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Friday, 28 September 2012

Crack-whore








Visiting Poland has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. I have always been interested in the rich history surrounding Poland, particularly during the World War Two era, and I have always felt that Poland had a certain mystic, that made it an intriguing and alluring location- at least to me.





















I could not have been more thrilled when George mentioned Poland as one of our destinations. A month later, I was packing my carry on bag and setting the alarm for 2.30 am to make the infamous 6 am, 30 pound flight. At 5 45 am, running to Gate 44, I briefly wondered if perhaps paying an extra 20 pounds for a 10 am flight would have been a better idea after all. Regardless, we made the flight with seconds to spare and bid London farewell for the next wee while.


It is a peculiar feeling when you land into a different country with little knowledge of what it will be like. As we hit the runway of Krakow and looked out our windows, it struck me how quiet and eeree Krakow looked. To be honest, landing in Krakow reminded me of New Zealand- you literally land into a paddock of grass on what looks like a worn road. 


As I took my first breath of Polish air, I felt excited, but nervous that Krakow would not live up to my expectations. Luckily for me, it ended up exceeding them.


Georgina and I chose to stay at a hostel called Greg and Tom's Party House. If you have been to Krakow, then I am sure you will have heard about it and its wild ways. In considering you, my readers, I will spare you from the drunken shenanighans that occurred at Greg and Toms, I am sure you can imagine what the outcome of shots of vodka on two hours sleep will do to a person. 











Before vodka...




During vodka..






Heading out on the town!




But never fear, unlike the typical Australian tourist, Georgina and I were determined to make the most of our time in Krakow and did what we do best. Got lost. We literally spent a day walking around the magical city, stopping for the occasional snack and drink. 


One big touristy thing that I wanted to do was visit Aushwitz Camp.  As a history geek student, I have always been interested in World War Two and specifically the Nazi regime. Looking back, I almost think that I loved learning about World War Two because I really could not quite believe what I read or was told, regarding the camps and the Jews. Even as a University Student, studying genocide and the Nuremberg Trials, my mind protected me from really connecting the dots and accepting that these events occurred only a life time ago. Not hundreds of years ago where, perhaps it would be easier to deal with, but in my grandparent's life time. 68 years ago. 


















































Aushwitz was a reality check. It was interesting, heart breaking and bone chilling all at the same time. I won't say anymore. I don't need to. Nothing I can write will be able to accurately reflect what it is truly like. I'm sure each person who visits has a different experience and connection. I would certainly recommend it. I think it is important to do such things so that you do actually realise that these events in history actually happened.  

Krakow has a lot to offer as a city and each street is like a picture from a children's book.  The culture is encapsulating, and somehow, I'm not even sure how, you manage to communicate with people who do not speak a word of English, through a series of hand gestures.  The food is cheap, the city beautiful and the people welcoming. 


Krakow gets a big thumbs up from this girl.


After bidding Krakow farewell, it was time to hop on a night train to begin our ten hour journey to Prague... that in itself was its own wee adventure...
















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