It's never easy going somewhere that is completely new to you. Despite the excitement cultivated within oneself at the prospect of upcoming adventure, your nerves can still have their way with you. This complicated feeling of unease and anticipation goes hand in hand with all sorts of new experiences, and few among us are immune to its influence. When, as in my case, the new place is a continent I've never visited to meet people I've only communicated with online while attending a conference populated by passionate, brilliant people who are experts in the maddeningly complex field of blockchain innovation, it's safe to say that my nerves were close to getting the better of me.
Day one of the 2022 Avalanche Summit took place on Tuesday, March 22nd, in Barcelona at the historic Poble Espanyol, but for myself, it began at the airport at noon of the previous day. Try as I might, sleep eluded me on my transatlantic flight, and like many attending the first day of the Summit, jet lag was sure to be an unwelcome companion. Upon arrival in Barcelona, I made my way to the Airbnb where the Husky Avax team was making camp, and all feelings of unease vanished completely. I was greeted by the team, handed a box full of Husky Team apparel, and then we quickly made our way to the Summit for the first day of festivities.
Heavy rains cleared up just in time for the entry gates of the Summit to open, and despite an originally dreary forecast, the weather could not have been nicer. We made our way to the Avax Shop to check in with other members of the Husky team already there and conducting sales, and then began to take in the sights and meet everyone in attendance. Festivities were officially kicked off by opening remarks from Avalanche founder and CEO, Emin Gun Sirer, where he stoked the positive vibes of attendees with a short, energetic speech going over the high points and incredible potential of the Avalanche network; potential being realized by the many prominent projects in attendance. Daniel Marco, Director General of Innovation and Digital Economy for the Government of Catalonia, gave special thanks to all attendees for visiting, and with that, the Summit was open.
The Husky team spent their day networking with Avalanche projects, running the Avax Shop, and taking in as many speakers as possible, all while continuing to put the finishing touches on planning the Frens Party taking place the next night.
All things considered, the first day of the Avalanche Summit was an incredible experience. Walking around Poble Espanyol while listening to Ava Labs team members talk about upcoming innovations, one can't help but notice the juxtaposition of future innovation being discussed in an environment that provides such a clear vision into the past. It isn't a difficult leap to assume that when considering the Ava Labs team, their vision into the future is just as clear.
While the official Summit festivities had concluded for the day, many side events were occurring in and around Barcelona. For the Husky team, the first event to attend was the Chainlink happy hour taking place at Mussol Arenas, located in the Arenas de Barcelona. Drinks, tapas, and excellent conversation were abundant, and a positive, welcoming vibe permeated the upscale establishment. A vocalist and accompanying guitarist provided just the right level of background entertainment, and it was nice taking a beat from the hustle and bustle of networking to just sip a cold drink and listen to them play.
Trying to take in as much as possible, the Husky Team said their goodbyes to Chainlink, thanking them for their hospitality, and made their way to Ocaña Apotheke to meet up with the Wyre team for some after-dinner cocktails. Wyre had reserved a private, basement bar where the bartenders served up some excellent mojitos. We settled into the comfy chairs and though we were in a new location, the positive, welcoming vibes found throughout day were just as abundant here.
After saying our goodbyes and thank-yous to Wyre, it was time to find a place for some late-night tapas. We settled on Le Bistro Sensi, and our party of nine made short work of the excellent small plates of meats, cheeses, fish, potatoes, and all manner of tasty things. To say it was the perfect meal to end the first day of the Avalanche Summit may be cliché, but considering that my Tuesday began the previous Monday afternoon, I don't mind falling into the comfortable notion of familiarity.
Some members of the Husky Team ventured out after tapas to meet up with the Trader Joe team, surely to plan for the Frens Party the next evening, but for myself, I decided to retreat to the dark and quiet comfort of my hotel room. Drifting quickly to sleep as soon as I crawled into bed, I couldn't wait to see what the next day would bring.