Monday, 19 May 2014

Auschwitz Concentration Camp

It has been lot written, said, and heard about Holocaust at Oswiecim Concentration Camp in Poland. As the political leaders and institutions vow not see such atrocities repeated, Yet, we are astonished with pictures of Genocide from Rwanda, and former Yugoslavia. 

Our trip towards Auschwitz started with mixed reactions, two of our friends were reluctant to visit as they could not carry the heavy emotions back from there.

Tour operators and agent's flock leaflets across Krakow, starting with tourist information office, Hostels, to Cafeterias, We took our local friend advise to board on transport from Krakow Glowny (Main Station), she suggested it should take us 5-6 hours to and fro from the destination.

At Krakow Central bus station friendly clerk at desk handed us 12PLN single ticket, and advice on how to get in there and return. We knew, first English guided tour starts at 10:30am from Auschwitz Memorial and museum web page, As we were waiting for 8:30am bus, I thought of taking bite of sandwich prepared fresh in the morning by my friend Angel while stepping down the stairs to catch bus from basement level of depot.

By 10:20am we reached the main museum building, The entrance is free but I knew it would be worthless going in without learning from escorted guide as the area is vast, we deposited 40 PLN (Polish Zloty) guide fees in return we were given headphones to follow our museum guide.

It was early February, as we entered my hand's were getting freezing cold, I had to reach out for my gloves so did the rest of us. I have came across many guide's, coaches, but this guide look serious, humble showing empathy towards museum, I can see frown faces, speechless emotions, finger on lips or either hands locked among the group while listening transmitted voice through headphones of our guide, as she was taking us to various blocks of Auschwitz -I
Photographs taken at Museum
The museum exhibits on how prisoners were transported in from various cities by cargo trains, many times straight to Gas chambers, 
Above Empty Cans, containing Zyclone B, used for killing in Gas Chambers, Prisoners most of them who had no clue, what is going to unfold next, had to quietly give away carried belongings upon given order's, Suitcase's, Shoes, Toys, gold tooth among many even their hairs were been shaved off so can be used to sell away.

Polish photographer Wilhelm Brasse have estimated to have taken 40,000 to 50,000 identity pictures from 1940 until 1945 as a prisoner in Auschwitz during world war II. His works are displayed at Auschwitz-Birkenau State museum and at Yad Vashem. 

Death wall were executions carried out by firing squad; with heavy weight of emotions and silence, we proceeded slowly back towards the entrance, our guide gave us 30 minutes break pointing us to free shuttle Bus stop towards Birkenau, She said we will continue from there on.. 

Birkenau is larger in size than Auschwitz, Most of us in group had five to six layers of clothes on us, yet the cold was unbearable some one said it's 5.C but the blowing wind across left us shivering, holding tight on to our gloves with fits closed and hands folded. It was then we realised what pain must have been for the prisoners, who were sleeping tight to each other in a confined area.
As we walked towards Gas Chambers, hairs on my forearm raised upright, it was not because of freezing wind, but the terrified shaking soul telling me you are walking on a ground where once thousands have lost their life's .

Model of Gas Chamber (on left) on Right Memorial at Birkenau
I hold my hand's tighter to Angel, as she was about to break, we followed the rail tracks back towards the main gate of Birkenau, thinking deep raised by many questions which I knew even the guide won't help, we have forgotten our sandwich, drinking water won't help either, taking deep breath we gathered ourself thanking to our museum guide, and praying not to come across such atrocity again.

With deep emotions, I leave a short video below, please excuse my friend's shaking hands terrified by winds and emotional eyes.

If your Planning to visit other cities then you may also like to read Cost of Living in Poland          

Thursday, 10 April 2014

Where is Katowice

An hour and half distance from Krakow and Cieszyn (Border with Czech Republic) further 4 hours away from Capital Warsaw. Katowice is largest Upper Silesian city in Poland. I have spend six Months in this City as an Erasmus Exchange student at University of Economics. The city has given me lot in terms of Education, Culture know-how and most importantly friends to cheer around Europe, Latin America and Asia. As usual I made Katowice as my hub to catch nearby destinations around Poland,Scandinavian nations and far East Europe to Romania and Bulgaria. One of the most amazing thing of Katowice is it's Airport which offer's cheapest flying option in and out of City.

Katowice is more known as an Industrial city pooling in IT and host to business and Trade fair events rather than a Tourist Destination, Don't expect to find Castle's, landscapes, beaches or archaeological landmarks, compared to it's neighbouring cities Krakow, Worclaw, Gdansk, and Warsaw. That's the reason I have to come up with the title Where is Katowice?..

Saturday, 28 December 2013

Warszawa Hostel

Hostel Apiano was our choice made, We logged in through their website and emailed them our preferred choice of Double room.
After couple of hours we got confirmation on the availability of the room along withit facilities to expect, and a link for our payment of 150 PLN around 33€ for night, as mentioned on their web page.

Double Room at Apiano Hostel
We arrived early morning at 7:30, Receptionist work schedules from 8:00am untill 10:00pm, since the check in time was at 14:00 hours we thought to leave the luggage and come back later, There were enough of leaflets and free guided maps to start with our planned tour of Old town.

Receptionist spoke good English, she helped us to mark the famous landmarks and shortest route to reach Old town Square. She even took my number to let us know if the room was available before checkin time.

What to do in Warsaw

Polish Cities are getting colder as we travel, Moreover me and Angel are excited as we were going to kick start our journey towards Baltic and Scandinavia from here on.

Things to do in Warszawa 
Restored from ashes after being completely destroyed by Nazis during second World War. Today it is largest city and Capital of Poland.

The city looks dynamic with modern sky scrappers, historic monuments and stunning artefacts. 

My vibes towards the city kept changing every hour I crossed, some times bringing in sadness with the amount of monuments, refreshing with the vast parks, comely with the arts and street graffiti.
Mermaid - Symbol of Warsaw City
STOP A - Old Town Square
As usual me and Angel started our walk early morning beating the rest of the tourist, we walked straight towards Mermaid (Symbol of the City).. Ow!! Our excitement didn't last long, she was out of our sight blocked by construction walls. Where Next? Royal castle should be the next catch said Angel, I can understand due to her love for painting's and arts. 
Punting Tip- Free for Visitors on Sunday
Link for Timing's Royal Castle    

Thursday, 26 December 2013

Discount Hotel in Wroclaw

It took us 30 mins by walk from Wroclaw Station to Wroclawski Kompleks Szkoleniowy; a perfect quiet place around the parks and residential area.
Pre-booking was easy with, we immediately received confirmation from the hotel administration on directions and what to expect on facilities.
Check-in was very swift with Mr. Pawal at reception he was kind enough to provide us with city map and mark famous landmark around Wroclaw.
We were escorted by his assistant to our double bed room, which was on fourth floor, unfortunately there was no elevator to lift us up with our heavy backpack.
Beds were nicely made up when we arrived, nice to see a small television, and a working desk, with curiosity I hopped towards window to find out what lies, Yeah I can see tree blocking my view, somewhat nicking up and beyond I can catch a glimpse of park.

Our Room at Wroclawski Kompleks Szkoleniowy
For Budget hackers like us, our next stop was to check out the common kitchen on the floor , I was impressed with space, a decent size of fridge, and dinner table to find, so we don’t have to run with our plates to the Room, enough cutlery’s on shelf, but my only dismay was not to find adequate pots and pans.

Taking sum of everything in need, lastly it was time to take a shower check, I'm usually cynical on this cubicles you don't know what to expect from them on entering. I was happy this time around I didn't have to work too hard to reach on desired temperature felt ease on getting out without being spanked by the walls
WIFI password provided worked well inside the room, we found couple of chairs in the corridor to relax, and a no smoking sign around.
This hotel is best suited for business Travellers and backpackers, Hotel also offer’s conference rooms and banquet halls for events. I usually prefer budget hostels or cheap hotels with breakfast included, but it was not the case with Wroclakwski Kompleks Szkoleniowy. There wasn't any breakfast on offer. The Choice for us was slightly exception due to its location and affodability.
We paid 22€ for night, which we thought was the best price, after running through other offers provided online.
"The Review mentioned is my sole Opinion, I wasn't been paid or lured in anyway to write this"

Contact Details:- 
Wroclakwski Kompleks Szkoleniowy
Sztabowa 100, Krzyki,
Wroclaw 53-310.
With it you may also like to read the Cost of Living in Poland-  Click8