part of Europe that has an interesting company name Porr (Porn in Swedish) with the Swedish flag colors.

We lived in Friedrichshain, a part of Germany that was severely damaged during the second world war, because of the Allies heavy bombings on industrial buildings that were located in Friedrichshain. After the war, the Stalinallee was built in this neighborhood and  Friedrichshain was the cultural center of East Berlin.

After the Wall fell, a lot of apartments stood suddenly empty here in Friedrichshain and this attracted the attention of squatters, which can still be found here today,

There are a lot of vegan alternatives in this part of Berlin, so it was special to find a non-vegan place.

The last day we had gathered enough energy to spend a day walking around to different historical places and look at the architecture in the city.

We walked past the Berlin Cathedral or the other name for it: Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church. The church standing here today stood finished 1905, but the Supreme Parish and Collegiate Church and its community dates back to 1450’s.

We walked down the historical parade street Unter den Linden, which was constructed by Elector John George of Brandenburg in the 16th century so he could reach his hunting grounds in the Tiergarten.

Unter den Linden starts at the Berlin Palace, a place that dates back to the 1450’s.

Brandenburger Tor, another historical monument that has meant a lot for both monarchs, Napoleon and the Nazi’s.

We visited Tiergarten, the big park in the middle of Berlin. This was the royal families private hunting grounds. In 1742 the fences around the park was torn down by Frederick II and the park was now open for the public.

A short stop looking at the German Reichstag, which was constructed after the unification of Germany in 1871.

We passed the Holocaust Memorial.

Potsdamer Platz, named after the city Potsdamer and the area marks the point where the old road from Potsdamer passed through the city wall of Berlin. This was a No-mans land during the cold war and Potsdamer Platz became one of the earliest points where the Berlin Wall was breached in 1989.

You’ll find Checkpoint Charlie, the most famous of border crossing checkpoints between East and West Berlin, near Potsdamer Platz, The Berlin Wall was built because of the heavy brain drain from East to West, between 1949 and 1961, over 2½ million East Germans fled to the West. This was so damaging to the political credibility and economic viability of East Germany., so they started to construct the Wall in 1961.

A standoff occurred between U.S. and Soviet tanks at Checkpoint Charlie soon after the Berlin Wall was built. The dispute was about if East German guards were authorized to examine the travel documents of a U.S. diplomat. 10 Soviet and 10 American tanks stood 100 yards apart on either side of the checkpoint for more than 24 hours. The standoff ended peacefully.

Love the placement of McDonald’s.

Pontus and Die Mauer – Next to Checkpoint Charlie lies a Wall museum where you can see a piece of the Wall, together with a lot of pictures and historical descriptions surrounding the history of the Wall. From the construction of the Wall and histories about both fatal and successful escape attempts, to the days when the Wall was torn down.

We found beautiful street art about this historical place around checkpoint Charlie, so it was nice just to randomly walk around here. Then it was time for us to leave Germany.

Liveaboard – Diving in the Andaman Sea part I

Finally, Ulrika has taken the time to go through all our movies and photos from our Liveaboard adventure in Thailand so this will be a throwback to the end of February when we went out with Sea dragon, a Khao Lak based dive center that  has its own boats traveling up and down the west coast of Thailand taking divers out for adventures in the Andaman Sea. We choose to do a 4 days/4 nights liveaboard going from the Surin Islands down to the Similan Islands with a total of 13 dives during the days (and nights) out on the sea. The crew and dive masters where awesome and the food served was really good, so we had a great time with the Sea dragons that we will remember forever.


Äntligen har Ulrika tagit sig tid att gå igenom alla våra filmer och bilder från vårt Liveaboard-äventyr i Thailand så detta blir en tillbakablick till slutet av februari när vi åkte ut med Sea Dragon, ett Khao Lak-baserat dykcenter som har sina egna båtar som färdas upp och ner vid Thailands västkust och tar dykare ut på äventyr i Andamansjön. Vi valde att göra en 4 dagars/4 nätters liveaboard som gick från Surinöarna ner till Similanöarna med totalt 13 dyk under dessa dagar (och nätter) ute på havet. Besättningen och dykinstruktörerna var fantastiska och maten som serverades ombord var riktigt bra. Vi hade en underbar upplevelse med Sea Dragons som vi kommer att minnas för alltid.

Our first stop was the Surin Islands where we would do our first four dives. We had traveled to these Islands during the night, so we could do our first dive early in the morning on day 1.

Mu Ko Surin National Park is an archipelago of five islands 60 km from the mainland and only a few kilometers from the Thai-Burmese oceanic border. The ethnic Moken minority, known as “chao lay” or “sea gypsies”, are the only humans living on the Surin islands.

We got a chance to walk on the main Surin Island and explore a small part of the national park. The park is closed during rainy season, 1 May-31 October, so during that time no dive boats go to this part of Thailand.

We brought our masks so we could do some snorkeling, but there wasn’t much to see under the water here. It was more things to see looking out from the beach. We then went out on our second dive before lunch.

We went out with the M/V Andaman boat and it was our Liveaboard-home for a few days. So we could relax on the sun deck reading a book or lay down under the roof listening to a podcast between dives. We have put together a slide show with pictures of the boat if you want to see how a Liveaboard boat could look like.

 

We could also talk with the other Liveaboard people on the boat. Siim and Kajsa were our dive companions, sharing the same dive master, so we did all of our dives together. Siim and Kajsa are working in the Finnish/Estonian film industry and Siim had become a bit famous after his last movie ( Mother, 2016) so some Estonian people on vacation in Thailand had recognized him.

Emil was our Swedish dive master who took us out on the under water adventures! Thanks Emil for our days with the Sea Dragon Liveaboard, you made it an awesome time for us.

It was encouraging to see the number of dives the people on our boat had done. We were one of the least experienced with only 48 dives during this trip, some of the divers had done several thousands of dives up to this point.

Our fourth dive was a night dive around the Surin Islands, so we waited for the sun to set before we jumped into the water. We didn’t film during this dive, but it was a really nice dive.

On dive day 2, the M/V Andaman took us to Richelieu Rock, a famous dive site 18 km east of the Surin Islands. Richelieu Rock is known for its purple corals and the diverse marine life found there. You even have a chance of seeing whale sharks around this underwater rock mountain if you’re lucky (we weren’t that lucky).

The dive master, there were five of them taking care of different dive groups, held a dive briefing before each dive and told us what we could expect to see on different dive sites. We did our dives no 5 and 6 around this dive site. The coral is pink and purple, so Scorpion fishes here have amazing color pattern trying to disguise themselves among the corals.

Richelieu Rock became a dive site when diving pioneer, Jacques-Yves Cousteau, with the help of local fishermen, discovered it. It is a horse-shoe shaped pinnacle that rises 50 meter from the sea bottom and touches the surface during low tide. After our two dives at Richelieu rock, we had lunch on the boat while it took us  south to the island Koh Tachai. More about that in part II.

Visiting our friend Michi in Bamberg

Back on track and we can finally give a short explanation of why we ended up in Bamberg, a small town in the middle of Germany. We were here to visit our friend Michi, who we got to know during our three months stay in Acapulco during the 2016 version of Anarchapulco. It was just by pure spontaneous travel, a trait that we are known for by now, we happened to step of a bus in Bamberg. We had a lot to catch up with our friend since our good bye in Acapulco in 2016, so Bamberg just had to be our next destination.  
Originally, we were thinking of going to Paris, Amsterdam or Slovakia when Ulrika remembered that Michi should be somewhere in the southern parts of Germany. One message later and we had set our travel compass towards Bamberg. Little did we know that we would come to a lovely small town with a lot of history. 


Tillbaka på rätt spår och vi kan slutligen ge er en kort förklaring till varför vi hamnade i Bamberg, en liten stad i mitten av Tyskland. Vi var här för att besöka vår vän Michi, som vi lärde känna under våra tre månader i Acapulco när vi närvarade vid 2016-års version av Anarchapulco. Det var bara en ren spontanresa, en egenskap som vi är kända för i nuläget, att vi hoppade på en buss till Bamberg. Vi hade mycket att prata om med vår vän sedan vårt adjö i Acapulco 2016, så Bamberg var vi bara tvungna att ha som vår nästa destination.
Vår ursprungliga plan var att åka till Paris, Amsterdam eller Slovakien, när Ulrika kom ihåg att Michi borde befinna sig någonstans i de södra delarna av Tyskland. Ett ivägskickat meddelande senare och vi hade satt vår resekompass mot Bamberg. Lite visste vi att vi skulle sätta fötterna i en förtjusande liten stad med mycket historia.

Awesome to meet Michi again and to explore his hometown Bamberg!

Michi took us to the old town of Bamberg, which is on the UNESCO’s world heritage list because it has kept its medieval appearance.

You enter old town by crossing the Obere Brücke (a bridge built in 1455) and walk through the town hall of Bamberg, the town hall dates back to the 16th century and has cool exterior painting.

Michi and Pontus on the streets of old town Bamberg. Michi showed us around different parts of Bamberg during the few days we spent with him and his family and friends.

Bamberg was first mentioned in 902 and has been a town since the first millennium. The town was heavily involved in the witch hunt during the 15th century and approximately 1000 people were sentenced to death during a 5-year period. This was one of the largest witch trials in history.

Everywhere you go, you’ll find lovely houses with interesting exterior that you want to check out further.

Schlenkerla is one out of nine old, famous pubs that brews the famous Bamburg Rauchbier – a
beer which has a distinctive, smoky aroma and flavor.

Rauchbier is almost pitch black and has an interesting taste. We liked it, but felt it was enough drinking one.

Another nice thing here is that people are standing outside on the street, having a beer and having conversation with people passing the pub. It is a joyful atmosphere!

We continued our walk through the old town and found more medieval houses.

We walked, but old town also have a tourist sightseeing bus tour. We ended up at the “little Venice of Bamberg where we recorded a short video, which can be seen below.

The old town of Bamberg also has its own cathedral and it is under the administration of the Roman Catholic Church. The original cathedral was founded in 1002 by King Heinrich II, but the first two cathedrals burned down in the 11th and 12th centuries, so the current one has been standing here since the 13th century.

The Neue Residenz, the palace that was the bishops residence from 1602 to 1803.

Behind the bishop palace, there is a beautiful rose garden to enjoy.

Wikipedia claims that the rose garden has over 4500 roses in different colors.

Michi likes to climb, so he took us to the local boulder room  (Block Helden) to get our muscles working again.

They accept bitcoin, so we really like this place! Notice that you’re not allowed to pay with bitcoin if you’re a drug dealer 😂

Michi showing different problems in the boulder room.

Pontus warming up on an easy route.

Ulrika feeling out the bolted holds once more.

Michi’s cousin is an experienced climber, so he showed us more difficult routes in the boulder room.

Michi also took us out on the countryside to taste the local famous food and beers around Bamberg. Hölzlein is one of the guest houses famous for their brewery and food.

We had the chance to spend time with Michi’s friend Andreas talking a lot about the German school system.

A proper German dinner – some kind of meat, sauerkraut, sauce and potatoes!

Grießnockerlsuppe, Semolina dumpling soup, was a new kind of soup that we haven’t tasted before coming to Bamberg. It was delicious!

A random art project we found while exploring the town. Loved it!

We also took a walk to Hain park, which is next to the old town and it is an easy walk to discover more beautiful surroundings here in Bamberg.

An old bridge in Hain park.

Here you’ll find the botanical garden!

More photos from Hain park.

Andreas joined us on the walk and we really appreciate the conversations and the the explorations we had with you guys. Thanks for letting us spontaneously come visit you!

And thanks for letting us stay with you! Next stop for us was Berlin!

Bayern is not boring at all

When we last left you, we just arrived to Bayern (Bavaria) to get a few days of rest after our adventures in Austria. We haven’t felt any urge of going here and, quite frankly, we have always imagined that this place would be boring. How wrong we were, Bayern is colorful, clean, friendly and there are lots of interesting places, especially in the region capital Munich. We were just here for a transit before visiting our friend outside of Nuremberg, so we have to go back here some day and explore this region more. However, we did make use of the time we spent in both Weilheim in Obernbayer and Munich.


När vi senast lämnade er så hade vi precis åkt mot Bayern för att få några dagars vila efter våra äventyr i Österrike. Vi har aldrig känt någon längtan att åka till Bayern och vi har helt uppriktigt alltid haft föreställningen att denna region skulle vara tråkig. Hur fel har vi inte haft egentligen? Bayern är färgstarkt, rent, vänligt och det finns många intressanta platser, särskilt i huvudstaden München, att uppleva. Vi var bara här för att mellanlanda innan vi besökte vår vän som bor utanför Nürnberg. Vi behöver nog åka tillbaka hit en dag och utforska denna region mer. Vi utnyttjade dock den tid vi spenderade i både Weilheim i Obernbayer och München väl.

Weilheim in Oberbayern, a small town between Munich and Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bayern.

It was perfect for us to make a stop and rest after a week exploring the alps – climbing, hiking and mountain-biking.

Weilheim in Oberbayern is a place where sad faces show up if you are speeding. Thanks to the car who saw us waiting to take a picture and increased its speed just so we could get a sad emoji on photo! The car immediately slowed down after the sign, so thank you 🙂

We just relaxed here and tried out new settings on our camera.

The best Turkish kebab we’ve eaten so far can be found in Weilheim.

And good ice-cream. They had ice-cream spaghetti bolognese on their menu and it was quite popular among the smaller customers.

The graffiti is more like paintings here and it is a cozy town to spend a few days in. However, three days was enough for us and we started our journey to the north.

But first exploring the capital of the free state of Bayern – Munich. The first records of settlements in Bayern is from the formation of a duchy in the 6th century (AD). Then history has taken Bayern from a duchy, through the Roman Empire, to an independent kingdom and to a powerless state in the German federation that would like to become independent again.

We had four hours in Munich so we just let google maps guide us to interesting stuff near the train station and we got to see amazing architecture and walk in to a nude beach in the middle of the city. But first buildings, and we’ve stuffed cool buildings in a slide show below.

 

The New Town Hall is an impressive Gothic building at the Marienplatz in Munich. Fun fact about Marienplatz: The square was named after the Mariensäule, a Marian column erected in 1638 to celebrate the end of Swedish occupation.

The New Hall opened its doors In 1874, because the local government had grown so big that they no longer could fit all the people in the old one. They choose a neo-gothic design in memory of the bourgeois high season during the Gothic period. Below is a video of the place.

We visited the English garden, which is situated in the middle of the capital of Bayern.

The English garden was created in 1789 by Sir Benjamin Thompson and later Count Rumford for Prince Charles Theodore, Elector of Bayern.
The English garden in Munich is counted as one of the largest urban public parks in the world.

Its a huge park and our mission was to get to the Chinese tower in the middle of the park.

But keep your eyes open where you go. We accidentally walked right in to a nude beach and it took a few seconds for us to realize why we suddenly only saw naked people around us.

The Chinese tower. The original was built in 1790, but that was destroyed during the second world war. However, the community built an exact copy to replace the burnt down pieces after the war ended.

We took a break at the beer garden next to the tower and did what the locals do.

Eating pretzels and drinking a beer.

We saw a lot of men walking around in their lederhosen, so we had to take a sneak picture.

Munich, or Bayern was surprisingly cool to us. We didn’t have so high expectations beforehand of this place, so we were pleasantly surprised of how vibrant and interesting Munich felt. Next time we have to stay longer than four hours here and do more exploring. Look at this bicycle guide, don’t you just want to hop on one of those and let you be guided around Munich by them?

Our friend waited for us in Bamberg so we jumped on a Flixbus, our new favorite bus company in Europe – so cheap and easy to get around Europe when you use their service. We can highly recommend them 🙂

The Corax Conference 2017

Corax Conference 2017 blew us away! Ever since we heard about the 2016 conference, we knew that we wanted to attend this year’s version and we bought our tickets before the first speakers even were announced. When the first line of speakers finally were revealed, we knew that we were in for a treat. Corax conference aimed to cover most viewpoints existing under the big umbrella called Libertarianism and we think that they did a really good job attracting diverse speakers from different standpoints. Most interesting was to hear from Professor Hans-Herman Hoppe and his clarification of his and his predecessor Murray Rothbard’s visions of Libertarianism.  We highly recommend purchasing a remote ticket so you can listen to his and the rest of the speakers talks from the Corax conference.

However, the most controversial talk of the conference was surprisingly Jeff Deist’s speech, which was broadcasted from Mises University, and we can’t understand why really. We can highly recommend listening to Tom Woods show episode 966, where you’ll find the whole speech and good points from Tom Woods, really explaining why this speech is nothing more than highlighting the importance of decentralization.   

Ulrika also thought that talking to and listening to Julie Borowski was especially fun, since she has been following Julies work on Youtube for several years now. That’s why she gets the honor of being on the first picture in this blog post. More about the conference can be read in the figure texts.  We had a fantastic week on Malta, so thanks to Bubb.la/Cor.ax for making this happen!


Coraxkonferensen 2017 fick oss att tappa andan av glädje och lärdomar. Ända sedan vi hörde om 2016 års konferens visste vi att vi ville delta i årets version och därför köpte vi våra biljetter innan de första talarna ens hade tillkännagivits. När den första raden av talare äntligen presenterades visste vi att vi skulle få vara med om en enastående tillställning. Coraxkonferensen syftar till att täcka de flesta delarna under det stora paraplyet som kallas Libertarianism och vi anser att de gjorde ett riktigt bra jobb. Höjdpunkten var att höra från professor Hans-Herman Hoppe där hans förtydligande av hans och hans föregångare Murray Rothbards visioner av Libertarianismen var väldigt klargörande. Vi rekommenderar starkt att du köper en fjärrbiljett så att du kan lyssna på Hans-Herman Hoppe och resten av föreläsningarna från Coraxkonferensen.

Den mest kontroversiella föreläsningen på konferensen var överraskande nog Jeff Deists tal som sändes från Mises Universitetet. Vi kan starkt rekommendera att lyssna på avsnitt 966 av “the Tom Woods show” där du hittar hela talet, samt bra poänger från Tom Woods, som verkligen förklarar varför detta tal inte är något annat än ett framhävande av vikten av decentralisering.

Ulrika uppskattade också att få chansen att prata med och lyssna på Julie Borowski, eftersom hon har följt Julies arbete på Youtube i flera år nu. Därför får Julie äran att vara med på den första bilden i det här blogginlägget :). Mer om konferensen kan läsas i figurtexterna eller lyssna på sammanfattningar från både radio bubb.la och radio frihetligt. Vi hade iallafall en otroligt bra vecka på Malta, så stort tack till Bubb.la/Cor.ax för anordnandet av detta!

Julie Borowski, one of the speakers that Ulrika was looking forward to listen to. Her Libertarian Youtube-channel is funny and makes Libertarian viewpoints accessible on topics that are discussed today. Libertarianism in social media was her main topic during this conference.

Sofia and Martin, the founders of bubb.la and Cor.ax, made this conference happen. There aren’t any conferences in the world that gather speakers from such different stand-points that can be found under the big umbrella called Libertarianism, so we didn’ẗ want to miss this for the world.

The main speaker was the legendary Professor Hans-Herman Hoppe, a rare sight on the international speaker scene. We feel blessed to have had the opportunity to listen to his current viewpoint.

Adam Kokesh, the NOT president of the USA 2020, was also a speaker on the conference. We had the pleasure of listening to Adam last year on the Anarchapulco conference in Acapulco. He will do a European tour 2018 and he will come to Sweden, so don’t miss him when he comes to your country!

Matthew Reece, writer on the Zeroth Position, had a great lecture about the neo-reactionary and the alt-right movement. Highly informative.

This is Corax conference for us. Matthew Reece and Adam Kokesh wouldn’t be invited to the same conferences in the US, but here they could meet and have a discussion on stage, a rare event in the Libertarian movement. Unfortunately, Adam had to leave early so we just have to look forward to the next time Matthew and Adam can meet on stage.

Jeff Deist, the president of the Mises Institute  in the US, held an interesting lecture on decentralization for both us and the Mises University with the help of Skype and cameras. It was one of the best speeches we listened to and it was also one of the most controversial apparently. We highly recommend you to listen to the Tom Woods episode linked above in the text, if you want to learn more about what Jeff actually said. Also in the picture, Hans-Herman Hoppe waving to the Mises University attendants.

Brendan O’Neill, a Marxist-Libertarian journalist from Spiked online. He talked about his case for a Libertarian-marxism, but we found it confused and we didn’t agree with his advocacy for democracy.

Bubb.las own doomster ;), Johnny Mellgren, held a spot on lecture about the next financial crisis.

Other speakers were not familiar to us, but were very interesting. Moritz Bierling held two lectures during the conference. The first one was a Jordan Peterson-inspired lecture about SYSO – Sorting YourSelf Out, instead of the degenerative YOLO (You only live ones)-view of life.

The second lecture was about the internet phenomenon memes and trolling, and what it means.

We got good laughs from his lecture. We were really bad at taking photos, so we don’t have any pictures from the Lichtenstein as a Libertarian utopia lecture by Andreas Kohl or the lecture about free economic zones in the world by Simon Sarevski, which is a shame.

We do have one blurry picture of Simon wearing his T-shirt displaying a nice quote by Bastiat.

We found more nice T-shirts worn by other conference attendants.

Dinners and activities were also on the schedule, so we had the chance to talk to each other all night if we wanted.

Or take sneaky pictures on Hoppe! Btw love the look on Sofia’s face when she discovers what Pontus is doing 🙂

We also met friends that we haven’t seen in a long time. We had the pleasure to get to know these guys in Acapulco last year. It was great catching up with Shamus and David on Malta.

We noticed a stricking resemblance between Pontus and Aron Askew, the campaign manager of Adam Kokesh’s presidential campaign.

We also had time to enjoy the cliffs of Malta before we left the conference. Pontus is not naked 😉

Last, but not least, we want to thank Sofia, the organizer of this Conference, for this excellent and well-organized week and we hope to meet you again soon!

Taking on Hoher Ifen before we leave Austria

Hoher Ifen was our third and final adventure with Sandra and Markus for this time around, and it was a perfect hike for our now  sore legs. This mountain has been in our sight from Sandra and Markus porch, so we got excited to hear that we would get a chance to take a closer look on this spectacular plateau, standing there in the distance. We let the pictures and videos speak for themselves! 


Hoher Ifen blev vårt tredje och sista äventyr med Sandra och Markus  för den här gången, en perfekt vandring för våra nu väldigt möra ben. Detta berg har varit i vår vy från Sandra och Markus veranda, så vi blev glada att höra att vi skulle få möjlighet att titta närmare på denna spektakulära platå, som fanns där i bakgrunden. Vi låter våra bilder och videos talar för sig själva!

Hoher Ifen, a 2230 meter high mountain in the Kleinwalsertal valley, was our mission on our last day with Sandra and Markus.

It was an easy hike compared to our previous two adventures the days before.

We took our time listening to the sounds of the mountains, mostly cow bells.

and taking pictures on the alpine flowers.

Sandra is making use of her camera!

The view is amazing, so don’t forget your camera.

Sandra and Ulrika on their way to the plateau on top of Hoher Ifen.

Group photo with Riezlern in the background.

We found a few butterflies on our hiking trip.

We had a picnic at the top and with a beautiful view to go with our lunch. We put together a short video from our first part of the hike that you can see below.

There is a small via ferrata on the south side of Hoher Ifen. People have died here so be careful when passing this part of the hike.

We ate second lunch on our way down at Scwarzwasser- Hütte. We tried a local dish called Kaiserschmarrn!

And had a Russ – a popular hiking drink with Weißbier and lemon soda.

We came across a waterfall in the end of our 8-hour hike, with a lot of stops, and we felt that it was a nice ending of a beautiful day.

But this hike had a big surprise in the form of an artificial lake, used as a water storage for snow canons in the winter, and we jumped in!

Last evening and we got to experience a beautiful thunder storm coming in the valley. We also filmed  the rain and Hoher Ifen from the porch  which you can see below.

The morning after we took the train to Bayern, Germany,  for a few days of resting our muscles. Thanks Sandra and Markus for the awesome summer days spent with you in the Alps.

« Older posts

© 2017 Ankor på vift

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑