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  • Mélodie Lemoine

Historical Travel in Poland

My last trip in 2023 was to Krakow, Poland. With my sister we decided to visit one of the most historical lands in Europe. Poland was necessarily a country to stay in for a few days. 

For our first night in Krakow, we strolled through animated streets. We were able to notice how beautiful and cute the architecture was. 

After a couple of days of visiting Krakow and its wonderful streets, coffee shops and restaurants, the day we waited for arrived.  

Here we are in a taxi (because we missed the train…travel vagary) on our way to the Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camps. 

We booked a visit of 3 hours for both camps. We started our group visit (in English because French translations weren't available that day) with the first camp, Auschwitz. 

This camp was the beginning of this terrible historical tragedy. We could see a group of huts where Jews people were captivated. Everything was already huge. A lot of groups of huts, locations of killing…the atmosphere was already heavy. But it was only the beginning, I knew that later. 

Still in this first camp, we were invited to come to the only gas chamber there was in this camp (that's the reason why they built another camp later). And, to be honest, if you are sensitive, even a little, don’t go into it. The atmosphere was stifling. 

After that, to get out of this gas chamber we walked towards the crematorium because before, it was the only way to get out of here… 

Then we went to the second camp, the biggest one, Auschwitz-Birkenau. The first camp compared to the second one was pretty tiny. The number of barracks is multiplied by at least 20. They were smaller but more Jews were captive in each barrack. There were two more gas chambers and they were bigger. 

To conclude on this visit it was very interesting, and historical.For me it was important to live this experience. It was exhausting but I did it. And, obviously, we missed (again) the bus to go back to Krakow so we took a train. 

The next days we needed more lighter activities, so we kept visiting all the city and we visited the Schindler’s factory. Glad they were good people at the 2nd World War time to help and protect Jews during the round-up. 

We had the chance to see the Sainte Marie Basilica. It’s gorgeous, and every hour a man plays trumpet at the four cardinal points. Warning, you have to pay the entry if you want to visit the inside of the basilica. 

We also visited the Wawel Royal Castle. There were a lot of people, it’s something to visit if you go to Krakow though. It's another place full of history. For example, there is a place at the bottom of the Castle where we could see that the Nazis checked Jews paper and/or executed them. 

We found a lot of good restaurants where we could try culinary specialties (even if there weren’t a lot), like the pierogi for example. It was very delicious and Polish people are very kind and helpful. They speak a very good English and some of them taught us some Polish words. 

To conclude, Krakow is a wonderful city with a heavy past, but their people know more than anyone else that they have to keep remembering what happened there and they are taught it with a lot of humility. 

We really had a good time in this city and it’s with a lot of memories that we took our plane (that we almost missed again…) to go back to France.

15 vues1 commentaire



Hi Mélodie,

Personally, I wouldn't have written about the experience visiting the extermination camps and the city sightseeing in the same post. Such completely antithetical emotions and thoughts are arisen from it. However, it does show somehow that the city has been able to recover from what is a tragedy for humanity. Krakow is indeed also a city full of life.

Catherine Salai

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