The Road to Web Summit30 October 2017
travel food digitalnomad Europe
Apologies for the lack of posts in the last few months, but as you can see by my instagram feed I’ve been in Europe either busy responding to enquiries from my online business or traveling. Hard to balance the two sometimes!
Anyway my reasons for this Europe trip is primarily business. First things first, to establish some banking IT consulting business, and also to attend web summit. But plenty of travel opportunities (aka distractions along the way)
I decided on the date to get everything done which would be August/September where it would be on the cusp of Autumn but still having a chance to enjoy the European summer.
My initial Itinerary was:
- United Kingdom (mostly spending time in Scotland for the first time)
- Cross the Chunnel tunnel into France and ending the trip in Amsterdam where I would spend a few nights.
- Fly off to Tallinn for my initial business meetings, and also meet other Estonian e-Residents at a pub.
- Kept the rest of it open and somehow was to end up in Lisbon by November 6th
The Actual Epic Trip
I decided I wanted to travel by land but regretebly skipped some of the nice Baltic countries and flying to Budapest.
In Budapest, I also made the mistake of staying for just a few nights (next time I’ll visit longer!).
From Budapest, I did all my travels from land. Either daytime buses, or for longer trips via night bus (save the overnight stay!).
The cities visited
I chose Estonia because I had a few meetings to attend, and it seemed like a nice place to hole up in for more than a week (September meant it wasn’t terribly cold yet).
The city in general is quite nice. One of my favorite places in Tallinn is “III Drakon” which is a medieval roleplaying pub with candles which make good Ale and Elk soup.
Budapest was the first real travel stop. As an afterthought, I felt I could have stayed there longer because the city was amazing (and cheap too).
I wanted to check out the following things:
- Bitcoin ATM at Anker Klub. Useful for obtaining HUF currency and getting rid of it at the end of the journey.
- Anker Klub
- The Chain Bridge
Along the way, I discovered some amazing coffee shops and also happened upon a nice coworking space through the loop.space app.
This was more a passthrough, but the key thing to see in Bratislava is the castle.
For those into blockchain, Bratislava seems to have a lot of meetups there.
Brno, Czech Republic
More of a passthrough as well but also visiting a friend there. Brno is a cheaper sister of Prague.
Not much for tourism there apart from the castle, and architecture. But generally a nice and chill place to hang out.
Be sure to visit Impact Hub in Brno if you’re into tech / startups.
Prague, Czech Republic
My main reasons for visiting Prague was:
- Paralelni Polis - Bitcoin (Litecoin coming soon) only coworking space upstairs (Paper Hub), Bitcoin (or Litecoin) only cafe downstairs. I spent a bit of time coworking out of this place because paying digital cash from your phone (without asking the bank for permission) is cool. In this place, I got more into Litecoin being that its a lot cheaper for transactions.
- Prague Castle - This dominates the city landscape. A must see for ever Prague Visitor.
- Get a taste of real Czech Absinthe. Also this place takes bitcoin too! Which is handy in countries which don’t use Euros.
- Eat local Czech food and pay for it in bitcoin!
My highlights of Prague was the developed crypto support, cheap beer, and I love how the public transportation system is premium sms based (proof of validation is done as a message onto your phone - it’s paperless!)
There’s a few other bitcoin businesses in Berlin but haven’t had a chance to check it out.
Thanks to the loop.space app again I was able to visit rent24 coworking space. It’s a cool space which includes a PS4!
Paris for me was mostly just to do some cliche things with friends (Eifel Tower picnic anyone?), and mainly to visit the Palace of Versailles which I have never had the chance to visit despite going many times and living there for 6 months.
I probably would have used it as a passthrough city and spent more time in Spain.
Barcelona was a bit of a continuation of Paris (checking out stuff I haven’t seen), as well as showing a friend around the city.
In Barcelona I’ve discovered that there was an hourly type coworking space which you can use (converts to a day pass after a few hours).
Alicante for me was a passthrough city. Aside from the beach and castle on the top of the hill, theres not too much there.
But nevertheless still an awesome place to stop through.
Seville was absolutely amazing. In fact I should have traded in one of my days in Alicante for Seville as this city has a cool vibe (and very pretty).
Not to mention I found a coworking space called “Grow Working” right in the old town too with similar prices / plans to Barcelona. They also appear to have a branch in Malaga right by the beach so I think its something to make note of next time.
Porto is the last stop for trip. Mainly to rest for 2 weeks and prepare for web summit. Couldn’t have picked a better city for it too.
If you love your port wine (or have a sweet tooth for sweet drinks), its highly recommended that you check this place out.
But Porto also has coworking spaces (as of this writing there are 3 of them). My favorite one is the one by the river as its close to the town.
End game: Lisbon
The journey has not been written yet, but already planning to be in Web Summit.
In summary, the journey has definetly been quite epic. The buses are all mostly equipped with wifi too so not too boring (except when it doesn’t work!)
Assuming I can get a visa for Russia somehow (heard you have to return to the country of your passport to get it), would love to try the trans-siberian.