Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Budapest by foot and a pinball museum

Now it is time for us to write about our last days in Budapest and pictures from our walks around the city. The last thing we did was to visit the famous Pinball Museum, with cool arcade games, even games from the early 1900’s.
The update here is quite sparse right now, while we are hanging out with near and dear to us, but our backlog is decreasing and soon we will be right on track again and somewhere else in the world.


Nu är det dags för oss att skriva om våra sista dagar i Budapest och visa bilder från våra promenader runt staden. Det sista vi gjorde var att besöka det berömda Pinball-museet, med coola arkadspel, till och med spel från början av 1900-talet. Uppdateringen här är ganska sparsam just nu, medan vi hänger med nära och kära till oss, men vårt eftersläp minskar och snart kommer vi att vara mer i fas igen och någon annanstans i världen.

The shoes on the Danube Promenade is a memorial of the 20 000 Jews that were executed here during the world war II. The victims were forced to remove their shoes before they were shot and falling in to the river.

You can feel the tides of history walking around in Budapest.

Just walking around in Budapest is interesting. We passed a lot of spectacular buildings, this one is the Hungarian Parliament Building. It is built in a Gothic revival style and stood finished in 1904.

The public transportation system works well here, but in some cities it is just nicer to walk around and Budapest is one of them.

We walked across the Danube river using the first permanent bridge, opened in 1849, across the river to the Buda side of the city

Buda Castle can be found on the Buda side of Budapest. The first castle to stand on Castle hill was completed in 1265, but the Baroque palace standing here today was built between 1749 and 1769.

We got a great vied over the Danube river and Gellert hill from the Chain bridge.

The sun was about to set and it covered Budapest in pink light that we managed to capture with our camera. We captured more buildings and art work on picture that we show in the slide show below.

 

We love the central European kitchen, so Ulrika’s eyes were glittering when she got to eat Lángos in Hungary.

We also tried the Chimney cake (Kürtőskalács or Trdelnik), a spit cake with cinnamon and sugar stuffed with ice cream!

The last thing we did in Budapest was to visit the Pinball Museum, which is an awesome museum where you can try all the games you want if you have purchased an entry ticket for 3000 HUF (~10 Euro).

There are a lot of Arcade games here from the early 1900’s to more modern ones.

The earlier mechanical arcade games are still working so you can play them as well.

The classic Pac Man game. More pictures from the Pinball Museum can be found in the slide show below.

 

Thermal baths, a fake Transylvanian castle and the Magyars

Budapest is known for its natural springs. There are 118 springs in the area pumping up over 70 million liters of thermal water per day and that’s why there are so many thermal baths here.  They claim that the thermal baths, with its high concentration of minerals and salts, are good for different medical conditions, so perhaps this is why they are so popular. We spent an afternoon combining steam saunas with differently temperated baths and we loved it. 

We also encountered a fake Transylvanian  castle close by and ended up at the Heroe’s square in Budapest. The origin of the Hungarian people or the Magyars are very interesting. They are steppe people from central Asia and they found their way to Europe in the 10th century and settled here on a flatland surrounded by mountains. “Geography now”  has made a short introduction to Hungary that we can highly recommend if you want to learn more about Hungary and its people.


Budapest är känt för sina naturliga källor. Det finns 118 källor i området som pumpar upp över 70 miljoner liter termiskt vatten per dag och det är därför det finns så många termiska bad här. De hävdar att de termiska baden, med hög koncentration av mineraler och salter, är bra för olika medicinska åkommor, så det är kanske därför baden är så populära här. Vi tillbringade en eftermiddag vid ett sådant bad där vi kombinerade ångbastur med olika tempererade bad och vi älskade det.

Vi hittade också ett falskt transsylvaniskt slott i närheten av badet och hamnade på Hjältarnas torg i Budapest. Ursprunget till det ungerska folket eller Magyars är mycket intressant. De är steppfolk från Centralasien och de hittade till Europa på 900-talet och bosatte sig i ett platt landskap omgiven av berg. “Geography Now” har gjort en kort introduktion till Ungern som vi kan rekommendera om du vill lära dig mer om Ungern och dess folk.

Experiencing one of the many thermal baths in Budapest felt like a must do thing for us. We decided to go to the largest medicinal bath in Europe, the Széchenyi thermal bath.

You can take the metro to this thermal baths and one of the metro stops we passed to get there had a really funny name if you can read Swedish (Bajsa means to poop in Swedish).

We must say that the public transportation system in Budapest is good. The city is stretched out in all directions, but it is easy to get around with a little bit of help from google maps. You can even travel to Mexikoi here, but we wanted to get off at Széchenyi fürdö.

Széchenyi thermal bath during an early autumn afternoon in 2017. The thermal baths opened its doors  on 16 June 1913 and has since then expanded a bit and today you’ll find 3 outdoor and 15 indoor pools and 10 saunas inside this Neo-barouqe designed building.

You can choose different types of changing rooms and of course pay different entrance fees depending on if you want a changing cabin or just a locker.

We chose a cabin to share.

We’ve seen this clever electronic locking system both here in Hungary and in the Czech Republic.

Then it was time to try all the pools and saunas they had to offer. Most of the thermal baths are located in the yellow part of the building opposite of the pool.

The water is heated by two wells that are over 1000 meter deep and the temperatures ranging from 18 degrees Celsius to 38 degrees. More pictures from this place can be found below.

 

Széchenyi thermal bath are located in the City Park of Budapest.

Here we found a number of sculptures depicting (in)famous world politicians.

And we also found a real fake Transylvanian castle!

This castle, called the Vajdahunyad Castle, was designed by Ignác Alpár in 1896 and the castle was originally constructed out of just wood and cardboard. The intention of the cardboard castle was only to be a temporary exhibition to celebrate that it was one thousand years since the medieval Magyars first settled on the plains of Pannonia, the start of the Hungarian peoples existence in Europe. The attraction proved to be such a success and loved by the Hungarian people that a permanent structure was built in 1904.

Nowadays, parts of the castle are housing the Hungarian Agricultural Museum. More Pictures of the city park and castle can be found below.

 

Between Vajdahunyad Castle and Hősök tere (The Heroes’ Square) lies a big pond, which is turned into an ice rink during the winter months. The ice rink opened in 1870 and is one of the oldest ice rinks in Europe, but is used by humans in, and next to, boats during the summer.

The millenial memorial monument at the Heroe’s square and the tomb of the unknown soldier.

The column are flanked by the seven chieftains of the Magyars (Hungarians), which was the leaders of the seven tribes of the Magyars originally from the Ural mountains in Russia, who arrived to the Carpathian Basin in 895 AD (today’s Hungary).

Two colonnades with statues from later leaders of Hungary surrounds the Heroe’s square.

Then we continued our exploration of Budapest, that will be part three of Budapest, which will hopefully come soon.

Budapest, a hidden library and a fellow Swedish bitcoiner

We left for Budapest after our first round to Prague to assist our friends, the King family, when Edward Satoshi King was about to enter the world. Budapest has been a city we’ve been waiting for a chance to visit, and now it was time for us to see this place.  We use the website Atlas Obscura to find places worth visiting when we arrive to a new place and that’s why we  ended up in Ervin Szabós library, a hidden gem in Budapest. We also went up on Gellért Hill – the view of Budapest and the Danube river are magnificent from the top.

We were fortunate to be in Budapest at the same time as another fellow Swedish Bitcoiner, Nanok Bie, the Editor-in-chief of news.bitcoin.com. We met up for dinner and we had a lot to talk about. Thank you Nanok for pleasant evening!


Vi åkte till Budapest efter vår första tur till Prag när vi var där för att hjälpa våra vänner, Kingfamiljen, när Edward Satoshi King skulle komma till världen. Budapest har varit en stad som vi har väntat på en chans att besöka och nu var det dags för oss att se den omtalande staden. Vi använder webbsidan “Atlas Obscura” för att hitta platser som är värda att besöka när vi kommer till en ny plats och därför slutade det med att vi bland annat besökte Ervin Szabós biblioteket, en dold pärla i Budapest. Vi åkte också upp på “Gellért Hill” –  utsikten över Budapest och Donaufloden är magnifik från toppen.

Vi hade också turen att vara i Budapest samtidigt som en annan svensk bitcoin-entusiast, Nanok Bie, chefredaktören för news.bitcoin.com. Vi åt middag honom och vi hade mycket att prata om. Tack Nanok för en trevlig kväll!

The mighty Danube (or Donau), the second longest river in Europe that divides Buda and Pest – the capital of Hungary. Budapest was our next home for a few weeks after we left Prague.

Gellért Hotel is where you want to get of if you want to walk up on Gellért Hill to get an amazing view over Budapest. This hotel opened its doors in 1912 and it is famous for its thermal baths .

The Liberty bridge stands in front of the Gellért  Hotel and is one of the bridges connecting Buda with the Pest side of Budapest.

It is a short, but steep walk up on Gellért Hill. The hill is named after Saint Gerard who was thrown to his death here in the 11th century.

We passed the most awesome playground we’ve seen so far during our travels. Take your children here if you’re in town.

Look at these slides!

South part of Buda from Gellért Hill.

You’ll find the Citadella, a fortress built in the 1850’s, and the Liberty statue on top of Gellért Hill. The Liberty Statue was erected in remembrance of what was then referred to as the Soviet “liberation” of Hungary during World War II. The first inscription stated “To the memory of the liberating Soviet heroes the grateful Hungarian people 1945”. After the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989, the Hungarians changed the inscription to “To the memory of those all who sacrificed their lives for the independence, freedom, and prosperity of Hungary” .

The Danube river originate in South Germany and then flows through 10 different countries (Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine) before ending in the Black Sea.

Pontus took a picture of Ulrika at one of the viewpoints on Gellért Hill. From this place you see the Pest part of Budapest. Budapest is one of the most densely populated cities in the EU. There aren’t so many tall buildings here, but the city seems to stretch far out in to the horizon.

The Citadella was not open when we went there, so after enjoying the view we walked back down through the Jubileumi Park.

The Gellért Hotel from the side and the Gellért square where the tram and bus stops are.

We were fortunate to end up having dinner with another fellow Swedish bitcoiner our first night in Budapest. Nanok Bie is a journalist and currently Editor-in-Chief at news.bitcoin.com, so we talked about whats going on in the cryptocurrency world and of course the bubble that separates Sweden from the rest of the world. We had a lovely evening and we hope to meet Nanok again somewhere else in the world.

We use the website Atlas Obscura to find unexpected places to explore and in Budapest we found out about Ervin Szabós library from that site. The library is described as “a 19th century aristocrat’s mansion, turned into a library, hidden in a modern library” and it is exactly what it is.

You’ll find Ervin Szabós library tucked in the 4th floor in a rather dull “modern” library and you wouldn’t know it was there if you didn’t know about it beforehand.

The City Council purchased the building in 1931 and converted the palace rooms into reading rooms that is still used today.

There are five different rooms to explore, all built by a well-known Hungarian aristocrat, Count Frigyes Wenckheim at the end of the 19th century. The building is called the Wenckheim Palace, but the library was named after the director of the library, Ervin Szabó, a librarian and anarcho-syndicalist, who became a leader of the Hungarian anti-war movement during the first world war.

You can find both old an newer books, here but most of the books from Wenckheim’s time have been moved elsewhere or destroyed. More pictures from the library can be found in the slide show below.

 

 

 

 

Hacker’s Congress 2017, Paralelni Polis

Our visit to Prague this time was for the Hacker’s congress at Paralelni Polis, where we also held a presentation at a bitcoin meet up a few days before the conference started. We had really high expectations, because we visited last years version of Hacker’s congress and we had a really interesting and inspiring time, so we didn’t expect less for this year’s version. Hacker’s congress covers more topics than cryptography and programming – it is about finding freedom in an unfree world and how you can hack your life to become the greater you. A few of the talks are available at World Crypto Network if you are interested.


Vårt besök i Prag den här gången var för den årliga “Hacker’s Congress” vid Paralelni Polis, där vi också höll i ett föredrag på ett bitcoinmöte några dagar innan konferensen startade. Vi hade väldigt stora förväntningar, då vi besökte förra årets version av “Hacker’s Congress” som var otroligt bra och inspirerande, så vi förväntade oss inte mindre för årets version. “Hacker’s Congress” täcker fler ämnen än kryptografi och programmering – det handlar om att hitta frihet i en ofri värld och hur du kan hacka ditt liv för att bli ett större du. Några av föreläsningarna finns tillgängliga på World Crypto Network för dig som är intresserad.

It was time for the 2017 version of Hacker’s Congress and these were the topics covered during the Congress.

The Hacker’s Congress was held at our favorite place in Prague, Paralelni Polis which means parallel city in English.

This year 5% of the attendants were Swedish, and we have met many of them before, so we went out for dinner with a few of the Swedes. One of them brought a really nice cap to the table!

Adam Back was one of the speakers talking about Bicoin and he devoted his talk to the scalability and fungibility problems of bitcoin. His talk is one of the recorded talks uploded to the World Crypto Network hosted by Tone Vays.

Tone Vays was another speaker who mainly focused on talking about the history of the Bitcoin price. We’ve heard this before at Anarchapulco 2016 so it was not so much new things for us.

Pamela Morgan made people start thinking about what will happen with your cryptocurrencies when you die.

Peter Todd was here taking about Proof of Work and what a blockchain and mining are trying to prevent. Really good talk.

Giacomo Zucco had a great talk about the antifragility of bitcoin.

Hacker’s Congress is a three day conference and you can only pay for food and beverages in bitcoin and litecoin. No Fiat-money here!

Julia Tourianski a.k.a brave the world, had a talk about what she’s learned about people after she discovered bitcoin.

Jeffrey Tucker had an interesting talk over Skype about bitcoin and Austrian economics, which is in line with how we see bitcoin.

In the breaks, we tested Paralelni Polis own beer.

Our focus was bitcoin, but other topics was also interesting for us. Pavol Luptak talked about the possibilities with the new technologies available.

Paul Rosenberg talked about bio hacking and the CRISPR-technique.

Juraj Bednar had an inspiring talk about positive libertarianism or how to be free in an unfree world.

And Arto Bendiken had a highly interesting talk about anarchy and tribalism – Ulrika thought that this was one of the best speeches at this year’s Hacker’s Congress.

You could try the new fashion make up at the Hacker’s congress so you can avoid the face recognition algorithms in a public space, It is not for avoiding face detection algorithms, for that you need scarf and sunglasses etc to cover up you face.

Panel discussions on different topics were also on the agenda. Here, Smuggler, Frank Braun, Jim Bell. Paul Rosenberg and Joerg Platzer about the impact of cryptoanarchy and decentralization to our future.

Lastly, the crew of Hacker’s Congress said goodbye and welcomed us to the next year’s version of HCPP.

Life nomadic with Bitcoin and an unschooling family

We got invited to hold a lecture about our nomadic lifestyle and why we want to opt out from the current economic system at the Bitcoin meet up here in Prague. We gladly accepted and below you can watch the whole lecture and the Q&A afterwards. It was really fun to see that so many were interested in hearing about the nomadic lifestyle we have and why we want to opt out from the current economic system.

We have also spent time with the King family that uses unschooling to help their kids learn about the world and life, so we also want to show you a few pictures from inside such a cool family. Caroline is also one of the persons behind the Prague Worldschooling-group, so check out what they are up to.


Vi blev inbjudna att hålla en föreläsning om vår nomadiska livsstil och varför vi vill opta ut från det nuvarande ekonomiska systemet på Paralelni Polis här i Prag under ett Bitcoin meetup. Vi accepterade inbjudan gladligen och nedanför kan du titta på hela föreläsningen, samt frågestunden efteråt. Det var jättekul att se att så många var intresserade av att höra om den nomadiska livsstilen vi har och varför vi vill opta ut från det nuvarande ekonomiska systemet i världen.

Vi har också spenderat tid med Kingfamiljen som använder “unschooling” för att hjälpa sina barn att lära sig om världen och livet, så vi vill också visa dig några bilder från insidan av en sådan cool familj. Caroline är också en av personerna bakom Prags “Worldschooling”-grupp, så kika gärna på vad de gör.

 

 

This is a few of the unschooling books that are used to teach the kids. You won’t find these kind of topics in the Swedish state curriculum.

Winston is using these cards to teach his youngest brother the periodic table, but we think that Edward is a little bit to young for that. Also not a thing you would see in a Swedish classroom for 7-year olds.

We also wanted to help to educate the kids and when Henry and Winston showed interest in climbing we brought them to the boulder bar here in Prague.

They advanced quickly so now they are having rope climbing lessons!

We also introduced them to zombie hide and seek so we had to have som breaks just resting on the mattress.

Take every question you get from a child as a learning opportunity. Here Ulrika talks about how animals have different defense systems during our bouldering session.

Virtual reality is another thing we tried with the King children.

And we showed them how to build your own microscope with your smartphone and a laserpointer.

a wasps eye up close

A close up on a human thumb.

the root of a strand of hair

Close up on brave boys sacrifice for science – learning about the blood system.

Through Atlas Obscura, we found an underground alchemy lab that where only re-discovered after a massive flooding 2002. So we thought that this would be an interesting thing for the boys to look at.

Atlas Obscura is a great website that we use to find interesting things to see and do.

The secret alchemy lab is from the 16th century and they were built for the king Rudolf II for the purpose to try to make gold and to make the legendary philosopher’s stone.

They also made different elixirs to prolong life, make you healthy or become more happy. There was a whole room underground dedicated to dry the “magical” herbs.

From the laboratory, there are long, underground tunnels connecting the laboratory to the castle and other places in Prague.

A sign from King Rudolf II where he gives the scientist the approval to run the alchemy lab.

They sell elixirs that are prepared by a local monastery under strict conditions according to their original recipes. More pictures from the lab can be found below.

 

We also went to the Magical cavern in Prague, a painting gallery by the artist Reon Argondian. He turned his home into the Kingdom of Argondia and he also sells the paintings that are on display.

The paintings shows the magical creatures living in the Kingdom of Argondia.

They also have sculptures, who seems to have an apetite for small children :). More pictures from the Magical cavern can be seen below.

 

Diving around the Gili Islands – throwback to the end of April

Ulrika has finally edited our diving movies from the Gili Islands, so here is a throwback to the end of April when Ulrikas family decided to join our adventure in Indonesia. Gili Air was our first stop and it was also here we where diving. Crystal clear water and a lot of marine life – Gili Islands is a great diving spot according to us! 


Ulrika har äntligen redigerat våra dykfilmer från Giliöarna, så här är en tillbakablick till i slutet av april när Ulrikas familj bestämde sig för att följa med på vårt äventyr i Indonesien. Gili Air var vårt första stopp och det var också här vi ägnade oss åt dykning. Kristallklart vatten och mycket marint liv – Giliöarna är en bra dykplats enligt oss!

This time looking back to the end of April when we visited the Gili Islands, or Gili Air to be precise.

Ulrikas family were with us and it was here Ulrikas sister broke the news that a new family member is coming. That’s why she couldn’t follow us to the dive sites.

Ulrika, Pontus and Mats dived with the 7seas dive center on Gili Air and we can highly recommend them. We had an awesome time together with them 🙂 Below are four dive movies from around the Gili Islands.

On our first dive next to Gil Trawangan we saw our first tiny ribbon eel, also known as the leaf-nosed moray eel or bernis eel!

Mats followed us to our second dive site, called Turtle heaven, and this dive site really lives up to its name!

Our third dive was a wreck dive, but we only got a few minutes around the wreck because of the strong current that suddenly appeared. The dive turned into a drift dive and we realized why when we came to the surface and saw the wall of rain coming from the sky. We got picked up by another boat, because we drifted so far that we were no way near our dive boat.

Fourth and last dive was next to Gili Meno and with much nicer weather than our third dive.

Maja and Mats next to the beach of Gili air with Lombok in the background.
It was nice to snorkle around Gili air, we got to see a white frogfish here that we recorded with our GoPro.

We’re getting closer to be up to date with our blog now when all our dive movies are edited and published. We are back on track again and next will be about saying goodbye to the King family in Prague and unschooling, stay tuned!

Waiting for little brother – the King family

The day Edward Satoshi King decided to come out was getting closer and we kept ourselves busy so the days wouldn’t feel so long. The Czech Republic has stupid laws about medically induced birth, so Caroline did everything she could to start the birth  so that Caroline could get the home birth she wanted and had planned for. You can read more about it on their blog “den andra resan”. In the mean time we were just hanging out with the King boys and their parents.


Dagen då Edward Satoshi King bestämde sig för att komma ut kom allt närmare och vi höll oss sysselsatta så att dagarna inte skulle känna så långa. Tjeckien har idiotiska lagar om medicinsk-inducerad födsel, så Caroline gjorde allt hon kunde för att få förlossningen att börja självmant, så att Caroline kunde få hemfödelsen hon ville ha och hade planerat för. Du kan läsa mer om det på deras blogg den andra resan. Under tiden umgicks vi med King-pojkarna och deras föräldrar.

We got to spend a lot of time with the King family, especially Winston and Henry. We took the boys exploring and we first planned to go to the KGB museum, but we changed our minds and started walking towards the Museum of Communism. We think it is important to educate children about the destructive powers of communism and collectivism, so that’s why our theme of exploration  looks like it does.

We walked over the tourist magnet, the Charles bridge in Prague, and luckily for us it wasn’t so crowded as it could be. It was a bit of a walk so Henry got to sit on Pontus shoulders overlooking the people.

The view from Charles Bridge.

We passed a medieval torture museum and suddenly we were looking at what humans are capable of.

The imagination is the only limit.

The King boys are fascinated by different car models, so the walks often take longer than planned when we are with them.

Exploring more vehicles and this one had participated in the Dakar rally, a race that used to go from Paris (France) to Dakar (Senegal), but now the Dakar rally has moved to South America due to terrorist problems.

Breakfast with the King family, probably watching an interesting Youtube-video at the same time! By this time everyone thought that it was time for the fifth member  of the King family to join us.

The morning of August 18th, we finally got the word that something was happening. We went over to the King family at 7am in the morning and helped filling the birthing pool. Then our mission was to be standby in an adjacent room so we could be ready to take care of Winston and Henry if it was needed. It was an amazing experience to be apart of and the delivery went quite fast according to us :).

A few minutes after Edward Satoshi King was born, we were welcomed to join the family and Ulrika got the precious task of being the photographer. We can recommend everyone to read Carolines birth story linked below.

The birth of Edward Satoshi King 

The whole family captured in one photo.

Pontus holding Edward!

And Ulrika holding him!

Baby sleeping on a table! You have to put up with a lot if you’re born into a nomadic family 😉 We have gathered more pictures of the King boys in a slide show below for those who are interested.

 

 

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.

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