Lessons in modern history
01.07.2007 - 09.07.2007
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The last 10 days has seen a big change in our travels. We´ve left the sun and sea of Croatia behind and have been to 3 of central Europe´s amazing cities. Thoughts and experiences on each below;
Krakow is a beautiful and quaint town and its not suprising that the number of tourists visiting this place has exploded in recent years. It also has a very sombre past.
We did a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau about 60km away, which was as depressing as you would imagine it to be. When we first arrived I was able to slightly remove myself from the place when were just looking at lots of buildings in the camp, however when we entered into the building that is now part of the museum that displays the personal items of the victims it really did highlight the reality of the situation and I was left with a sick feeling in my stomach for the remainder of the tour.
We also did a bike tour of the town of Krakow itself. This included about 13km of riding on flat ground, so was pretty easy and was a great way to see everything including all the main sites of the town, the jewish ghetto and cemetary and Oskar Schindlers factory (that the movie Schindler´s List was based on).
Prague is beautiful and has a great vibrant feeling to it. Unless your into museum´s (which we aren´t) there is not too much touristy stuff to do, so it was good to spend a few days wandering about and taking in the buzz of the city.
We had a very interesting train journey from Krakow to Prague. We had settled into the cabin that we had all to ourselves for the first 2hrs of the journey, until finally the luxury was over and we had to share with others. We couldn´t believe our luck on public transport could get any funnier than kicking a nun out of our seats.....but this one does compete. We were joined by a family who looked like they were going on a Griswalds holiday, complete with the family dog and rat. I´m sure you will all have a little chuckle of this pic that Scott slyly took of me with the dog seated comfortably next to me on the train. (I wouldn´t have mind so much if it didn´t smell like wet dog.....yuk).
The constantly evolving city. I was in Berlin 5 years ago and can´t believe how much it has changed since then. I´m sure if I came back in just 2 years it would have changed again still. Berlin has such a massive history I´m sure you could spend years here and still be trying to understand it all. In our attempt to learn and take in as much as we could we did an 8 hour walking tour of the city, which was extremely interesting, though probably would have been slightly more pleasant if it hadn´t of rained for the majority of the day. (That umbrella we bought in Barcelona on our first stop is still getting a work-out. By far the best €6 we´ve spent on our trip).
Tonight we fly to Copenhagen to start the last leg of this tour - Scandinavia and Russia (we are loving the cheap flights on offer over here, makes getting a train seem stupid).