"Work Sets you Free"
OK so this is where my blog entries are gonna get very slim with details as I officially stopped recording stuff in my journal on this day. I stopped writing a week or so before this and started taking point form "notes" but now I have officially stoppend and am writing this based solely on memory and pictures hehe. So today was the day that we were gonna go to Auschwitz!! Our roomie Daniella left today but Tom was still around and we decided to go with him. We didn't want to go through a tour so we went to the bus station and found the bus that would take us there. It was only about an hour drive. Once we got there we decided to sign up for a tour that Auschwitz runs instead of going through it on our own.
The shooting wall
I am glad that we signed up for the tour as we learnt soo much and they had soo much information. The tour was so sad! It starts off with a movie of the camp being liberated and you see a whole bunch of bodies and sick people. You also get to see all their stuff that the Nazi's had taken away. When you first enter the camp you enter throught he main gates like all the prisoners did with the famous, "Work sets you free" sign. The tour lady said that the Nazi's sometimes would put bodies at the gates to remind the prisoners what would happen if they tried to escape. Apparently every day the number of people coming back at night had to be the same number of prisoners leaving in the morning so sometimes they would have to carry back the people who had passed away while working.
We went through all the prisons and saw some of the jails they would keep people in. We also saw the wall where they would shoot people for breaking the rules. We walked through the first small gas chamber that was used before all the big ones were built. It was so sad, you could actually see scratch marks on the walls from people trying to claw their way out. In the Auschwitz camp there was also rooms full of prisoners stuff. There was a room full of hair, shoes, luggage, glasses etc. From the Auschwitz camp we took a short bus ride to the Birkenau camp. Before ever coming here, when I learnt about the hollocaust in school, this is the camp that I would picture in my head from seeing photos etc. It was totally unreal to actually be here and walk on the same land that millions of people who had been murdered had walked on.
Peaceful skies over Birkenau
We got to see the big train tracks where all the prisoners would come in and get sorted into "workers" or "gas chambers" The gas chambers were destroyed when the Germans lost the war in an attempt to cover up their attrocities but the foundations of the chambers were still there. The tour lady told us how other Jewish prisoners had to be the ones who prepared the weak and the old for the chambers and the ones who had to clean out the bodies and cremate them. Going to Auschwitz was a really sad experience but I am glad I went because it makes me appreciate andhave more respect for WW2 and what our vetrans did so much more. After we were done the tour and we were waiting for the bus back to Krakow
there was a small car accident near the bus stop.
I only mention this because as I mentioned before in my blog, we listen to a lot of Dane Cook and he has this one skit about car accidents and it was just really funny as we had just been listening to it and then there was a accident. It was a small fender bender and no one got hurt so no worries haha:) On our way back to Krakow we were trying to decide if we should go to the salt mines as we would arrive around 7pm and the last tour is at 7:30pm but we decided against it as we were tired and Tom was leaving that night for Worclaw. When we got back to the hostel we discovered that we had 4 new room mates! These guys are a big part of our trip as they became our trip twins! They are from San Fransisco, CA and they had alomost the exact same itinerary as us for europe! The guys' names were Jayson, Jeff, Jesse, and Todd.
"Why did you stop at a red light and let me hit you doing 80?!?!"
We decided to hang out with them that night. We went to the main square and we sat in one of those little outside cafes and had a bunch of beer while watching some crazy cool street preformers. Melissa and I had to catch a train to Prague in the morning and the 6 of us decided that we were gonna stay up all night long partying and drinking. After having beer outside we went to a really cool night club. Well the first club that we went to we got turned down from because I wasn't 21, which is weird because they legal age in Poland is 18. Oh well the club that we ended up going to was really sweet. It had two dance floors and a couple bars and it played awesome music and our trip twins really like to dance which was sweet! The only bad thing about this club was that it was HOT.
Me, Jesse, Melissa, Jeff, Todd, and Jayson
And not just from dancing, just sitting down having a beer it was soo hot! I think the ac must have been broken or something because it was unreal. We met some crazy english guys that we were dancing with who took off their tops and were being funny. It was hilarious at the time and so much fun but looking back at the pics its really akward lol. We got a ride back to the hostel on one of those crazy bike things that you pay people to drive you around in. It was weird but pretty sweet. Anyways we had lost track of our trip twins at the club and when we got back to the hostel Melissa and I were just kind of lounging around. Melissa ended up going to bed for an hour or so and our trip twins were there sleeping but I stayed up the whole night like we had origionally planed hehe.
There were some irish guys who were just hanging out in common area and one of their buddies had passed out and we were drawing on his face, hehe. Anyways once it got to be aorund 6am I just had a shower and then woke up Melissa to catch our train to Prague! Watch out for our Jayson, Jesse, Jeff, and Todd in later blog entries as they make many more appearances in our trip hehe.
Krakow City Rating:
+1 bonus for meeting our trip twins