Krakow, Auschwitz and a Small Detour!

After leaving Wroclaw I headed to Krakow on a train with small compartments like you see on films which was really cool! I had no accommodation sorted due to not being able to find a host on couch surfing but found a really good hostel that worked out at £5 a night. This would be my home for the rest of my stay in Poland. I was sleeping in a dormitory and started talking to a nice Australian girl and we planned to visit Auschwitz together. Krakow itself was very touristy but full of some really interesting buildings and bars – especially in the Jewish quarter. I have heard the name Auschwitz many times before and I wasn’t sure how my trip there would be. The site of Auschwitz has been made into a series of exhibitions with a different theme in each building. Walking around I couldn’t help becoming numbed by all of the information I was taking in, especially on top of all the exhibitions I visited in Germany. The things I saw and read were so unbelievable that I just could not begin comprehend what happened there. Birkenau located just around the corner from Auschwitz was the killing ground for over 1.5 million Jews. The site is huge and took hours to walk around, the weather was really good and it was eerily peaceful there. I came away feeling completely drained emotionally. I also visited a salt mine which was something really different! The mine is hundreds of years old and has 20,000 chambers of which I only managed to visited 19! Each chamber had a set of elaborate salt sculptures carved by the miners. The highlight was a huge underground chapel with every detail carved from salt – even the chandeliers! I decided to ‘pop back’ to Cardiff to see a girl called Rosie who I love dearly and though I should tell as much. It is good to be back in the UK for a bit but unfortunately I have been very ill since returning and could not eat or get out of bed for two days! The worst bit about it is that I think it was a take away in Cardiff that did it. I am starting to feel a little better today and have booked a flight to Budapest for next Wednesday. More updates to come when I continue my trip!