Day 07: Auschwitz and Birkenau (Jun 2018)

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Europe » Poland
June 15th 2018
Published: March 17th 2019
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Friday, 15th June 2018

From Krakow, we took a 2-hour bus ride to the Auschwitz and Birkenau Concentration Camps and arrived in good time for our admission. There was no cost to enter the premises as long as we had a reserved ticket. When we visited, there were plenty of free shuttle buses which could bring us to the Birkenau Camp in the afternoon.

Auschwitz functioned as a work camp that housed mainly Jewish and some Polish prisoners in the Second World War. There were rows and rows of red-brick buildings that doubled up as sleeping barracks for the prisoners and offices for the SS Officers. In my opinion, our visit wasn't as overwhelming as expected since we had visited the Dachau Concentration Camp the year before. Nevertheless, the exhibits were chilling to a certain extent. There was a chamber full of children's shoes and another full of spectacles belonging to the victims.

Birkenau on the other hand is a death camp. For many of the Jewish victims, this was where they met their fate soon upon arrival at the train station. Those too sick, too young and too old to work were marched straight to the gas chambers to be exterminated. We probably spent about 5 hours at both camps including lunch. This was sufficient for us to cover most of the sites and the most important artefacts.

Back at Krakow in the evening, we headed to Milkbar Tomasza for our early dinner. This is a modernised version of a traditional Milkbar where staffs spoke great English, service was good and the food was decent for the prices we paid. To be fair, we also passed by Bar Mleczny, a more traditional version that is closer to a typical Milkbar in Poland.

Indeed, the food smelled really great and authentic over at Mleczny.

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