Kraków

After a 7 hour bus ride from Warsaw we arrived at the main station in Kraków. It was dark and cold so we decided against trying to figure out public transport and opted for a taxi. We arrived at our hostel which had really good vibes, the staff were friendly and everyone staying there was really nice. We locked our bags up in our 14 person dorm and headed out for dinner. The location of our hostel was perfect as it was a 1 minute walk from the main square. We ended up deciding to have Indian because I have an obsession with garlic naan bread and we were also craving a curry. It was a cheap dinner and absolutely delicious but very spicy. We were pretty tired after our long day of sitting on a bus (lol hard life), so we went back to the hostel and had a drink at the bar then headed for bed. We had a pretty bad sleep as a result of three boys that obviously had never heard of hostel courtesy, coming in the room at 12am, 2am and 4am and turning the lights on every time, talking loudly as if no one was asleep. The next day we woke up at 7am to watch the AFL grand final. We went to a pub in the main square that was surprisingly full of Aussies and serving beer (to Sams great pleasure). The game itself was quiet a let down but it was nice being surrounded by familiar accents. After the game we went for a bit of an explore around town, it is a beautiful place and hardly any of it was affected by WWII as the nazis occupied the area. That afternoon Sam wasn’t feeling too well with a really high temperature and a bad headache so we had an afternoon nap. Once he was rested enough we went and got a sandwich and had a drink at a bar on the square. That night we did the pub crawl that was put on by our hostel. The first hour was unlimited free alcohol of any kind, we played “slappy cup” – I’d love to explain it to you but I never really got my head around the rules – and another game called vodka roulette which is just a whole bunch of shots full of either water or vodka and you spin the bottle… I’m sure you can imagine how that ended. We went to three bars and that’s all I really remember.

The beautiful Main Square.
The beautiful Main Square.

The next day we went to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration camp. Seeing this place was the main reason that we traveled through Poland. It’s a chilling site and I found it hard to actually comprehend the amount of innocent people that were treated in such a horrifying way. A lot of the area was burnt and destroyed by the nazis as the camps were being liberated and they attempted to hide the evidence of the genocide that they had committed, but there are still remains of the terrible history that will forever be a memory of the inhumane ways that people were treated. The tour went for 7hours including transport, so by the time we got back it was dark and we were both still processing the concentration camp. We ate dinner quietly, occasionally discussing the horrible things we had seen, both agreeing it was so hard to imagine such cruelty and appreciating how lucky we were to not have been born in a time of such brutality.

The memorial plaque at Birkenau.
The memorial plaque at Birkenau.
"Death Gate" at Birkenau.
“Death Gate” at Birkenau.

We went back to the hostel and had a few drinks with some people we’d met the night before and then headed to bed. The next day we packed our bags and headed for the bus stop, next stop – Budapest, Hungary. Xx

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Kraków

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