Trip Start Jul 03, 2000
Trip End Jan 09, 2001

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Flag of Poland  ,
Saturday, December 9, 2000

Ryner Glowny the main square of Krakows old town was just as stunning as it was when I last visited. This time it was caught in a cloud of fog that gave in a very moody feel. Krakow is Polands 3rd largest city and one of the oldest. Krakow was saved from destruction during the war in 1945 and is still a stunning place to visit. The main market square is the largest medieval square in Europe with the Renaissance cloth hall, which holds market stalls and an art gallery is the main focal point in the centre of the square with the St Mary's Church in the corner. North of the old town Is the Florin Gate, the only to remain and behind it the defensive bastion of the Barbican. We also visited the Czartoryski Museum, which holds amongst others paintings from Leonardo da Vinici and Rembrandt. We also visited the Wawel, a hilltop with a castle and cathedral overlooking Krakow from the south.

During our stay in Krakow we took a day trip 60kms out of town to visit the concentration camps of Auschwitch and the nearby death camp of Birkenau. Here we took a very sombre tour through the former Nazi bases. It was pretty spooky walking under the main gates at Auschwitch with its cynical inscription ''Arbeit Macht Frei'' which means work brings freedom.

Birkenau which is 4 times bigger than Auschwitch next door was perhaps a little more shocking as this was where most of the prisoners were trained in and put to death in the gas chambers. There were still fragments of bone that are in amongst the ground. There was a deep fog over the whole site and the watchtowers and fences just disappeared into the fog.

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