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Published: April 19th 2019
The journey from Berlin to Krakow was long . @ 8 hours including stops along the way . Between "Under the influence e " episodes and one "Ideas "The time went quickly . Stops every 2 hours , an interesting countryside , and several wèe naps made it pretty easy . PODCASTS REALLY ARE a good idea when travelling .
The countryside was interesting . The fields were at various stages . Some newly plowed but others seem to have been growing for at least a month ... Not sure what they were. There was a lot of forested land and there were always fences in those areas ..
I saw a deer and I understand there are bears , wolves and foxes that live there as s well .
The roads are very good . Mostly toll roads . In one section they were renewing one side . There was large chunks of concrete piled where it had been dug and working slowly a machine moved grinding it up and depositing it in the road bed . Recycling is a wonderful thing . There were many windmills for power and in many area I saw several fields of solar panels . This morning it was nuclear power plants.
It was cold when we are as in Krakow but Omut , 9our guide took us on a walking tour around the city walls and into the main square where one finds St Mary,,s Cathedral , the Cloth House and City Hall Tower. These buildings are centuries old and quite ,magnificent. . Built of brick with wonderful arcades and arches they are eextremely proud buildings . The market square here is the largest in Europe. My first meal in Poland started with saurtkraut soup , interesting flavour, followed by lamb perogies with a mushroom sauce . Of course I washed it down with a beer ...A wheat beer that was good.
Day 2 we wandered in the old city and in and around the Wawel complex. A castle , a church with many chapels tacked on by different kings. The grounds were worth the visit . Wonderful magnolia trees were in bloom as were beds of tulips , daffodils , hyacinthes and p ansies.
At 11am we went out to Auschwitz-Birkenau . It is over an hour outside of the city ...far enough in the countryside that people wouldn't come upon it accidentally . It had been a Polish Army Camp and was quite handsome . Many barracks built of red brick all looking lovely . I am not sure how many soldiers lived in them but when it a camp for prisoners there were700 people in each. . Until 1942 it held prisoners of war from Poland along with Roma , and other ethnic groups . They were used as labour I the Farber factory ...untilthey died . The JEWISH prisoners did not start arrivi g u til 1942 and they arrived from all over Europe. That is when they built Berkinau and became extermination camps . What was done to those who arrived there is beyond belief.
It was hard to reconcile the beauty of that setting today with the horrors that happened in those buildings .
One of the women in the group spoke of a book "The Tattooist of Auschwitz " which I will have to read at home
That evening I was able to go to a concert by the Krakow Chamber Orchestra in StPeter an Paul Church . An amazing group of musician's playing classics of Chopin , Vivaldi , Saint Saen , ...a great evening.
Day three I dedicated to Jewish Krakow . That quarter has lived through many I incarnations. Our guide was very knowledgeable and happy to share that knowledge.
Later that afternoon we made a journey out to a salt mine . In stages we went down 400 steps and at each level we found statuary and exhibits of miners at work . It was interesting and fortunately there was an elevator up but I think it was overpriced . It is the Easter holiday season and Omut says prices are higher . Oh well.
Enough for now . I am surprised no one commented on the last post . Do keep in touch .
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