Sunday, June 23, 2013

Weekend Trips

"Work will set you free"

The sign above, hangs above then entryway to the former concentration camp, Auschwitz. Located an hour outside of Krakow, every year over a million tourists make the trek to Auschwitz to pay their respects and learn more about the tragedies that occurred here. The sign that can be seen in the above photo is not the original sign, the original sign was stolen in 2009. 

Birkenau Camp
 The sign has since been found, but it was cut into three pieces so that it could be transported out of the former army barracks with ease. 

The trip to Auschwitz was one of the main reasons my friend came to visit Poland, it was very interesting, but mentally exhausting. I think the exhaustion had three factors, the heat, the length of the tour and the sheer amount of people there.
There were not many rules inside Auschwitz, be respectful (a given) and no photos of certain items. The certain items included human hair remains, the piles of shoes and the actual death chambers. The amount of people that blatantly disregarded that rules was insane, I don't understand why you would want a photo of the hair or the gas chambers. When you get home from Poland, those aren't the kind of photos your friends are going to want to look at.

It was a short time my friend and I spent in Poland, not even a full weekend, but we managed to cram all the things I told her we need to do.

  • Eat Polish sausages
  • Auschwitz
  • Drink at the Good Bye Lenin
  • Eat a Zapiekanka
  • Go to a 4 zloty bar
Now she is on a flight back to Australia and I have that sinking realisation that it will be a long time before I see anyone from Australia again. 


The weekend before I went to Krakow, I went to Brno. Brno is the second largest city in both land size and population in the Czech Republic, it is very pretty but very quiet. It could be the time of year I visited though, because it is a very large university town and university is out for the summer. 

If you ever head to Brno, stay at the Ruta 80 hostel - it's a funky little tribute to the 80's. 

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