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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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Berlin Day 1 & 2

English version :

I’ve been in Berlin for almost 2 full days now and have already done some serious sightseeing. Yesterday I didn’t do much since I went to Hugh’s concert but today I visited quite a lot.

So ,let’s see, I went to Olympia Stadion ,the Olympic Stadium built during the Nazi Regime for the Olympic Games in 1936. I also went to Spandau area but sadly couldn’t find the place where Spandau prison once stood because I forgot to look for the name of the street haha but Spandau is a nice place, I liked it ! Then I went to the beginning of 17 Juni boulevard and walked its whole length to Brandenburg and from then on to Wilhelmstrasse where I actually ate turkish food right across the street from the place where Hitler’s New Reichchancellory was ,on the corner of Wilhelmstrasse with VossStrasse. Then I went on to gaze at what used to be Gorings Aviation Ministry ,now Finance Ministry. That building is fucking HUGE but I kinda’ like it, it’s sorta’ simple yet elegant. Right across the street is the remaining part of the Berlin Wall and the remains of the Gestapo and SS quarters where there’s an exhibition thing that I don’t know the name of right now, something with terror. After that I went on to Friedrichstrasse and Checkpoint Charlie , walked a little on the street, drank a hot chocolate at Starbucks then went back on some other streets to Brandenburg and then the Reichstag where I took pictures, had a beer and watched the sunset. After that I went to the hotel.

It was a lovely day , I am quite fond of Berlin already, I like it and if u happen to like history then there are certainly things to see . I’m just sad that 90% of the stuff belonging to the Nazi period have been demolished because it was a fascinating period  and it’s kinda’ stupid that the communism related stuff are all used as bait for tourists yet all the nazi stuff that tourists would also pay to come and see were destroyed when they were just objects. Oh well….

Tomorrow I plan to go see the Flak Tower , I hope I can get tickets for the tour and in the morning I gotta’ go shopping….I hate shopping !

Romana :

Am avut o zi plina , prima zi petrecuta in intregime in Berlin si prima in care am vizitat. Am fost in Spandau dar n-am gasit locul fostei inchisori pt ca am uitat sa ma uit sa vad cum se chema strada haha dar a fost frumos, e o zona interesanta si am vazut citadela. Apoi am mers la Stadionul Olimpic unde m-am asezat la soare pe o banca vreo 15 minute . Apoi am plecat spre centru si am mers la capatul bulevardului 17 Iunie si am mers destul de mult pana la celalalt capat unde e si Poarta Brandenburg. Mi-a placut plimbarea totusi pentru ca bulevardul asta e inconjurat de Tiergarten ,parcul mare al Berlinului , mi s-a parut interesant. Inainte de Brandenburg e si monumentul sovietic ridicat dupa razboi…foarte interesant, mi-a placut si ala. E frumoasa si Poarta Brandenburg si zona din jur, chiar mai frumos decat ma asteptam , destui turisti, soare, cald, atmosfera. Apoi am mers pe Wilhelmstrasse, unde era centrul puterii pana dupa al 2lea Razboi Mondial si unde era si Noua Cancelarie a lui Hitler. Acum n-a mai ramas nimic din ea, sunt niste blocuri in locul ei si unde era bunkerul e un teren de joaca . Ceva mai incolo e singura cladire ramasa acolo de pe vremea lui Hitler, fostul minister al aviatiei adica a lui Goring . E o cladire imensa, mie mi s-a parut eleganta, e sobra nu are o arhitectura ostentativa ci simpla si sobra atata ca e URIASA, luuuuuuuuuuuunga, i-am facut vreo 982378573298 de poze haha. Chiar peste drum la intersectie e ce a mai ramas din zidul Berlinului si apoi un fel de expozitie a terorii(ceva de genul ii zice) locul unde era sediul SS/Gestapo.De acolo am mers la Checkpoint Charlie si dupa aia inapoi pe alte strazi spre Brandenburg de unde am mers sa vad si Reichstagul la apus, foarte frumoasa cladire, am baut o bere la o terasa cu vedere si apoi am mers la hotel.

Acu’ poze .

 
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Posted by on 29/04/2011 in random

 

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Exciting trip Day 2 : Hamburg + Hugh Laurie concert

Second day went by fast as well . Spent most of it sightseeing then ,around 5:30 in the afternoon , I went to Cafe Keese to make sure I have a place in front at Hugh Laurie’s first concert .

There I met loads of nice people ,some german, some dutch, an ukrainian, some french , this made waiting in line quite pleasant, it was fun and everyone was really nice and excited but civilized, no crazy people.

Around 7:00pm they let us in and I stood right by the stage, right in front of the microphone ,a few cm’s away and a couple of meters away from the piano….perfect spot ! The concert began at 8pm and Hugh was very good, he sang great, the mood was great and one could tell he is really passionate about his music. The band was wonderful as well, they deserve to get some attention for sure !

The only complaint is that Hugh should be nicer to fans, he just doesn’t seem to care so he rushed out at the end and only gave autographs for a few seconds , mostly to autograph hunters which was totally uncool especially since he had no excuse, there were only a few people around at the exit, none of them scary or crazy or desperate but whatever…I knew he wasn’t very open to his fans.

Pictures from Hamburg and Hugh’s concert. Sorry for the red eyes, I didn’t get to fix them and I couldn’t avoid it since I was really close.

Romana pt mama haha : deja ti-am povestit asa ca mai bine te uiti la poze sa fie tabloul complet ca n-are rost sa mai si scriu. Apasa pe poze sa se faca mari .

 
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Posted by on 29/04/2011 in random

 

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Exciting trip day 1 : Hamburg

So , I finally left on my trip YAY! First day was quite busy. At 6:10 I boarded a plane to Frankfurt then went to the train station and around 9 I was already heading to Hamburg where I arrived around 1pm and I was already out and about around 2:30pm. Went to get a feel of the center (Rathaus area) ,ate and then went to visit the harbour and Speicherstadt. I really liked this part of Hamburg, I spent about 3-4 hours around there, had a beer by the waterfront, walked around a lot ,it was definitely worth seeing.
So far I like Hamburg quite a lot and I saw the sunset by the waterfront in a recreational area around my hotel. Tomorrow I already know what I want to see before I go to Hugh Laurie’s concert !

Here are pictures

Romanian for my mom/pt mama :

Am plecat din Bucuresti la 6:10 cu Lufthansa pana la Frankfurt. De acolo am luat metroul pana la gara si de la gara am luat trenul pana la Hamburg. La 13:00 eram deja la Hamburg ,pana la 14:00 m-am cazat si apoi am plecat in oras.
Cum nu am prea mult timp la dispozitie , am facut un mini tur de forta cu 2 pauze, una de masa si una de bere in port haha.Am incercat la intamplare un carnat si a fost tare bun, imi mai iau asa ca mancarea e buna deocamdata cel putin. De vizitat am vizitat astazi putin centrul (Rathaus si imprejurimi)asa ca sa studiez terenul iar apoi am profitat de vremea buna si m-am dus sa vad portul si Speicherstadt. Mi-a placut tare mult acolo, sunt niste cladiri tare interesante si imi place atmosfera si de pe canale si din port unde e si o faleza pe care te poti plimba. Pe la 20:00 am venit inapoi in zona hotelului unde e o zona de agrement pe malul apei si am stat pe o banca sa vad apusul. Momentul de maxima placere a fost cand i-am vazut pe unii in zona asta de agrement, pe o pajiste, facand gratar dar ei fac gratar civilizat, au niste gratare mici de purtat, exista la capatul zonei verzi inclusiv un container mare in care sa arunci carbunii ,nu ard nimic si nu lasa murdarie.

Maine deja mi-am stabilit traseul, m-am prins ce e unde e
foarte repede, e usor asa ca sper sa vad cat mai mult maine pana ma duc la concert.

Apasa pe poze sa se faca mari

 
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Posted by on 28/04/2011 in random

 

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Back from my vacation + pics

On the 17th of September I left on a 3 week vacation . The first part of the trip consisted of short visits through Jordan,Syria and Lebanon and the second part was all fun and recreation in Egypt’s,Sharm el Sheikh .
Jordan – a beautiful country,they all were, that surprised me because I didn’t expect it to be quite so modern (I’m talking about the capital,Amman). Amman is slowly becoming a quaint city,beautiful buildings and atmosphere,not too crowded except for a few areas,great infrastructure,wonderful people,lots to see and do. The main 2 attractions for me in Jordan were Petra and the Dead Sea and they didn’t disappoint me at all. Petra was fabulous, one of the most amazing places in the whole world and it consists of so much more than that one facade everyone’s seen on tv or in pictures,it’s made up of various remains of different built structures made by the people who built that famous facade and the canyon you walk through to get to all those remains is stunning,full of color and charm. The Dead Sea is a beautiful body of water and it really is *that” salty, you do float and there are rock formations made of salt or rocks covered in salt on the shore (in the water there’s sand on the bottom). Also been to the place where they say Jesus was baptized in the water of the Jordan river and to another religious place I forgot(LOL) . Another great place was the ancient city of Jerash,lots of roman ruins,very nicely kept.
Syria – it has so many places to see,it has lots of history ,like an open air museum. Damascus is the oldest city in the world that was always occupied ,the old part is stunning,the maze of narrow streets and balconies,all the vendors and shops,many people walking around,the minarets,towers,the beautiful arabic style touches on parts of the buildings like the windows and arches ……all incredibly fascinating. I think the funnies part was buying ice-cream from an ice cream place in the old bazar because there’s no organized line,just a huge crowd of people shoving and pushing (but not with true aggressiveness)their way inside the shop ,to the counter and then pushing their way out of the shop with the ice cream over their heads (managed not to drop it btw ! that was a real victory ). We also visited Bosra where there’s a very big roman amphitheater made of dark stone cause of the volcanic past of the region),Maaloula where there are some old churches and it’s the only place where they still learn and speak Aramaic and last but definitely not least on our syrian experience were Palmyra and Crac de Chevaliers which are both very impressive with Palmyra being a big roman city with lots of well preserved stuff . The not fun stuff was staying in the border for 2 hours when we wanted to cross to Lebanon but at least we heard gunshots (less exciting than it sounds,just some idiots trying to smuggle some things out of the country so their car got shot at). Oh and we had the stupidest guide in the history of guides ,he was so stupid it was hard to be mad at him ,we laughed a lot in fact.
Lebanon – I think I am in love with Beirut . We stayed 3 hours in the custom(3 + 2 in the syrian border = 5 so still not my ultimate 7 hour record)and at one point some nice dude from the custom thought I was an artist (cause there apparently is an artist with the same name in their country) so we amused ourselves . Arrived in Beirut late ,around 22:30 or 23:00 and as we approached it along the coastline,the moon was shining brightly over the sea,the city lights could be seen all around ,it was amazing. Beirut is a wonderful city,full of life and joy just like its people. Everyone knows that Lebanon went through lots of turmoil in the past 30 or so years ,the civil war left Beirut in ruins but it rose from the “ashes” and managed to get where it is today even after the 2006 israeli attacks. Today it looks like a future Monaco to be honest. I’m sure there are poor,ugly areas and all that,saw a couple myself but the heart of the city,the more central parts ,the ones where the upper and middle classes live are pretty darn nice as far as I’m concerned and everywhere you look they are still building new and beautiful stuff . Beirut is for the most part pretty similar to mediteranean cities in Europe so u’ll feel right at home there. The people are fascinating,many are pretty european looking,they’re modern and opened,very fun,they know how to enjoy life and live every free moment and they love their country and city.Only stayed for 2 and a half days but I would go there again anytime and probably will go again in the future.
Egypt – 7th time there,only went to Sharm el Sheikh. It was lovely,the hotel was amazing (Hyatt Regency I’m pimping you ) and the Red Sea as warm and inviting as ever. The downside was that I got a bit sick,either an indigestion or a sunstroke or a bit of both (probably a bit of both) so I couldn’t enjoy the sea and fun for 2 days and I wasn’t in top shape during the rest cause of it. In the Egypt album you can see pics of the pyramids ,Cairo(with the Nile) and the Sinai mountains all taken from the plane).

Other than that………still depressed and it is only going to get worse,House sucks big time,never watching again especially since it leaked that Jennifer Morrison is leaving. Will make a post about Heroes and Supernatural cause I’m all over those and they are loads of fun .

Now for pics click on each of the links to the picasa albums

Jordan
Syria
Lebanon
Sharm el Sheikh
 
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Posted by on 06/10/2009 in Uncategorized

 

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