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On the road again ,day 3 : Auschwitz I & Auschwitz II – Birkenau

Yesterday I went to Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II – Birkenau. This was one of the most fascinating, amazing places I’ve ever visited (and I’ve seen the Pyramids, Petra, most of the popular European capitals,etc). Of course, I am a WWII/Nazi  history enthusiast so I was visiting a place very relevant to my interests but even if you have little idea about the 2nd World War as a whole, it should be an incredible experience !
I am not the very sentimental type and since I’m interested in the history that the place is part of, I looked at it more from a historical point of view than an emotional one but you do feel that you are in a special place, a place where many people lost their lives and suffered and where some of their ashes and remains are mixed with the soil.
It’s probably a good idea to have some knowledge of the place and the war before you go though cause I feel that is the perfect place to learn about respect and equality and the value of each individual and their lives but it can just as well promote hatred towards a group of people (germans alive in the 30s-40s and, thus, part of the Nazi regime and war) which is not fair either because not everyone was a monster. One must learn to only accuse people truly involved and separate them from the rest, otherwise it’s just like racism.
Ok, moving on !
How you get there, you might be wondering ? Well, from Krakow you can take a train or a bus. I would like to advice everyone to go without an organized group,don’t book a day trip, just go on your own, it’s easy . There are 2 places : Auschwitz I (the “Arbeit macht frei” one) and Auschwitz II – Birkenau (the famous train tracks image and the wooden barracks one).
If you take the train (and probably the bus as well but I suggest the train, it’s comfortable) then you get out of the station at Oswiecim and go to the right, you’ll soon see a sign for Auschwitz. You can walk to both Auschwitz I(a little further away) and Auschwitz II – Birkenau(the first one as you leave Oswiecim). If you’re going on your own and want to be free to visit at your own pace ,you should first go to Birkenau(at one point you take a right,there’s a sign,cross a bridge,walk a bit and you’ll see it). Birkenau is HUGE, I spent 4 hours there. It’s ,for me, the most interesting one and the one where you really get a feel of a concentration camp . It’s also quite a beautiful place (aesthetically), it’s all green with trees and grass and open spaces ,the buildings are made of red brick or wood. You can see a lot of things there and just walk around, feel the immensity of the place .
Then you can take the free shuttle that runs every half hour or so, from Birkenau to Auschwitz and back. At Auschwitz I I suggest ,if you go during the summer, to go after 3pm because before 3pm you have to join a guided tour but after 3pm you can walk just as you do in Birkenau. Oh and they are both FREE, it’s all FREE.
Auschwitz I, with its Arbeit Mach Frei sign, is smaller than Birkenau, all the buildings are multiple story red brick structures ,it’s also aesthetically nice, I think they weren’t built by the Nazis(at least not all). Inside some of the buildings there are exhibitions about the HOlocaust and WWII (including the famous hair and confiscated stuff).
Anyway, as I said, it was an amazing experience, everyone should visit it at least once in their life to learn about history and life and the human nature.

Now pictures !

Mai tarziu scriu si in romana

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Posted by on 24/06/2011 in Uncategorized

 

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On the road again : Krakow Day 2

English :

Today, day 2 in Krakow, is/was the 22nd of June. You know what happened on the 22nd of June ? Well, in 1940 France capitulated on the 22nd of June and in 1941 Operation Barbarossa began. Yup, stuff like that ! Apart from that, on the 22nd of June 1987 I was born ,that is the most important event to happen on the 22nd of June. Oh and Meryl Streep was born on the 22nd of June as well. Factbook,that’s what they should call me !

Anyway, today ,for my bday, I walked for about 9 hours straight with 2-3 breaks to have a drink and eat and rest my legs.

I visited the Jewish quarter , Kazimierz(I might be butchering the spelling but Polish is horribly hard, sorry!) ,Schindler’s factory museum ,streets from where I guess the ghetto used to be and the area where the nearby concentration camp was that is now basically an open field/park. Then I ate at a Jewish place back in the Jewish quarter.

Tomorrow if it doesn’t rain I’m going to Auschwitz. Hopefully it will be sunny like today .

Romana :

Azi, a 2a zi in Cracovia, a fost 22 Iunie. Stiti ce s-a intaplat pe 22 Iunie? Pai, de ex, in 1940 Franta a capitulat in fata Germaniei, in 1941 a inceput operatiunea Barbarossa si in 1987 m-am nascut eu ! Da, a fost ziua mea (si a lui Meryl Streep haha) , am aparut si eu pe planeta in 1987.

Eh, azi, de ziua mea, am mers vreo 9 ore aproape non stop cu ceva opriri pentru a ma adapa(cu bere), a manca si a-mi odihnii picioarele putin.
Am fost in cartierul evreiesc, Kazimierz(daca scriu gresit imi pare rau si probabil ca scriu gresit dar e grea limba asta de numai pot), la fabrica lui Schindler, prin zona pe unde cred ca era ghettoul si la fostul lagar de concentrare din apropiere (din care nu a ramas mai nimic, e un loc ca un parc/camp/deal)cu verdeata,carari si vreo cateva monumente pentru cei ce au murit acolo).

Mi-a placut tot ce am vazut, Cracovia are un aer pitoresc si prietenos, cladiri vechi ,unele renovate altele nu dar locul per total ingrijit si numa’bun de plimbat. La fabrica lui Schindler e acum muzeu ce tine de muzeul de istorie si e frumos organizat, inventiv ( e o camera unde pe jos podeaua e cu model….zwastici…mi-a placut maxim haha)

Maine daca e frumos ca azi , ma duc la Auschwitz !

Now pictures/acum poze !

 
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Posted by on 22/06/2011 in Uncategorized

 

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On the road again ! This time….Krakow ,Poland . Day 1

I’m away on a trip again YAY ! This time my destination was Krakow, Poland . This is like my bday present ,my bday is tomorrow, the 22nd and I prefered going on a trip alone than just doing the same thing I do every week at home (aka go out with a couple of friends).
So here I am , in Krakow ,after a very busy first day.
I left BUcharest at 6am when I boarded a LOT flight from Bucharest to Warsaw. This meant I didn’t sleep at all last night since I left home at 4am . Anyway, once in Warsaw I needed to get to the train station so I took the 175 bus from just outside the terminal and this bus passes by the train station (around 20 min from the airport to the train station).At the station I already had a seat reservation and an Interrail pass so I found the platform and waited for the 8:27am train to Zakopane via Krakow. Three hours later I was in Krakow, it was 11:35am.

Couldn’t check in until 2pm so I went and ate in the center, then came to the hotel ,checked in and left my luggage in the room so I could go walk around town comfortably.

I walked for hours on most of the streets that make up the so called Old Town city center. It’s very beautiful ,especially the large main square and the Cathedral. I didn’t go into any museum or anywhere except inside the Cathedral and another Church so I won’t get into details.

Now I bought something to eat and came back to the hotel because I am a bit tired after 30+ hours of no sleep.

Romana

Am plecat iar in excursie ! De data asta destinatia principala e Cracovia , Polonia. Excursia asta e cadoul de ziua mea ,practic si e bine ,am preferat sa merg singura in excursie decat sa stau acasa si sa facem acelasi lucru pe care il fac saptamana de saptamana.

Daca e cineva intersant de datalii tehnice si de organizare …sa va povestesc pe scurt ! Am luat avionul de la Bucuresti la Varsovia. Acolo am luat autobuzul 175 pana la gara centrala de unde trebuia sa iau trenul spre Cracovia. LA 8:27am eram in tren iar la 11:34 eram la Cracovia.

Nu m-am putut instala in camera pana la ora 14:00 asa ca m-am dus sa mananc in centru ,m-am plimbat nitel si m-am intors sa imi iau camera in primire ca sa-mi pot lasa actele si alte chestii ,sa merg mai comfortabil. Asa ca de pe la ora 3 pana pe la 7 m-am plimbat prin centrul vechi. E foarte frumos, mai ales piata centrala si catedrala dar nu intru in detalii ca n-are rost.

Mai multe date maine ! Pana atunci…..poze

 
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Posted by on 21/06/2011 in Uncategorized

 

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