Poland · 5 Days · 27 Moments · July 2016

Louise's odyssey through Poland

14 July 2016

Had a brilliant time and look forward to coming back in the future. X
We stopped for a final Tyskie Beet and Pizza before heading into the airport for our journey home.
Whilst in Kraków one of the locals had told us about a disused quarry in the middle of the city. The pictures he had shown is online we beautiful but still didn't prepare me for the sight we saw when we arrived. There were people swimming and jumping in from the cliff face. Not recommend I'm sure as it was fenced off all the way round unfortunately the fence had quite a few holes which allowed for some good picture stops. A scuba diving club operate from here and apparently there's a double decker bus on the bottom that can be investigated when scuba diving.
This morning I took a few more pictures of the hotel and made the most of the rest of our time there. The pictures of the bed is of the apartment in the hotel which is located in the turret the room was lovely but then we really liked the room we had stayed in too.

13 July 2016

I was desperate for a ride in a horse dream carriage. The horses were decorated in their finery and were driven by smartly dressed young ladies and men. The ride took us around the whole of the square and through the old town of Kraków, past the palace and back again. It was brilliant.....
It was a super day but considering we had an hour and a half drive back to the hotel at around 10pm we decided it was best to call it a night. Sweet dreams Kraków.
Kraków as a city was beautiful, the sqaure was huge and is said to be the biggest in Europe. Little bars and restaurants were dotted around the outside whilst lots of activity was happening in the middle, music, horse drawn carriages, free tours and street artists.
Following the salt mines we headed into the Centre of Kraków. We managed to find somewhere to park conveniently next door to a restaurant called Il Calzone and as we were both hungry decided to stop for a bite to eat before finding the main square.
We decided to go and visit the Salt Mines just south of the city of Kraków. Many people had recommended these. I have to agree they were a frat of engineering but the place was way too busy, the equipment old and unreliable. There was always a tour on your tail and you were very close to the one in front making the tour stop start and very rushed. I wouldn't recommend a visit here but I imagine in the quieter months you may get more from the experience.

12 July 2016

My sore ankle. The Polish Mozzies must have thought I was a delicacy. My ankle swelled to double its usual size. Must travel will Deet in future.
We decided that evening to eat in the hotel restaurant. We were both a little unsure of the menu as lots of the choices were not the kind of food we were used to eating. For starter Chris had polish sheep cheese salad served with asparagus and strawberry coulis. I had chicken liver served with a shallot and gooseberry sauce it was lovely. We both played it safe for main course and had pork tenderloin with potato dumplings ( gnocchi) and broccoli. The meat was cooked to perfection.
The following day we relaxed in the gardens. We had had an unintentional lie in. The hotel reception called us at 10:50 to say breakfast was due to finish in 10 minutes and as we hadn't yet been for breakfast would we like room service? What great service. We did get up for breakfast but it was so nice how the staff were still happy to give us time and we never once felt rushed in anyway.

11 July 2016

For dessert we enjoyed an ice cream from an ice cream parlour near where we had parked the car. They only fid 4 flavours and the whole time we were in Katowice they are queuing out of the door and up the street. They had put deckchairs out in the street do you could sit in comfort whilst enjoying your ice cream.
We found a nice bar in Katowice centre to sit in I enjoyed a couple of beers and Chris had what he thought were 2 non alcoholics beer which we later learnt were wheat free not alcohol free lol😬😬
We stopped in the first restaurant we passed as it smelt delicious. We were a little unsure of how things worked but soon after Chris asked for Pork we learnt it was vegetarian only lol.
In the evening we visited Katowice, we struggled a little to find somewhere but stopped when we spotted a little shopping precinct littered with bars.
We then visited to Auschwitz 11 also know as Birkenau. This is the camp you tend to see on documentaries and has the row upon row of barracks where the prisoners slept. The train came right through the camp. After descending the train, for some following a journey that lasted for days with no food or water the prisoners were selected to go Left or Right. The direction they went determined their fate 1.5 million people from all over Europe were executed here in groups of 700-2000 per gas chamber. All were led to believe they were taking a shower and were taken to undressing rooms where they were asked to undress and remember where their things were so they could find them again. They were given soap and then crammed into the "shower room". Poison was dropped into the room through the roof and within 20minutes everyone would have died of suffocation.
This is the poison that was used in the gas chambers hydrogen cyanide in the form of Zyklon B. 5 pieces of this was enough to kill between 700-2000 people. The amount of empty canisters show you the scale of execution that went on here.
Some of the things we saw here really brought home the evil to me. It was so hard to comprehend the scale of what happened and being herded round in groups with the constant drone of the guide speaking to you through the headphones didn't always give you the reflection time needed. This place really did see some incompressible evil. The quote on the wall stands true " those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat the mistakes" Let's hope all these people visiting take this away with them today to try and make this world a better place.
This is Auschwitz 1 the first of the camps that was built for genocide. It was here the experiments were carried out on women and the first group of people were sent to the "showers" ..... It was deemed inefficient and larger buildings were built at the Birkenau site - Auschwitz 11.
So we finally arrived at Auschwitz for our tour. What I didn't realise is there were 3 sites. Auschwitz 1, Auschwitz 11 which is also know as Birkenau and Auschwitz 111.
Following breakfast we had a stroll on the banks of the lake. It was lovely to see so many people out on bikes and fishing. The lake is beautiful and we plan to hire a sailing boat later in the week.
Breakfast eras lovely, Chris certainly ate his share of the salmon and enjoyed scrambled egg and Han whilst I had a ham omelette. The breakfasts selection was lovely and kept us going throughout the day.

10 July 2016

We had a few drinks in the bar before settling in for the night in preparation for our tour at Auschwitz.
The hotel is stunning it's a 16th century hunting lodge located 2km away from the road in its own forest on the banks of a beautiful lake. The pictures don't do it justice it's stunning.
So after around a 2 hour trip from the airport we finally arrived at the hotel. We tried to avoid the toll road unsuccessfully and ended up having to pay anyway.
Woke up early this morning just having a snuggle with this little lady before I get up and pack. Yes that's right we fly this afternoon and I haven't even got my case out of the loft. Organised as ever!!😝