Blogs from Lesser Poland, Poland, Europe

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Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków March 4th 2014

What a whirlwind two days! We knew when we decided to go to Krakow that it was going to be tiring and quick but I felt that we needed to visit Auschwitz Birkenau given we were so close. I've always felt that the atrocities of the past should be known and acknowledged by all generations and as such, Auschwitz Birkenau was very important to me. So important that we got a 10 hour sleeper train from Hungary to Poland, and then another one from Poland to the Czech Republic. Firstly, I have to say I didn't expect to like Krakow in Poland all that much, didn't know anything about it but it was the closest major city to Auschwitz so that's how we ended up there. It was a pleasant surprise, a lovely city with rich ... read more
Gas Chamber at Auschwitz
Carriage
Chandelier made of Rock Salt

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków December 15th 2013

"Move your imagination", that's the tourism slogan of Poland in eastern Europe! I visited Poland for a week early November. This country is part of the European Union but uses its own currency called "Polish Zloty" which was approx. 4 Zloty's to the Euro. In Bratislava I took a night-train to Krakow in southern Poland. I had a sleeping compartment all to myself. The journey took about 8 hours because at a certain point the train was stopped and divided in different wagons going to different destinations. In Bratislava the train was very long. The first two or three wagons were going to Krakow and other parts to Warsaw and Berlin. Poland was cheap!!! I enjoyed that so much I didn't cook much at the hostels because eating outside didn't cost too much! What I didn't ... read more
Krakow; Wawel Royal Castle
Krakow; Wawel Royal Castle
Krakow; Wawel Royal Castle

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków August 14th 2013

Our time in Krakow is limited so we decided to hire the services of a guide to take us through the Old Jewish District today. Prior to World War II there were 70,000 Jews living in Krakow. Only 5,000 survived the war and few of those returned to Krakow. As a result the Jewish Community were forced to sell off the majority of the 13 synagogues in Krakow as they had neither the money nor the community to support their existence. Our guide took us to one of the few remaining functioning synagogues in Krakow. Clive had to wear a yamaka in the temple which, to my great regret, I was not quick enough to photograph. Covered his bald spot perfectly! The synagogue, like many of the old buildings in Krakow, is being renovated and restored ... read more
Krakow
Krakow
Krakow

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków August 13th 2013

We began the day with a walk down to the Old Town historical district in the heart of Krakow. It is a medieval city ( hence the dragon) established in 1257. UNESCO has entered the whole of Krakow's Old Town on the World Cultural Heritage List. It is very beautiful and you definitely feel like you have been transported back into the Middle Ages. The Grand Square is a hive of activity and is the hub of the Old Town. It is surrounded by historical buildings including the Town Hall Tower, St Mary's Basilica and Renaissance Hall. We did the tourist thing and took a horse and carriage ride around the perimeter of the Old Town. Beautiful horses clopping on the cobble stone streets. There is much work being done in the Old Town. We have ... read more
Krakow
Krakow
Krakow

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków August 12th 2013

Just when I thought we had kissed and made up with Paris . . . We arrived at Charles de Gaulle airport early as planned. Our taxi driver charged us an additional 18 Euro ($26 Australian dollars) on top of the taxi fare because we had 'reserved' the taxi and also for carrying luggage. Interestingly we had reserved another taxi when we went to Montmartre but no additional fee was charged on that occasion. We had also reserved taxis in Holland and Belgium without incurring an extra fee. Arguing the point wasn't going to get us anywhere so we let it go. No tip for this taxi driver though! Speaking of which 'tipping' is doing our head in a little bit but we are getting the hang of it. We don't want to be cheap (Clive) ... read more
Krakow
Krakow
Krakow

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Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków July 29th 2013

Today we went to schindler's factory/ museum which was cool and then we went to salt mines which are 130m under the ground. Was a good day and brent fixed my email which was cool as well, hes a clever cookie. Hope the earth quakes stopped soon!xx... read more
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Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków July 29th 2013

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Kraków July 19th 2013

Krakow; known for Pope John Paul II, Copernicus and Chopin, Ancient capital of Poland, Medieval trading, close to Auschwitz and salt mines. Long, long 13 hours by 4 trains from Hradec Kralove to Krakow. First impression of Krakow weren’t great, but then it was 9pm and we were very tired. Busy main pedestrian street, full of people eating kebabs (numerous kebab shops), lots of young women trying to get you to go to nightclubs. Stayed right by the main square (which is absolutely massive), hostel fine and quiet except on the hour when the church bell rings and the fireman plays his bugle (fortunately this stopped between 11pm and 5am). The square was packed even in the evening. We also had a kebab for dinner. Worth getting up early to enjoy the light in the square ... read more
Cathedral in castle grounds

Europe » Poland » Lesser Poland » Auschwitz July 19th 2013

Took the local mini-bus the hour and 40 min journey to Auschwitz, arriving before 10am means that the museum is free. There were already a lot of people there at 8:30am, tour groups as well as independent people. IN fact couldn’t believe the number of people we saw today. The whole experience here was not what I had imagined. I felt moved last year visiting the museum at Hiroshima, I didn’t get the same feelings today, more somber. The camp at Auschwitz is surprisingly intact, 28 or so large brick buildings, today was a lovely sunny day and they are set in lawns with nice trees, all oddly pleasant. Very hard to picture the horror that went on. The museum is well laid out with exhibitions in the various buildings. There were a few personal stories ... read more
Birkenau




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