Thursday, 22 January 2015

Nie Mowie Po Polsku...

Four days in Krakow travel diary.

Day one: Had an early flight at 6:45am from our local airport which was bustling. The flight was short but sweet and then we had to get into a taxi to the main strip in Krakow. Strolling through Cloth Hall in the main square showed how much amber stones were used within Poland in jewellery. I bought a particularly cute turtle ring with an amber shell. We purchased Polish style dumplings and cider for lunch, eating outside in the square. Since this was meant to be a cheap trip we stayed in a hostel which was next to the train line and the what's left of the Jewish area, called Kazimierz. Here we found a synagogue and near there we spotted a restaurant called 'Hamsa'... Make hummus, not war in our mezza restaurant.

Day two: The day we ventured to Auschwitz. Meeting my Grandparents there, one of which is a Holocaust survivor. Our driver told us "Living is like a swimming pool, living in Poland is the same but the water is jelly. Everything is harder." We met the Grandparents and their group at Auschwitz Birkenau, they arrived holding an Israeli flag and playing music. We stopped at the women's dorms where thirty women slept on bunk beds, three to a bed. My Grandfather spoke about his experiences here, telling us his story within the place where the monstrosities occurred. After we walked to Aushcwitz One, the work camp, where my other Grandfather was kept. We walked through rooms displaying the hair, shoes and bags of the victims within the camps. We ended the emotionally exhausting day in the crematorium discussing what we have seen and felt today.

Day three: Wawel castle day but we only went to three exhibits: The Lost Wawel, The State Rooms and The Dragon's Den. The latter being a cave with a spiral staircase leading underground.

The rest of the day was spent buying souvenirs and then we attended a Klezmzer-Hois restaurant for dinner. They had live music and 'traditional' Jewish food which was situated within the Jewish quarter. One dish claimed to be 'Jewish caviar', not sure what that is but okay...
After we finished the day at a beer garden where we drank some cocktails.

Day four: Had a breakfast made by the hostel which for the price as actually quite nice and left for the airport. I purchased some watermelon and mint vodka. Then we left Poland, we didn't manage to see the salt mines so another visit will definitely be on the cards!

I would recommend a visit to Krakow,

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