At the start of the year I was feeling very down in the dumps because of Covid (yeah, it’s mentioned again) and my travel plans being all awry and generally just Covid horridness.
I had to work on my birthday which I generally try and not do – especially when they are 12 hour shifts.
I had an awesome evening the day before as I went for dinner with Ken and Jamie and all. Shame I had to work on my birthday though.
As I was mid shift, I had a knock at the door and it was Jason and he came to drop off a card and present for me.
The gift was a trip somewhere in Europe (flights and accommodation) with the Young ‘Un. The rest of work was me thinking of where I (oops, I mean we) could go. Poland is always at the fore of my mind. You may have gleaned from my other posts that I am a Polonophile (for the layman, that is someone who loves Polish tradition and culture and history). I thought this would be perfect for the both of us.
Jason had already been to Warsaw with other friends (they stole that from me. Ha-ha) so I decided that we should go to Krakow as I knew he hadn’t been yet. It would also give him a chance to see Auschwitz and all that it entailed. I felt it was really important that he should see it and read about the horrors that happened there. What I had come to find out later is that it was on his bucket list to visit because he has an interest in WWII.
The time between booking and leaving for the trip seemed to take forever to come around. As soon as we were around a month away, the time seemed to fly by. I told him that he needed to watch Schindler’s List before we went and we watched it the night before we left. If you haven’t seen it, then you should. It is a very insightful film.
You can read about my last trip here.
The trip to the airport and the flight was uneventful – just how we like it. I knew how we were going to get from the airport to the Airbnb and back (thanks to my OCD and anal way of making sure we are never lost).
We got to the airport and had around a 20 minute wait for the bus. We went back into the terminal in the warm to wait.
We got to the main bus station in Krakow and had to try and figure out how we would get from there to the flat. We seemed to go round in circles until the Young ‘Un found us a way out and we headed to the flat. We saw a burger joint that we decided we would go back to once we had dropped our stuff off.
We went back and it was closed. We ended up finding a Żabka and had a hot dog (the first of many this trip). After this, we decided to head to the old town and have a wander before heading back for the night and getting ourselves ready for our Auschwitz trip in the morning.
I also had to make our sandwiches for the trip so had to not stay out too late.
We made sure we went to a supermarket to get our food for the week and for sandwiches for Auschwitz. I took us to the wrong place to catch the tram on the way back and we had to walk further than either of us wanted to. Ha-ha. Do I hear Bucharest all over again!!!
I forgot to mention that I got the single bed that was creaky as anything. If I even breathed too heavy it would creak. I’m not sure how either of us got any sleep the entire week!
Today was an early start for the pick up to Auschwitz. I remember from last time that they do several pickups in the city before heading out to the camps.
I remember picking up a couple of people and then remember waking up as we were approaching Auschwitz. I was so tired. I’m pretty sure Jason had a nap to but don’t hold me to it.
As soon as we got there, it was like all the memories from last time came flooding back. I remember telling Jason about how we did it last time and it seems they had changed it owing to Covid. Last time around the groups got straight through and then to security and then into the camp. The guide that picked us up was the same one who took us around the camps.
This time around, both were different. This time around also we had to go through some disinfection tunnels and then through security and then to meet the guide and pick up our headsets. The guide this trip didn’t seem to rush us around as quick. I think that’s because there weren’t as many people owing to Covid. It was nice to not be rushed. We got to see some blocks that I hadn’t seen last time around. I was hoping that would be the case because I didn’t want Jason to think I was bored as I had seen a lot of it last time (truth be told, I wasn’t bored at all). I took my time going round so that he would too and that he could take in everything that was there and everything that happened there.
I remember explaining Block 11 to him and what it signified and I was hoping he could get to see the tiny cell that housed numerous prisoners as punishment. They didn’t allow us to do this because of Covid.
We were done at this camp in a few hours and then headed back to the bus to go to Auschwitz II. The drive was short and we parked up and headed to meet our guide at the entrance.
Auschwitz II was the offloading ramp for camp selection. One side straight to death and the other put to work. I was impressed at how well and how much Jason was taking in. I didn’t want this to be a wasted trip for him (not that he would as it was a bucket list destination). I’m not sure about him, but I was emotionally drained after it and I was glad to get back to the city.
Below are some pics from today
I decided that since I was in Krakow and close to a pretty cool tram stop (it is called Rondo Mogilskie and it is great from tram watching), I would go there a couple of times and get some tram videos. Below are the videos I got.
We were able to have somewhat of a lie-in before needing to be at the bus station for the airport bus. Thankfully we were pretty au fait with the directions between the bus station and the flat at this point.
We got the bus and got to the airport with time to spare so we just chilled until it was time to board. Again, the flight was fairly uneventful and we managed to get through immigration fairly quick.
We headed back to mine so I could be dropped off and get myself prepared for going back to Stansted in just under 24 hours time. Yeah, I don’t know why I do it to myself either.
I had a really good trip and I was so happy that I could help Jason tick off a bucket list destination.
Total steps: 75,015
Total miles: 37
You can view all of my Auschwitz pics here
You can view all of my Krakow pics here