Krakow, Poland Day 2 - Part 2

Krakow Travel Blog

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We arrived back the meeting point and the second part was tour of the Salt Mine.  Going to the salt mine we were in a Mercedez Van.  There was no seat belts and all of sudden we made a stop, I though I could catch myself but the space infront of me was huge and so I feel forward!  After that every stop we made everyone to the left of me would put their arm out as to catch me.  So we get there and escalate down the mine, we go down and we go through the mini sections but we only hit 1% percent when we are done with tour, which we walked and toured for 2 hours.  To see every corridor it would take 3 months!  So we saw how they worked back in the day and the way they do now.  Then we walk through the coolest room which actually a church.  There is church that carved out of this rock!  Crazy huh!  Of course it is catholic and they still celebrate mass inside.  After that went through many more rooms and felt like I was in the one of the mines on the Lord of the Rings, mines of Morah.  Balrog would be right around the corner.  When we were done I left on the back on the van to the hostel.  At this point I was tired and ready for some relaxation, it was a long night!  

To my surprise, a group was waiting outside and said want to go to pub crawl, I was like, huh I am tired.  They are like come on!  So I did!   I left my stuff in hostel except for my camera and went for the party.  It was awesome!  We stopped first at this place called... Vodka and guess what they serve?  We started the pub crawl with 4 shots!  It was tasty vodka and I enjoyed it.  After we were done with that, we went to another pub this place served beer on like a 3,5 liter tube on your table.  Like self serve beer, I had about there 3 glasses.  This all cost so far 25 zloty.  Amazingly fun, I meet a couple of people from Australia, one named yale and another named Jack.  Then I meet 4 Welsh guys and the thing about the Welsh is that they can drink and they will drink until they are bloody pissed.  One guy wasn't drunk and he kept buying us drinks!  Then we went to the last place which was a Club!  WE danced we had plenty of drink and this was the first time I was drunk of my rocker!  I mean drunk!  But I had a great time with my hosts and great time with the people.  We saw this guy outside of the bar who kept going around the pole, because he was so drunk!  We laughed!  Around 3:30 my mexican friend Pablo and I decided it was time to bounce.  Go to find out 2 welsh guys got kicked out of the club because of being so drunk. They found him sleeping in a door away!  Then they took a cab back to the hostel and could not find the hostel, so they started going to flat to flat asking if they were the hostel!  Hilarious.  One guy refused to go up his bunk bed because he knew he would probably kill himself going up it. 

I changed clothes, brushed my teeth and fell asleep. 
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I talk about WWII and some is pretty grafic so I apologize in advance.

I had booked a tour on the previous day to go on a tour of the Salt Mine and Auschwitz.  It was a huge eye opener and I agree it is life changing event.

So I had some breakfast, paid 10 zloty which is like 3 dollars to have my clothes washed and folded!  I put on my awesome new pants and headed to the meeting point of the tour.  They had a bus ready for us and it was about maybe 20 people total.  We watched a movie about it and it was kind of boring to be honest and it was really hard to stay awake.  But the story was truly told on the tour.  It took about one hour to get there, we would be here close 6 hours for the total trip.  We get there and it was nothing from what you see in movies.  The buildings were barracks at one point turned into prisons.  You could see the double gated barbed wire fense.  It was was crazy looking, I could not imagine of what it would have felt like coming here back in the day, and should say I am glad I had not.  You see the gate of "Work shall set you free" and then we go into one of the barracks.  You will never understand the massive, the factorized, the scale, of killings of these people until you see this site.  Yesterday I complained that I had a small bed, imagine 3/4 of a twin bed, fit TWO people.  WTF!  Then we saw that the sanitary conditions and how most of the time they did not use it because they were only given like one time a day to even use it and sometimes you were not even allowed.  Then we went to the part that hit me the most. 

There is a huge corridor, like the size 30 yards long and in this room there is class held back and YOU see human hair and it is a grossly huge amount of hair.  They cut there hair off for two purposes to dehumanize them and then to actually use it!  For socks, coats, and some form of tile, and a company actually helped out in this process to do it.  HUMAN wool!  Then we went into the show room that showed another huge corridor with nothing but shoes!  The saddest part were there was like a 10 by 10 display full of children shoes.  They did not have a conscience they didnt have any human left in them if you can do that to children.  ChildREN!  I nearly lost it there because it as so sad and I just can't understand.  When you see a baby crying for its life and you do nothing and just follow "orders."  I dunno but I dunno how one could do this to another human.  It continues today I KNOW but this scale is intense.  The other room was filled with luggage, because the Nazi gave them hope, and their luggage was marked with there name, birthday, and some address.   This is real people we are talking about here!  It all makes it all the more personal.  The creepest place was the gas chamber and cremetorium.  They could kill 1000 prisoners in less then 20 minutes.  But what to do with the bodies?  They could only burn 100 or so an hour.  I know disgusting to even think of it!  The room you could almost feel the sadness, the horrible thing that went on there.  The room itself was not big enough for 1000 people but of course they made it happen. 

Like other murders and killers, they give the person hope, the person cooperates because they believe in that hope.  Then they are killed, 75% were gassed on arrival, 25% worked and the life expectancy of a worker was no longer then 3 months.  Mal nutrition, exhaustion, tyfoid, etc...  Then they should this one room that had 4 standing cells.  Imagine a coat closet then imagine the front of it is like a door is only waist high.  YOu have to climb in it, there 3 people already in there.  You have to be in here from anywhere 3 days to 7 days depending.  Most people would die in there because of exhaustion because or suffication because there is no ventalation.  Disgusting.  Again who does this to other humans.

We left there and went to Birkenau, that is really when you see the scale of there operation and their plans for expansion.  The first thing you see the main rail station, you probably seen it in a few movies about it WWII.  We were taken to the stables (they were intended for horses) but made into prisons.  Imagine a small barn, that is filled with bunk beds then imagine 700 people, 2 people per bunk bed.  Sometimes 3 depending on the day.   Then we went to the restroom, another barn, down the middle of is a block of cement, and on the top of that block 100 holes so you can poop or pee etc.  They are so close it was disgusting. 

The field and range was crazy.  It was probably as big as 100 football fields if not more.  After the emotional day we left back to krakow. 
photo by: vulindlela