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Written on: Wednesday April 4th, 2007

A journal entry from: Easter Backpacking

Off to a good start!!!  Casey and I almost missed our flight to Krakow.... the bus ride from Victoria to the airport was double the length we were told that it was! We were the last ones checked in and the last ones on the plane. Aargh! So stressful start!!!

When we got to Krakow, the airport is outside the city and we had JUST missed the bus - it was an hour til the next one. However, we managed to meet this girl who spoke English and Polish (few people here speak English) and she negotiated with a taxi driver and we all split the price of a cab to get to the hostel.

The first day we just wandered around the city and went to the castle to check things out. We stayed at the hostel that I stayed in last time, which is the best hostel I have ever stayed in. The guy who owns it is so nice... he looked into a hostel for us where we are now, he looked into train tickets for us, and also into our bus connection to Lithuania. He gave me his mobile number and told me to text him if we had any problems. How nice is that?! I would recommend that hostel to anyone!! That night th guy who owned the hostel took us all for potato pancakes which is traditional Polish food, then for drinks at the oldest pub in Krakow. After that, there was a memorial service for the pope as it was the 2nd anniversary of his death. Since he was Polish, there was a huge concert in the main square and then everyone went to the window where he spoke out of and there was a memorial there, then bells at 9.37pm whcih marked the time he died at. Afterwards we went to a local brewery for a few beers. There were about 50,000 people crammed into the square!

Next day we went to Auschwitz which was pretty amazing. I got the leaflet which I will send home and took loads of photos. One of the girls who is travelling with us, Faye, is a bit irriating - really ignorant. She had no idea what went on in WWII and kept blaming it on her school. At one point she actually said, "I didn't study Schindler's List in high school - we did stupid stuff like Shakespeare." To which point I told her she was being ignorant and there was no reason why she couldn't have educated herself before we went on the trip as we suggested that she did. That and I haven't seen Schindler's List and still know about WWII!! Aargh. Anyways, they had all the barracks where the prisoners stayed open as museums and there were huge piles of things that the SS Police had taken from the prisoners such as huge piles of glasses, prayer shawls, loads of human hair from the females that they used to make nets and textiles, clothes, suitcases, shoes.... it was incredible. But at the same time a bit surreal! Afterwards we went out with the hostel people to a nightclub for a few drinks.