Friday, 4 December 2009

Poland

29 Oct - 3 Nov

We headed off to Krakow (Krakau) in Poland. This is a pretty nice old town, as it wasn't bombed at all during WWII, and we spent a day just wandering about looking at stuff, some cool old buildings and what not. Took a free walking tour around the city and Jewish Quarter, which actually turned out to be totally free, with no hassles for tips or promoting shops etc.

Krakow

We also went out to Auschwitz and visited the concentration camps there. They were really busy with heaps of people taking photos of incinerators and so forth, talking on phones, and big groups of school kids shouting and pushing, which seems quite odd to us. We're not going to say much about the concentration camps, as it's somewhere you need to visit yourself rather than hear about second hand.

We took the train up to Warsaw which isn't as nice as Krakau since it was almost completely destroyed during WWII. They've rebuilt much of the old town in the same style but it doesn't really capture the feeling that Krakau has. It is quite a cool place though, and we had plenty of fun visiting the funny bars and pubs that were close to where we were staying. Went out with some guys staying at the hostel, and ended up with three slightly mad Polish people, drinking in the funny little shack bars just off Novy Swiat (sp?) across the road from our hostel. Madness ensued, which we escaped around 3AM. Warsaw has heaps of stencil graffiti - a lot of it political, some just funny.

Warsaw

We then had a couple of days before our flight to St. Petersburg so jumped on the train down to Lublin, this is a really boring place so there isn't much to tell. Freeeezing cold there, and it took a while to find a pub that actually looked open - turns out all the bars etc look closed from the outside, but head inside and it's almost as cold and dark as outside, but there is beer. We spent a day getting out to Kazimierz which was mostly trying to find one of the crazy mini buses that they use in Poland to get around in. It was also quite a boring place - pretty old market town, but nothing going on as we were in the off-season.

Lublin

Kazimeriz

Back to Warsaw for a night, and then flew to St Petersburg.

More photos on flickr here - Krakow, Warsaw, Lublin, Kazimeriz.

Next stop, St Petersburg (Russia!).

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