Auschwitz-Birkenau by day, then a night in Krakow
Trip Start Oct 25, 2007
10Trip End Nov 03, 2007
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We woke up to a gloomy day in Krakow, which will later turn out to be appropriate. After a Polish continental breakfast, which consists of yes-more Kielbasa, Katrina's cousin picked us up for a day trip to Oswiecim, home the Auschwitz Museum.
After about an hour drive, we came up to the main gate of the Auschwitz II-Birkenau camp. It didn't look over large, but when looking at the train tracks that run into the camp, an erie feeling certainly fell over us. Walking through the main gate just sent chills through your spine, especially when you see the rows and rows of camp housing. Exploring the camp and reading the entries- seeing where the people lived, when to the bathroom and died was just very humbling
From there we went to the first Auschwitz I camp. This was the first camp and little bit smaller. This museum was about to close, so we snuck in through a back gate and roamed the nearly deserted camp. That was even more erie than the first. The museum showed scores of belongings- shoes, eye glasses, luggage- that was collected by the Germans when the European Jews or non-Jewish Poles arrived.
Needless to say, this was an emotional morning and after a somber drive back to the hotel, a nap seemed to be in order.
We woke up hungry and decided to head out for dinner. After refusing about 5 restaurants for one reason or another, we all agreed to go to the next place no matter what. The "what" turned to out to be a fancy French restaurant! Ever have wild boar meat ??? It doesn't taste like chicken.
After dinner we decided to check out Krakow's night life. Krakow the largest number of pubs/bars/clubs per person than any city in Europe. Its evident from the crowds of sometimes inebriated youths roaming the main square. No one felt like dancing, so we landed in a Pub and decided to settle in with some Zwiec- Polish beer. After a few drinks, I think I was speaking fluent Polish... I don't think they though so, however.
Stumbling back to the hotel, we came across a Kebob stand! How great? Late night of drinking and I come across some of native food. It was like a sign from God. I mustered up my 8 zloty and ordered my Kebob (kebob is the Poles way of referring to a Shawarma or Gyro). Turned out to be a pretty good night!