Our fourth day in Poland was certainly our most sombre. We had booked onto a tour of Auschwitz-Birkenau, due to leave the city at 11:15am.
As we had a bit of time in the morning before we left for our tour, we had a leisurely breakfast before heading into the city centre to take in some sights early morning.
If Warsaw was anything to go by, we should have realised Krakow’s old town centre would be beautiful too, but we were still surprised. I must have taken thousands of pictures because every building we walked past was glorious.
We knew we were exploring the old town more the next day so we took a whistle stop tour around the sites for an hour and then headed to our bus.
We booked through a company called Krakville Tours, it cost around £26 each (129 PLN) and the whole tour from us leaving to getting back was about seven hours. The trip was well organised and included guided tours of two camps. I would highly recommend Krakville Tours, even if it does sound suspiciously like a drug company.
The journey to Auschwitz is quite long, it takes about 1 hour 20 minutes to get there. Our visit consisted of two camps that are only a few kilometres apart – Auschwitz and Birkenau (Auschwitz 2) – so our tour bus also took us between the two.
When we arrived, the weather was glorious, and I must admit it gave quite an odd atmosphere to our visit. A sunny day walking around leafy buildings was a far cry from what I had imagined our trip would be like.
I don’t want to write too much about Auschwitz because what you feel when you’re there and the experience you have is not only very personal, but it’s also hard to articulate in words.
What I will say is that the scale of what you see and learn about is truly gigantic. In fact, at times it’s almost hard to comprehend what you’re looking at because the horrific acts that took place there happened to so many millions of people.
Overall the tour was extremely educational, I learnt so much more than I had imagined. If you do have the opportunity to go, I would highly recommend it. I didn’t take any photos of the insides of the buildings because it felt disrespectful. The few photos I did take of the outside I’ve included in this post.
When we got back to town the sun was setting and casting a beautiful glow over the city. We sat on Rynek Glowny, the large town square, ate dinner and had a drink. Afterwards, we headed back to our hotel and hit the hay, ready to get a good sleep before our last day in Poland.