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Monday Sept. 28th
We left Vilnius,Lithuania before 10am and heading towards Warsaw, Poland
We had to be very careful that we didn't venture into Belarus as we didn't have Visas for there and then we ended up getting lost.
We even had to stop to ask directions and the fellow at the gas station couldn't speak any English so he drew us a map to give us directions. The GPS and the map weren't on the same page for quite awhile. We managed to work our way into ...
... that we think we were able to mime our way through the ticket buying process. I was even able to successfully find a post office and send a box of stuff back to the states. It was complicated but some of these forms had French so I was able to piece together where to write addresses and names and whatnot. Today we just explored the mall. It's similar to an American mall in some ways but a lot of shops I've never heard of and it's funny trying to ask ...
... and one not destroyed during the wars. It's surrounded by churches, pubs, restaurants, and performers. In the middle of the square is the original Renaissance style market hall. The vendor stalls have switched from medieval goods to jewelry and gifts for the tourists... really cool to walk through trying to imagine the past. It was time to go check-in to my hotel, but I did manage to make it back at night to ...
... of the ubiquitous Polish pretzels for breakfast and found the correct minibus. We turned up a couple of minutes late and there was only one seat left. Steven had to stand. As we drove on the minibus made several stops picking up and dropping off locals. Nearing Auschwitz we passed a big shopping mall complete with a Starbucks, Subway and a H&M. It only seemed a little out of place.
Arriving at Auschwitz Steven wasn't ...
... a memorial built there by some survivors years ago and every year they have a service where thousand of people attend, this year there were 4 survivors attending, next year will be the 70 th year and our guide figures there will no longer be any survivors in attendance.What a great way to pay tribute to all these people. So glad we went, gives you a deeper understanding of what happened, but also that in Poland there is great ...