A sobering day.
Trip Start Aug 17, 2009
43Trip End Jul 20, 2010
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What can I say about our trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau that could possibly express what it's like to actually be there? Everyone knows about these 2 notorious concentration camps, the horrors that occurred there, the emotions that just the names can spark. But nothing, NOTHING makes it set in like actually going there. Most people, I think, know Auschwitz better then Birkenau and actually confuse the two. Auschwitz was the work camp, with block upon block of 2 story buildings to house the "prisoners" and its sign “work will set you free” at the entrance
Paul drove us to the salt mines and to a traditional restaurant right across the street where we had a fast lunch. Hot soup and pirogues and then off to the salt mines. These are definitely pretty “touristy” but it was still pretty cool. Everything is carved in salt: walls, floors, sculptures, everything. And the main chamber is gorgeous, all in salt. They sometimes hold concerts down there and even weddings. The salt mine trip was definitely needed after our morning visits, and was really quite fun. The 400meter ride to the top in a miners basket was probably the best part, but could have been improved it we hadn’t been crammed in with the woman who started to freak out about the close quarters and the fact that we were in the dark (“oh my god, on my god, I don’t like this, I wouldn’t have done this if I knew this was how I got out. Oh this isn’t fun, why didn’t they tell us this…….blah blah” Get over it lady, it was 20 seconds! Sorry, she just sort of ruined it)
We rounded out our 2 days in Krakow with another really good meal and then an early night. Up at 5:30 Friday morning to get to the train station for our 6:50 train and then a 7 ½ train to Vienna. I dropped my things off in my apartment on the 3rd floor (no elevator) and meet up with Amy and it was off to Budapest.