Ankor på vift

A freedom-oriented travel blog

Tag: ATM

Week 38 pregnancy update and blowing up the Stalin monument

Week 38 of pregnancy and we have installed ourselves here in Prague, it is here that we have decided to welcome our child. We are almost prepared for the coming birth, so we now have to plan small adventures or things to do so we don’t end up spending our days just waiting for the birthing to start.
We love Prague – the nature, the bitcoin-friendly atmosphere and the nice food cultures here, so we try to keep ourselves occupied, but within Ulrika’s energy level. Her energy level has really sunken this week, but more about being week 38 pregnant below. 


Vecka 38 av graviditeten och vi har installerat oss i Prag, det är här som vi har bestämt oss för att välkomna vårt barn. Nästan alla förberedelser inför den kommande födelsen är klara, så vi måste nu planera in små äventyr eller hitta på saker att göra så vi inte spenderar våra dagar med att bara vänta på att födseln ska börja.
Vi älskar Prag – naturen, den bitcoinvänliga atmosfären och de goda matkulturerna här, så vi försöker fylla dagarna, dock inom Ulrikas energinivå. Hennes energinivå har verkligen sjunkit den här veckan, men mer om att vara vecka 38 gravid nedan.

Week 38 of pregnancy and here we are in the Letna Park getting a nice view over a few of the bridges of Prague. Ulrika is trying not to fall in to the period of waiting, so we try to do small adventures those days Ulrika is feeling less tired.

There is a metronom, usually swinging from side to side, now standing in the middle of Letna Park after they blew up a 15 meter tall Stalin monument in 1962.

The Stalin monument during Czech Communism’s glory days. This is one of the reasons why we like the Czech Republic so much. A lot of people still remember those days and do not want to go back there. (Picture from Wiki Commons)

So Ulrika entered week 38 of pregnancy and we decided to go skin deep to document this pregnancy. Ulrika feels strong and beautiful, but a special form of fatigue has hit her. The scale says that she has gained 16 kg (35 pounds), but she doesn’t feel heavy yet. Her extremities, mostly her feet, have started to swell, but the blood pressure is good.  Baby’s heartbeat sounded healthy at our week 38 appointment with our midwife and the baby’s head is now in a downward position, but not quite fixated yet. We see our midwife once a week now the last couple of weeks before the calculated date of birth (September 3rd).

We don’t want to end up in a bubble of just waiting for our daughter’s arrival, then it is going to feel like forever before she is here, so we are fortunate to have our friends here, the King family. (Picture by: Caroline King).

Prague doesn’t have a lot of natural lakes, so man-made lakes are the place to go if you want to cool off during hot summer days. The temperature has been insane here in Prague as well, most days reaching temperatures over 35C.

Prague has a big Vietnamese community from the time where communist countries used to force their citizens to expatriate to other communist countries. We really like the Vietnamese cuisine, especially Pho Bo (Vietnamese beef noodle soup), so I’m glad that the Vietnamese community choose to stay in the Czech Republic after the fall of communism here.

Our midwife is located right in the middle of the tourist parts of Prague, so it can be hard to find nice food places, but our midwife told us about a lovely restaurant (Styl&Interier) in her neighborhood, which was hidden away in a back yard, where we could have lunch after a long appointment with her.

But mostly, we cook our meals at home and there are those little things Ulrika appreciates, like when Pontus has decorated our dinner (mashed turnips with fish in oven) with nicely cut out flowers made from a radish. Or that we have an IKEA nearby where we can buy Kalles Kaviar and hard rye bread.

We have done the last shopping needed before the coming birth here in Prague. This is another thing we really like about Prague, it is really a bitcoin-friendly city. There are around 14 two-way bitcoin ATM’s  just in and around the Prague area, so it is easy to get the local currency if you can’t pay directly with bitcoin.

Here is a map showing the location of all btc ATM’s in and around Prague, both one- and two-ways,

And some days Ulrika hasn’t even wanted to step outside, so she has finally finished her crochet project, creating a warm blanket for “det lilla livet”. Ulrika is not in to arts and crafts, and she hasn’t tried to crochet since the days of high school, but it is remarkable how much information you can get out of Youtube. Ulrika had an idea of what she wanted to create and five Youtube videos (and a number of hours crocheting) later “det lilla livet” now has a blanket.

En weekend i El Salvador / A weekend in El Salvador

(Please scroll down to the orange text for the English version)

Efter mycket om och men bestämde vi oss för att fortsätta österut, men liksom det som ofta händer en icke-planerande resenär så slutade det med att vi hamnade i El Salvador, som ligger söder om Honduras. Vårt sikte var fortfarande mot Nicaragua, men det fanns inga smidiga vägar att ta sig till Nicaragua från Copan Ruinas utan att behöva spendera lång tid på lokalbussar och sova över i San Pedro Sula, vilket vi inte direkt var sugna på. Alternativet som fanns var att spendera en natt i El Tunco, ett surfparadis vid El Salvadors kust, innan vi isåfall skulle åka vidare mot Nicaragua. Varför kan vi inte stanna några dagar i El Salvador om vi ändå måste åka igenom landet tänkte vi? Därför stod vi nu med en biljett till El Salvador, men vår väg mot Nicaragua skulle bli ännu krokigare då vi halvvägs till El Tunco bestämde oss för att hoppa av i Santa Ana (en annan stad i El Salvador), men väl i Santa Ana ångrade vi oss och fortsatte resan till El Salvadors kust. Det var mycket velande fram och tillbaka från vår sida, men tillslut så stod vi åter vid stilla havet och såg på när människor med brädor försökte bemästra vågorna som rullade in.

Den främsta anledningen till att stanna i El Tunco är för att surfa, men även om du inte gör det så är det väl värt att spendera en helg och njuta av lugnet här. El Salvador har ju annars ett rykte om sig att vara det landet efter Honduras och Jamaica som har den högsta mordstatistiken per 100 000 invånare i världen. Likt andra länder i detta område så har den en rik historia av konflikter, den mest spektakulära är väl fotbollskriget med Honduras som startade med en fotbollsmatch år 1969. Det finns lite mer till fotbolls-incidenten, som Åsa Romson skulle ha kallat den, som du kan läsa här om du är intresserad. El Salvador är som de andra länderna i Centralamerika att du kan känna dig säker om du håller dig till turistdelarna i landet.

Ett hett tips är at ta med dig en del kontanter innan du kommer till El Tunco. Den officiella valutan i El Salvador är US Dollar och det är förvånansvärt svårt att ta ut pengar från automaterna där. Det var inte många gånger under vår tid i El Tunco som de faktiskt hade kontakt med nätverket och vi kunde ta ut pengar, vilket såklart skapade en del stress för oss Vi har nog aldrig haft så svårt att få ut pengar som i El Tunco och det var bara ren tur att vi hade en buffert med kontanter med oss så att vi kunde betala för de mest basala sakerna. Tydligen var detta ett väldigt vanligt problem enligt människorna vi talade med och det skulle vara bra att införa Bitcoin som betalningsmedel här då internet i El Tunco fungerar.

Vi stannade bara en weekend i El Salvador och det mesta av det lilla landet såg vi genom en bilruta. Hade vi haft mer tid så skulle vi gladeligen stannat längre i El Salvador. Det är ett fantastiskt litet land med en vacker natur, bra infrastruktur (minus bankproblemen i El Tunco) och trevliga människor, så El Salvador får helt enkelt utforskas närmare nästa gång vi har vägarna förbi Centralamerika.  


Finally, after a lot of hesitation we decided to continue east, but as often happens for a non-planning traveler, we ended up in El Salvador, which happens to be south of Honduras. Our goal was still Nicaragua, but there were no smooth way to get to Nicaragua from Copan Ruinas without having to spend a long time on the local buses and stay over one night in San Pedro Sula, which we were not to eager to do. The other option available for us was to spend a night in El Tunco, a surfing paradise on the coast of El Salvador, before we would continue to Nicaragua. So our thought was why can’t we stay a few days in El Salvador if we still have to pass it to get to Nicaragua? Hence, we now stood with a bus ticket to El Salvador. But our way to Nicaragua would become even more complicated as we halfway to El Tunco decided to jump off at Santa Ana (another city in El Salvador) instead, but once we got to Santa Ana we changed our minds again and continued to the coast of El Salvador. It was much back and forth from our side, but in the end we stood again at the Pacific Ocean, watching people with boards trying to master the waves that rolled in.

The main reason to stay in El Tunco is to surf, but even if you don’t love to stand on a board, it is well worth spending a weekend and enjoy the tranquility here. El Salvador has otherwise the reputation of being the country after Honduras and Jamaica that has the highest murder rate per 100 000 inhabitants in the world. Like other countries in this area, El Salvador has a rich history of conflicts, the most spectacular is probably the Football War with Honduras that began with a football match in 1969. There is a lot more to this football incident, which is what Åsa Romson (a swedish politician) would have called it, so you can read more about it here if you are interested. In El Salvador like the other countries in Central America, you can feel very safe if you stick to the tourist parts of the country.

A good advice from us is to bring some cash with you before you get to El Tunco. The official currency in El Salvador is the US Dollar and it’s surprisingly difficult to withdraw money from ATMs in EL Tunco. There were not many times during our time there when the ATM’s actually had contact with the network, which of course created some stress for us. It has never been difficult for us to withdraw cash before we came to El Tunco and it was only by chance that we had a buffer of cash with us so that we could pay for the most basic things. Apparently, this is a very common problem according to the people we spoke with, and it would be good to introduce Bitcoin as a payment method here since at least the internet in El Tunco works.

We only stayed a weekend in El Salvador and we saw most of this small country through a car window. We would have gladly stayed longer in El Salvador if we only had more time. It is a lovely country with beautiful nature, good infrastructure (minus bank problems in El Tunco) and nice people, so El Salvador will be further explored next time we are passing through Central America.

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Vi möttes av en solnedgång och surfvänliga vågor i El Tunco. We were met by a sunset and surf-friendly waves in El Tunco.

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El Tunco.

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Vi hittade ett trevligt litet boende några hundra meter upp från stranden, där vi blev välkomnade med en supergod smotthie. Tröjan som Ulrika har på sig är från Sipadan Scuba i Borneo. Dit kan vi rekommendera att åka om ni vill ha fantastisk dykning. We found a nice and small accommodation a few hundred meters from the beach, where we were welcomed with a lovely smotthie. The sweater that Ulrika is wearing is from Sipadan Scuba in Borneo, an amazing place on earth that we can recommend to go if you want great diving.

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Vårt boende hade också en liten lucka mot gatan där de sålde väldigt goda pitabröd. Ulrika gjorde sin egen Calzone genom att fylla sitt pitabröd med ost, skinka och vitlök. Our accommodation also had a small  window to the street where they sold very good pita bread. Ulrika made her own Calzone by filling a pita bread with cheese, ham and garlic.

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Ulrikas “thaibyxor”, som hon fått av sin vän Achara, blev än en gång våta av Stilla havet. Ulrika’s “Thai pants”, which she got from her friend Achara, became wet once again by the Pacific ocean.

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Stranden i El Tunco består av rundade stenar och vulkanaska, så du får se efter vart du sätter fötterna om du vill promenera på stranden. Vågorna som slår upp mot stranden sätter stenarna i rörelse, så att gå precis vid vattenbrynet kan vara lite otrevligt. The beach in El Tunco consists of rounded stones and volcanic sand, so you watch out where you put your feet when you’re walking on the beach. The waves that are hitting the shore, puts the stones in motion, so having your feet in the water while walking can be a bit unpleasant.

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Denna häst stod hela dagarna på stranden och vi tyckte väldigt synd om den. This horse stood all day on the beach and we felt very sorry for it.

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Vi utforskade området runt El Tunco och hittade denna utsikt som fick Ulrika att associera till Jurassic Park-filmerna. Pontus spanar efter dinosaurier. We explored the area around El Tunco and found this view which got Ulrika to associate to the Jurassic Park movies. Pontus is looking out for dinosaurs.

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El Salvador genom ett bilfönster är så vackert. Ett platt landskap som bryts av mäktiga vulkaner och berg. Det finns väldigt många vulkaner i Centralamerika och fler fick vi uppleva i Nicaragua dit vi var på väg till när detta foto togs. El Salvador through a car window is so beautiful. A flat landscape broken by towering volcanoes and mountains. There are many volcanoes in Central America and we got to experience even more volcanoes in Nicaragua, where we were heading to when this photo was taken.

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