WordCamp Europe 2018 Belgrad

My Belgrade Adventure

I’ve recently travelled to Belgrade, the capital and the largest city of Serbia, located in Southeastern Europe. It was an amazing beary trip filled with vegan food, friends & family, outdoor adventures and WordPress. This is a wrap up of one week full of bear adventures.

Day 1

My journey started at the Memmingen airport, a small and very bear-friendly place. You can quickly and easily check-in without worrying to be lost somewhere on the way. Oh, and what I love the most, they even have vegan sandwiches to buy. This is not that common at airports and therefore, I was really pleasantly surprised.

I’ve been flying many times, but this was the first time with Wizzair. The flight was very short but nice and comfortable for a small bear like me. For a moment, it was nice to be in the sky, among all these clouds but in the end, the moment I like the most is a touchdown. So, welcome to Belgrade, the city of food 😄, later you’ll find out why 😉.

Wizzair

From the Belgrade’s Nikola Tesla Airport to the city, we used a taxi as it was the easiest and fastest way. One important note, please contact the city service TAXI INFO desk. Do not go with the people that will stop you along the way and ask if you need a taxi…you’ll thank me later. The price ranges from 1400 RSD (~13 EUR) to Novi Beograd, 1800 RSD (~15 EUR) to central Belgrade and from 2200 RSD (~18 EUR) to the suburbs. The cheapest solution would be a regular bus (Line 72), that costs around 1 EUR,  but it takes up to 60 minutes and it runs every half an hour from the bus station.

My Journey

Anika

After approx. 30min long taxi ride, we arrived at Anika’s apartment, where we stayed for a week. Anika is our lovely friend and she was so kind to offer us a place to stay. She also played with me and hugged me for the whole week. She is so very sweet!💗 We hang out a bit with her and then we left her alone to study, as she had a lot of exams, phew. Studying is not easy, happy I don’t need to do that,😂 hmmm, or maybe I’ll need when I grow up? Grow up? No thanks😉

OK, let’s continue. Our very kind friends Marija and Davor invited us to visit them in the evening, so, I just swipe my clothes quickly and we were already on our way to them. While in Belgrade we used Naxis Taxi and CarGo to get us from one place to another and it worked perfectly.

When we arrived Marija & Davor showed us their apartment and guess what, I got to know a new friend. He is very cute and cuddly. We talked a lot about our adventures, food, and travels.

My new friend and me

As the time went by I was so happy as humans started to talk about a dinner. You know how much I love food 😂 and I was already pretty hungry. We went to a beautiful restaurant called Lemon Chili. It is located at Danube riverside in Zemun, to me probably the most beautiful part of the city. There’s an indoor and outdoor sitting area with the lovely ambient, colourful chairs and friendly staff. Thank you Marija and Davor for choosing this place and for making my bear belly happy!

Humans with Marija & Davor
My humans with Marija & Davor

After dinner, Marija & Davor gave us a tour through the old part of Zemun, Zemun Kej and all the way to Gardoš, the Tower of Sibinjanin Janko. The most amazing view on Belgrade and Danube waited just for me. Oh, what a night, stars and the stunning view of the city.

Me and Gardos
Gardoš & Me
The view from Gardos
The View

It was an amazing evening filled with friendship, love, food and city sightseeing. Thank you Marija & Davor! You are the best! I can’t wait for you to come to Germany to show you our place and take you to a lovely dinner. You’ll hear more about them later.

Day 2

The morning started with cuddling with Anika & my humans and of course a breakfast. After my belly was full, I was on my way to the Nikola Tesla Museum. This museum is dedicated to honoring and displaying the life and work of Nikola Tesla. Oh, I guess you already know who Nikola Tesla was!? He was a futurist who is best known for his contributions to the design of the modern alternating current (AC) electricity supply system. However, his contributions go way beyond that. In short, if you are using a computer, wifi or reading a book under the lights, just say thanks to Nikola Tesla!

Tesla Museum is a small but lovely place where you can see some of Tesla ’s personal belongings, technical drawings and machines he invented. In a quiet corner of the museum, you can also see the Funeral Urn. This is a bit scary for a little bear like me.

Every hour or so there is a presentation that leads you through his life followed by an interesting interactive tour. If you’re brave enough you can also have a hands-on experience and see (and hear) the real lightning produced by one of his machines. All in all this little museum is well worth the visit.

Nikola Tesla & Me
Nikola Tesla & Me
Nikola Tesla Museum
Nikola Tesla Museum

Belgrade & Food

And now we are slowly coming to the subject of food and Belgrade. There is no way you can stay hungry here, believe me. After visiting the museum we were invited by my human’s family for a lunch at their home. We decided to take a walk there and explore Belgrade on the way. It was a very hot day but I was luckily in the shade…in my human’s bag. You see I’m a small bear and it is hard for me to walk long distances.

Some 45min later we arrived at their lovely home where we spent the whole afternoon. There was a lot of delicious food, laugh, talk and it was great to meet a family that my human didn’t see since her childhood. I’m usually bad with names, but they were so cute that I even managed to remember them all. Let me try, Vesna, Ljilja, Zuba, Sanja, Iva & Ivan. Most of the afternoon I was hiding in the bag, as I’m a bit shy when there are a lot of new people around me. Later you’ll find out how they finally got to know me.😉

Family Time

After lunch, Ivan offered to show us a small craft beer brewery that he runs together with his friends and my humans got to taste a bit of their latest beer batch. I’m too young to drink beer, but they told me it’s really good.

In the evening we were invited for a dinner by our good friends and Ivan and his lovely wife Iva were so kind to drive us there. My tummy was too full to walk anyway:). We arrived at our friend’s place and I finally met Sanja, Igor and their lovely kids Nole & David in person. Oh, how surprised were they with my size, they saw some of my photos and thought I was way bigger.

We spent a lovely evening, talking and laughing a lot and Sanja even prepared a special dinner for me. I still don’t have enough words to thank her. She is a magician in the kitchen, a great cook and the dinner was soooo tasty and very yummy. Thank you so much Sanja & Igor.

Day 3

After just a few hours of sleep, we had a lovely breakfast with Anika and even sang and danced. On this cloudy/rainy day, we decided to visit a GoDaddy office and meet our friends from the WordPress community. One of the reasons I was visiting Belgrade was a WordCamp Europe, the biggest conference dedicated to WordPress.

GoDaddy office is located in the center of Belgrade so we decided to walk there. Luckily the rain started after we arrived. The office itself is a really nice space occupying the top two floors of the building with an amazing terrace where you can enjoy the amazing view over the city. I was invited there by my friends Manny and Matt Clancy. They wanted to show me the place where they work and finally meet me in person. We did a tour around their beautiful office and we took some photos together.

GoDaddy Office
At GoDaddy Office
Me & Friends
My Friends and Me at GoDaddy Office

I had an amazing afternoon at GoDaddy. I’ve also met Tina and Dejan from Social Web Suite, Alex DenningStephen Cronin who arrived a couple of hours earlier from far Australia, Akshat and his lovely friend from BlogVault and many more.

Themers Meetup

After a lovely afternoon spent with friends, we walked back to Anika’s apartment to take a shower and dress for a Themers Meetup that started at 20h in Lemon Chili. Big thanks to Marija for the restaurant choice and for helping with the booking, you are the best. During the WordCamp, each year we have a non-official themers meetup, where people who are creating WordPress themes meet each other, eat and have some fun together. This year I met so many old and new friends and we’ve had a lovely evening, eating some tasty food and talking about various things. Oh, the local guys from Meks are so cool and interesting, some of them are musicians too, it was so nice to hang out with them.

Day 4

The day started with a breakfast and hanging out with Anika. After breakfast, we walked around the city and went to the Envato Meetup where I learned about some interesting and new things that are coming to their platform and met some new and old friends there.

Later in the afternoon, we joined Sanja, Iva, and Ivan on a city tour and this is where they finally got to know me. I jumped out of the bag and introduced myself 😂, you can imagine their faces 😂. They wanted to show us a few lovely spots that we didn’t have time to visit before. We had luck, the rain stopped and we were able to walk to the Belgrade Fortress, that consists of the old citadel and Kalemegdan Park on the confluence of the River Sava and Danube.

Kalemegdan

Back to food, after a nice walk, we went to a restaurant to eat some vegan food and then to the hidden city gem, a small and cosy cocktail bar where I enjoyed the old style interior and some lovely details. Of course, I’ve had a beary, non-alcohol cocktail and some veggies too.

Family Time
Sanja, Iva, Ivan, humans & me hiding in the bag

I had an amazing evening with this lovely gang, they took care of me and gave a lot of hugs. Later on, I slept like a baby!

Day 5 & 6

Conference days, WordCamp Europe just started, wohooo. I had my beauty sleep and headed to the Sava Center where the WordCamp was held. The venue was a perfect choice for the big conference like this one, big spaces, enough room to mingle, hang out with friends and lovely, big rooms for the talks.

WordCamp Europe

To write all the details for every talk I’ve seen would be too long so I will just mention the ones I loved the most.

The first talk of the day and one of my favourite talks was by Paolo Belcastro’s. He talked about World of WordPress and his activities for the past ten years. From online gaming to the WordPress community and to his work at Automattic. I loved this talk as it was interactive one and I enjoyed taking part in it.

WordCamp Europe

A gorgeous Nela Dunato had an amazing talk called “The Human-Centered Brand” about great and practical tips on how to grow a relationship-focused business with an authentic brand. My favourite slide from her talk is:

“Clients don’t connect with the companies – they form relationship with the people.”

And the last but not least, an amazing and very helpful talk “Succeeding as an Introvert” by Aaron Campbell

What I’ve learned and liked a lot are the introvert strengths:

  • Content Being Alone
  • Prepared
  • Good Listener
  • Calm

Socializing Takes Energy

I’ve even had an opportunity to meet Aaron in person but more about it later.

Beside amazing talks, there was plenty of time to meet new and old friends, talk about different things and take photos with them. It’s hard to mention them all as it is a long list. I was so happy to meet Igor Benic again and talk to him and Dino. Oh, I also had a pleasure to meet Ivana Ćirković, she is even more beautiful in person. I was also happy to get to know Marjan Tosic from Shandiri Studio.

Food

We are coming again to the subject of food. There were so many pastries, fruits, and beverage choices the whole day through and the lunch, oh the lunch was amazing. I was so happy and thankful when I saw the whole section of vegan food. Big thanks and bear hug from me to all the organizers!

During the lunch, I had the opportunity to share the table with some amazing people from Finish, Irish, Croatian and Serbian WordPress community. There were Roni, Emanuel and his son Luka, Lucijan and their lovely dad, Nela, guys from Meks and always humorful Irish guys Colm & Simon.

The first conference day finished with the storm and rain causing the traffic chaos which made it almost impossible to get a taxi. However, our amazing friend Danijel from Meks, offered to drive us to our apartment. I am very thankful and sending him kisses, hope he’ll read this.

Friends Time

We arrived at our apartment quite late due to the chaos in traffic. We’ve had just enough time to change our clothes and together with Anika we went to Sanja & Igor’s place. Oh, by the way, Anika and Sanja are sisters. My dear and lovely friend Ana Lily was waiting for us there too.

This is where it gets interesting cause my human, Anika and Ana Lily are all actually Ana’s but we renamed them, so it’s easier to communicate with them, hahaha. It was a lovely evening. We ate pizza, laughed a lot, cuddled & Sanja (she is the only one that is not Ana) even started designing a special jacket for me, awweee. Can’t wait for it to be ready.

Friends
3xAna, Sanja and Me

Day 6 – Party

The second conference day finished with the great after party in the big Belexpocentar where I had the opportunity to meet and take photos with some important people from the WordPress community. One of them was Matt Mullenweg, a founder of WordPress. It was nice to rest on his shoulder.

Matt Mullenweg
Matt Mullenweg & Me

You remember that I mentioned that one of my favourite talks was by a guy named Aaron Campbell, and guess what, I met him at the party. We talked a bit, he is very nice and calm human.

Aaron D. Campbell and Me
Aaron D. Campbell and Me

A very special moment for me was meeting this cute guy, Mathieu Sarrasin . He is following my stories and posts on Twitter and he even helped me get my Twitter account back after Twitter closed my account as they thought I’m a 4-year-old child. Thank you, my friend, you are amazing.

Mathieu Sarrasin
Mathieu Sarrasin & Me

I had an amazing time at the after-party with Marija and Davor, they are amazing dancers by the way. They are beautiful people and very caring. They are also among the organizers and volunteers of the WordCamp Europe. Big thanks to them! Before we went home I finally had more time to talk with my cute friend Ivana from Montenegro and Sami from Finland. They have a special place in my bear heart. As you might have noticed, I am a very social bear but I’m small and after some time I get very tired and need some quiet place to relax, a little party breaker, hihihi. So my humans brought me home and we all went to sleep…zzzz.

Day 7

Phew, it was a pretty busy schedule the last couple of days so we decided to spend the last day in Belgrade more relaxed. We went for a walk, visited my human’s family and had a lunch at their place. In the evening we had a fun time talking and taking funny photos with Anika and Ana Lily.

Friend and Fun
3xAna, Marko and Me

That pretty much summarizes my 7-day adventure in Belgrade. The city is a food heaven for bears and humans. There is always something to eat and it’s full of lovely people who are bear friendly.

I hope you enjoyed my Belgrade adventure and my photos!

P.S. Thank YOu

This illustration is dedicated to WordCamp Europe 2018, to Belgrade as its host and to all people involved. Organization team, volunteers, speakers, sponsors…and to all my friends in the WordPress community. Big thanks to a special friend Milan Ivanovic! Thank you all for making this world a better place, and 🙂 for all the hard work it takes to organize such an amazing event!

WordCamp Europe 2018 Belgrade

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