07.07.2012 - 09.07.2012 37 °C
Day 2: 7 July- Olomouc – Krakow, Poland
Today we visited Auschwitz and the Birkenau concentration camps. You learn about these places in school history lessons… but until you are standing in a barn in the middle of a field in the stifling heat listening to the tragic stories of those sentenced to the concentration camps you don’t really get what it may have been really like… and what we experienced on this day didn’t even come close.
Seeing the piles and piles of discarded shoes, hairbrushes, glasses, suitcases and personal possessions left behind by those told to “have a shower” before unknowingly being ushered through to the gas chambers was very sobering. Especially the collection of all of the victim’s hair that had been shaven off. 1 million, 100 thousand people were killed in Auschwitz – 90% of them being Jews – over the 5 years it was in operation.
It leaves a bitter taste in your mouth at how humans can be so savage.
By the evening we had made our way to the amazing city that is Krakow. Krakow was one place that was lucky enough to escape the destruction of World War II. It is packed with attractive historic buildings and streetscapes and lots of colour! The medieval square was buzzing with activity, stilt walkers and ponies, markets and kidlets.
We also had an optional visit to the Salt Mines. This wasn’t all it was cracked up to be as none of us could hear or really understand the guide, and a bunch of us got the giggles at the most inappropriate times. It was amazing to be so far underground though and see what people can carve into the saltstone. I was brave and licked the wall it was ah…. Salty – I chose to neglect the knowledge of how many people would have done this before me. :-/
Day 4: 9 July- Krakow- Zakopane
We’re still in Poland – I like this country. Today we are in Zakopane (Zach-o-parn- e) in the stunning Tatra mountains. This would be a beautiful place to visit in the winter as well as there are many alpine trees, and great slopes to ski on.
There are a lot of things to do outdoors here. So I am really glad we are here in the summer as well. There are many hiking trails, cable cars, a funicular and even a luge!
I felt like the guys from Cool Runnings, man.
The dream team decided to hike back down a mountain after visiting the markets and hub of activity at the top. We saw some amazing views.
WARNING vegetarians look away!
Tonight we were taken to an unbelievable meat feast! I have never seen so much meat in one place in all of my life. I am pretty sure no one slept soundly this night due to all the stomach gurgling.