Sunday, November 4, 2018


i woke up early, walked in the wrong direction for about a mile, and then turned back around and made my way to auschwitz.

everyone knows of aushchwitz, but it is not common knowledge that the camp next door, auschwitz  II-birkenau, was a concentration and extermination camp while auschwitz was the original and smaller concentration camp. about 1.3 people were sent with 1.1 of those people died; 90% were jews. the complex was the largest concentration camp of the nazi regime.

'work sets you free'

the barracks. some of these have exhibits inside.

the uniforms.

there are several rooms that show the collection of belongings that nazis kept when people were being forced into the camps. some these rooms include luggage, kitchenware, and even hair. the room full of human hair that was collected when prisoners were forced to have their heads shaved. this is one of the rooms where photos are not allowed. when the camps were liberated, 8.5 tons of human hair were found.

shoes that were collected. this photo cannot capture all the shoes. at least 2 additional photos would be needed to capture all the shoes.

an inner courtyard where executions occurred.

one of the watch towers.

the washroom

the doctor's office.

the big crematoriums were at birkenau, but this is one of the smaller ones at auschwitz.

quickly there were crowds because there were so many tours going on at the same time. it was hard to move around inside the buildings because of the narrow corridors. i decided to leave the site and  made my way via shuttle to the auschwitz II-birkenau camp which was a couple miles away. birkenau was actually the larger camp and is where most people died. it is also where people arrived and were sorted. most of birkenau is an outdoor museum.

the original train tracks leading to the entrance

there are no standing crematoriums in birkenau. when things went downhill with the nazis, the crematoriums were destroyed, but their ruins still remain.

what is left of one of the crematoriums at birkenau

i picked up my luggage, and made my way to the station. i already pre-booked train tickets back to krakow, but did not want waste anymore time, so i bought an earlier ticket. i was proud of myself for successfully buying my own ticket with the language barrier. luckily, there was a more modern train to take me back to krakow.

this is the town station. it definitely looks soviet era.

because i had more time to krakow, i decided to once again just walk up and down the streets in old town after i checked back in my hostel and drop my backpack off. like i said before, old town is pretty large.

part of the old town wall.

the town hall tower

i did not plan on going inside the town hall tower, but it was open and free. man, am i glad i did. the views were so pretty at the top. the tower is from the 1300s and actually leans 55 cm. supposedly this do to some crazy wind from 1703.

the staircase leading up. 

so pretty.

my mug.

after i went to a polish ceramaic store (a popular export out of poland) and went back to the restaurant i visited the night before. this time i ordered a pork stew along with some peppermint tea. i then called it a night.

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now for the hostel. even though i had a rough start, i still enjoyed this hostel. up to this point i was spoiled with how well the hostel workers knew english. this was the one place where language was a bit more difficult. it tended to be that the night staff did not know very much english. the rooms were nice and there were quite a few showers, which i appreciated. also, the rooms had a wonderful view looking the old town. literally across the street was the old wall.

my room. i had the bottom bunk.