Two of ‘the lucky few’ are sitting in a complimentary cave car park, in Slovakia. The cave ‘Harmanecka Jaskyna‘ is just up the track behind us, it ‘apparently’ takes 40-45 minuets to hike up there. We’ll see about that tomorrow morning. Time to rewind.
On to a subject I’ve been avoiding, Auschwitz. Auschwitz-Birkenau, unlike Treblinka, is set in a town, the little town of Oswiecim (that name should have an ‘s’ with an acute line and a ‘e’ with a tail, but my editor has neither). During occupation, the town and surrounding areas was evacuated of all the locals, so there’s no chance of any of the locals knowing any of what went on there.
We decided to park in the car park opposite the main gate, half a dozen MoHo’s were already in there and the rest of the car park was full of cars.Overnight parking 40 Zloty (£8) no EHU, showers cost a further £2, guess we will be using our on-board facilities then.
In order to obtain a ticket to Auschwitz Museum, you must either book on-line, or turn up on the day, queue up with everyone else (which could take an hour) then return when your guided tour starts. Auschwitz Museum itself is free to enter, but guided tours are very popular and include a connecting coach ride and tour of the death camp, Birkenau. At 90 Zloty (£19) per person, it’s not cheap by Polish standards, but the tour guide was very good and the whole tour took about 3 hours.
I was first in line the next morning at the ticket office at 08:00, out tour in English starts at 10:30. There were coaches spilling tourists out, into the car park already, this could be a difficult day.
I don’t want to dwell too long on the Auschwitz Museum experience, it’s the kind of experience that’s very much unique to the individual. But I can say, our guide was excellent, how on earth she does that tour twice a day without going mad, we have no idea. There were loads of tourists, we were expecting that, Brits statistically top of the visitor tables but, with a little courtesy, we all got to see the ‘pertinent’ parts. The day was not an easy experience at all, but in hind-sight, we are glad we visited.
Let’s hope humans can show a little more tolerance of each other in the future and this kind of hideous behaviour never happens again.
Krakow charming little town and home to the factory of one Mr Oscar Schindler. A legend of the WW2 era, after saving so many Jewish lives, of course, re-told in the film ‘Schindler’s list’. His original metal enamelling factory is now a museum and took a bit of finding as it’s well out of the centre and we were grateful of our bikes. Inside the museum you were taken on a journey from pre-war, to post-war. Each year an event unfolding as you walked around. To be honest, very little of the museum was focused on Mr Schindler.
Krakow itself, like many other towns and city’s in Poland, has an old town at it’s centre, with other newer bits bolted on., most of which are in the process of being renewed again today. It’s all looking very hopeful, the future’s bright!
n50.026380 e19.20008 Car park opposite Auschwitz Museum. 40pln (£8)
n50.046686 e19.903025 Camping Adam 96pln pn (£18)