The key bridge is an amazing spot for sunset, and it is far from the only good one in the city
The plane touches ground in Krakow, Poland. First time hercele. There is a sense of excitement and melancholia that always takes over the moment the wheels hit the ground of new land. It was no different this time around. After retrieving my GoPro - which I had managed to leave on the plane after landing -, I throw out some messages to other Steemians who might be a few days early too, but I seem to be the first Steemian in Krakow.
It's force of habit, but I prefer hitchhiking out of most airports, people go plenty of places and it's genuinely easy to get a ride. Not even 10 minutes later I'm in the car with a Polish family that had just arrived from Dubai. I get a bunch of places to check out in Krakow, in between us sharing travel stories!
I get dropped off at the main shopping center, and start walking towards the hostel I'll be staying at. 4 euros something a night, the choice was easily made. All money I save in Krakow, is time I'm buying myself in Thailand - which will be my next destination!
After taking a nap for a while, I meet up with an american tinder date who's been in the city for a few days. She takes me around to some local restaurants and bars, and we spend a good few hours together. Unfortunately she has a flight to catch, so I won't be seeing her anymore in Krakow!
I wake up late. The hostel room had only 4 people in it, but two of them were snoring in a way I've never experienced before. It was intense. Around noon I walk out, buy myself a slice of pizza in a bakery - you'll find the same types of pizza in each bakery -, cheese, salami or broccoli. After savoring that quick bite, I make my way over to Ceder, a coffee bar recommended by my tinder date!
Damn, they have some good coffee. The interior is nice for getting stuff done as well, outlets, good WiFi, you know the drill. I sit myself down and start writing my Steemfest to Steemfest post. This is where I realize I've been out for over 6 months. Real life caught up to me I guess!
During the evening I get the first messages from other Steemians, and I go over to the Airbnb where a bunch of Steemians are staying. The first people I end up meeting are @anomadsoul (with whom I hitchhiked to last Steemfest) and his brother @zlatan-spielberg. Some of the others are already in the house as well, like our one and only soyboy @guyfawkes4-20, our dried fruits provider @celestal, our intellectual @tarazkp and others like the lovely @coruscate and awesome @abh12345.
After getting some drinks in - mostly Palenka - a strong Romanian liquor we go to Alchemia od Kuchni. Which pretty much became THE bar to meet up at with other Steemians if there was nothing else going on.
Sat here for around 4 hours writing
One of my favorite shots during this trip
I wake up rather late again, and decide I want to see a bit more of the city before Steemfest starts! I prefer just walking around a city and seeing where I end up. I set out, along the Visula, to eventually cross a bridge into the Kazimierz - or old Jewish - district. One thing I immediately like is the roughness to the city. There are a lot of beautiful buildings, but you can also see people have lived in this city. It's not like for example Bruges, where you're walking through a touristic open air museum everywhere you go.
After walking around for a bit, my stomach forces me to grab some food. I ask a Polish guy on the street what place he'd recommend and he sends me to Avenue. He was right on if you ask me. 9 Zloti (around 2,50 Euros) for a full breakfast plate: scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, toast and baked potatoes! After breakfast I get myself some fruitjuice and a coffee and relax outside-, the weather is around 17 degrees Celsius! After a while, I move inside and start working a bit on @steemitworldmap.
I definitely like this shot a lot as well!
As I really enjoyed breakfast at Avenue, I decided to go there again today. This time though @stoodkev joined me. Unfortunately we were late for breakfast and had to settle on dumplings - not like that was such a bad sacrifice, haha! After talking about our projects (he's the mind behind @steemplus) for a bit and genuinely just chilling out as well. We make our way over towards the Qubus hotel, where the registration and opening drinks announce the start of Steemfest!
I am quickly dragged into a whole lot of excited conversations with a bunch of people. There are a few encounters that were a bit more special for me than others. First up is @lizanomadsoul, one of the early users of the Steemitworldmap who time and time again writes incredible travel content. We pretty much became Steemfest-best-friends and made sure we had a blast together everyday! Next up is @rhondak, she is one of the reasons I stuck around on Steem. When I started out blogging, I started writing a novel. Sharing this with @rhondak meant I got a lot of honest feedback, which improved my writing a lot and made me want to keep improving, both in my writing and as a Steemian! Last person up is @pharesim, so this is a rather interesting pick in a way. We met last Steemfest, and he has given @steemitworldmap quite some support. But somehow I completely forgot who he was in real life - whooops -, I just remembered Yuka, the awesome steem dog! It was great to re-connect, you are quite the inspiration to me. I wish you an amazing trip man, wherever the road takes you!
It was also awesome to see @oroger and @roxane again, the first Steemians I met in real life - and who helped me a lot with @steemitworldmap! There are plenty more names that come to mind whilst writing this, but I think you all know who you are, and I don't want to make this post a sum of names, haha!
I think it was already this evening together with a bunch of Steemians, we noticed a whole lot of us were going to be in Thailand after Steemfest. I really look forward to seeing you awesome people there. Better get ready for Steemfest 3.5, haha!
I wake up slightly hungover, and very much aware I have to present Steemitworldmap and HaveYouBeenHere today during State of the apps at the main stage. After seeing a couple other strong presentations of which @globalschool is one I would highly recommend you checking out and enjoying the jamming that was happening outside, it was my turn to walk on the stage.
The setting is weird, people listen to your talk through headphones, but meanwhile normal conversation goes on through out the venue. You don't know who's listening or not. I shake it off. Walk on the stage and start the presentation. Unfortunately there are a couple of technical issues - something that can happen to the best of organizing teams -, a slide is missing and my videos are in the wrong order. I freak out a bit, but keep going.
After the talk I didn't feel great, I had put a lot of time and effort in preparing. To not have it go the way I had in mind was a bummer. Luckily there were some people who reassured me it wasn't as bad as I thought it was. Looking back at it, the technical issues and the talking too fast part are very noticeable, but I still managed to get the important information across. Most likely tomorrow I will upload a new version of the presentation from home and include some other info, so stay tuned for that.
Later that night we had the bowling competition, where I might have had a few too many gin tonics and ended up playing foosball and talking to a whole bunch of people rather than playing a lot of bowling. The funniest moment was definitely when @steemmatt was trying to distract the opposite team (@oroger and @stoodkev) by pointing out a cute girl behind them - which caused me to look up, instead of them and have them score a goal. Whoops!
Steemitworldmap is at 4h45min
Shamelessly stole this picture from @lizanomadsoul, enjoy me enjoying a bratwurst, haha!
I make it to the ICE Krakow, where the second conference day is going down. Luckily for me @ytrphoto is there with some of the best coffee I drank in my entire life. Woke me up good! After checking out several talks - of which I really enjoyed the interview between @yabapmatt and @andrarchy and the 1 Year on 1 BTC presentation (forgot steem username) - and chatting away with a bunch of people. It was time for a night of Steem, where a bunch of steemians performed live. The talent we have around this platform is simply insane! After that we ended up in Alchemia od Kuchni once again, haha!
If I had to pick my favorite shot of this trip, this one would be it.
I am supposed to go to Auschwitz today, but I am too hungover, and not ready for such a heavy subject. I do 100% plan to visit it in the future though, as I think it's an important lesson for humanity. The other option was a boat tour through Krakow, which seemed more my jam. A little relaxed cruising and hanging around, haha!
I decided to make it the day to check out several parts of the city I hadn't seen yet, like the Krakow castle. After walking around for a bit, @hashcash, @yidneth and her husband @hedac ended up in a random but actually damn good restaurant!
Later that night a bunch of Steemians came together for a nice game of poker. I ended up at the final table, and got kicked out in 6th place. The most spectacular hand for me was when @theaustrianguy went all in with a pair of sevens, and I went ahead and did my all in with a slightly higher stack and a pair of kings! After seeing the flop and the turn being another king, the odds of @theaustrianguy to get anything out of it are less than 5%. On the river though a full straight appears on the table - split pot! After that I slowly started to bleed out due to relatively high blinds! Either way I had an incredible time playing poker, and the skill level was remarkable! @el-cr wrote a very good post about it, so read that if you want to learn more! Congrats to @bubke who won the tournament - Belgians in foreign countries representttttt, haha!
Later on I would end up at Alchemia od Kuchni once more! This time I ended up having a lengthy and incredible conversation with @eveuncovered. We covered - pun intended -, a lot of topics, mostly not steem related -, which was something I felt I needed at that moment. I had a bit of a steem-overload at this point! If you're reading this, thanks for the amazing talk and looking forward to seeing you again, hopefully in a hostel somewhere, hahaha!
I sleep in. Finally. Steemfest whilst being a whole lot of fun, is also very taxing and tiring! That day we went to the south salt mine, which was incredible. Everyone going to Krakow should definitely pay a visit to this place. The mines consist out of over 300 kilometres of passageways, during the guided tour we only see two. And those two were stunning. You get a lot of history on the place, and see incredible things, like an entire cathedral hall sculpted out of the salt rocks!
Inside of the mines, there was another hall, which made the setting for the closing dinner. A big congratulations to @roelandp is definitely in order, as once again he and his team have done an incredible job!
After dinner most of us ended at the last open bar in Qubus hotel. Towards the end pretty much everyone was getting emotional - saying goodbyes with extensive hugs and the occasional tear. The time to say goodbye to everyone took me almost two hours, to give you an idea how strongly I and many others connected with one another!
After that @lizanomadsoul and I ended up talking through heavy subjects along the waterside at the Key Bridge. Thanks for believing in me as a person! I seriously appreciate you and I am looking forward to seeing you soon again!
Same goes for all of you crazy bunch, see you next year or somewhere else on this beautiful planet!