My first WordCamp Europe! Hurray!
I have been excited to attend my first WordCamp Europe, as a newbie in WordPress and WordPress Community.
My story with WordPress started in 2015 and, although I am a new to this amazing world, I try to be an active member and volunteer as much as possible.
I have been an organiser of hometown’s local meetup along with my friend Evangelos Athanasiadis, who introduced me to WordPress and opened a door to a beautiful community. At the same time, I have been a member of the organising team of the first WordCamp of WordPress Greek Community, WordCamp Athens 2016. We kept going with WordCamp Athens 2017 and this year we decided to surprise our community, by WordCamp Thessaloniki 2018. It’s been 3 amazing years so far and hopefully we will keep it like this and even better.
WordCamp Europe 2018, in Belgrade, was an opportunity to offer more to an incredible community. Therefore, we decided that the organisers of meetups and WordCamps in Greece, would apply as volunteers in order to experience this great event all together.
Since this decision, it has been a happy period and when our names got announced as selected to be volunteering and our mails got the message that we were expecting with so much excitement, it was concidered to be party time.
Booking our tickets and arranging our accommodation, spreading the word of WordCamp Europe 2018, wherever we were, arranging meetups inviting Serbian community members to talk about their community and the journey to WordCamp Europe.
And the day came… to leave our country and get in Belgrade.
The journey has just started!
I chose the bus, since the traintrip, unfortunately, was not an option at that point, as the railways in Greece were under construction (Too bad cause I really wanted to . After almost 15 hours of travelling (I left Greece on Sturday 1pm and got in Belgrade Sunday at 3:30am), here I am early in the morning, meeting Fotis and Anastasis from Greece and George from Georgia (this is one of my favourite lines).
Sunday morning, found us a bit sleepy and Fotis working, so we decided to have a brunch, however, it ended up to be lunch at Bistro Grad Hometown Food. We walked till that nice place from our appartment and Anastasis showed us a bit around the city.
Passing by parks with beautiful sculptures like Tašmajdan Park, Anastasis talking about history and buildings and when we arrived at Saint Mark’s church, we experienced also a serbian wedding with many similarities to the greek ones, with a small traditional orchestra accompanying the bride to the church. Got inside the church, minimal comparing to the greek ones, however, very beautiful and spacy.
After a delicious meal, we realised we needed some rest and work so we headed back home, which I soon left again to see a bit more about Belgrade having the best guide I could ask for, Nemanja (if you need a guide for Belgrade, you’d better select a Serbian living there!).
People used to sit on the laps of Nicola Tesla statue outside the University of Belgrade Faculty of Electrical Engineering, in order to take pictures, however I decide to show some respect to the guy and just take a picture of the – so alive – statue. I found it also really interesting that student parties might keep up till the morning at the basement of the university at KST – Klub Studenata Tehnike. The sculptures outside the National Assembly of Serbia did make an impact to me, but I had to take a picture of this bearded guy Nikola Pašić, so I could make fun of my friend and colleague Takis regarding who did it better!
Afternoons can be fun in Belgrade
A coffee at was necessary at Kafeterija, which according to my guide makes the best coffee in Belgrade, and then we passed by Manufactura with the red umbrellas hanging over us to get walking around the Kalemegdan fortress and the park that surrounds it, (full of people walking, enjoying the view, concerts, art and photography exhibitions…) was one of the most awesome times ever, and the view of Sava river was just breathtaking.
However, among the beauty of the city center of Belgrade there lies a mall (a monster of modern architecture), ruining the feeling you may be travelling in time due to the amazing buildings and the history of this place. This mall definitely does not belong here, doesn’t fit…
Available time to walkaround was a bit limited, as we all felt hungry and needed to grab some dinner. Anastasis, Fotis, George, Nemanja and I met at the Central Square, just next to the offices of GoDaddy. This place was about to become our home for the coming days.
The company was lead to Skadarlija, where we realised WordCampers from all around the world have started gathering. Ivana, Taco, Milan, Andrea, Remkus, Bjørn were added to the company. That was a great multicultural gathering! Lots of great Serbian specialties and rakija made by plum, while Yoast, thankfully, took care of the bill!
(to be continued…)