Monday, July 25, 2016

Monday, July 25, 2016

emotional morning and blown away in the afternoon - Wrocław

Posted by Hippo Bean at 10:16 PM
After dachau, i didnt think i'd want to visit another concentration camp. but auschwitz was the most famous one and couldnt be missed. it was actually closed to tourists this week due to the world youth day but we had special pilgrimage license so we got to visit the camp and without hordes of tourists. Walking through the front gates that read Arbeit Macht Frei was an emotional experience. Although the rows of red brick barracks looked clean and neat, we knew the atrocities, the cruelties that occurred there. the death wall was fenced off and i saw people knelt in front of it, crying. standing in front of the tiny gas chamber, we could only see images of the inside. The doors were shut. across the street from the crematorium, stood the Commandant's house. Ralph Fiennes image came to mind, and I wondered how many ghosts Rudolf Hoess saw every night living there. There's nothing there now on the spot where he was hung. It's simply another quiet street. Then we moved on to birkenau, an immense place with rows and rows of wooden and brick buildings. in some of the wooden buildings, only the brick fireplaces remained. the 2 gas chambers that were destroyed by the nazi before they left were now only rubbles. And i wondered how many ghosts haunt this place at night? an emotional morning. everything in poland was about the war and the hollocaust. it filled me with tears. We were 1 day ahead of the Pope's visit.

leaving the sad war behind, we arrived at Wrocław, the miasto spotkan, on the banks of the Oder river. our hotel the sofitel was just around the corner from the old town. our rooms faced the atrium. unhappy about this, I've tried my luck again, to get a room with a window that faced the outside for fresh air. was told our 'rate' only had rooms that faced the inside of the atrium. so much for an luxury tour! however, the room was OK size and the hotel location superb. right after you step out of the sofitel, the magnificent st elizabeth church was just right there. on the right of it, the Wrocław rynek, the old town blew me away. the buildings, the noble mansions, sported brightly colored facades, the baroque red brick town hall was enormous and imposing. the most impressive old town on this trip. bought a starbuck mug there and sent postcards in the 24 hrs post office. even bought a tshirt picturing a cartoon polska girl wearing a polish dress. walked to the Oder river to have a look and the river was teeny tiny. there were street performers, the square was lively. really enjoyed my time there. loved this town.


Auschwitz photos:



Wrocław photos:

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