Cracking Krakow

In October, I took my first international trip on my Erasmus year and after a lot of thinking and searching, Danny and myself decided that we would go to Poland. Flights were not that expensive and the accommodation was reasonable too, so we thought…

Why not?

We later learned “why not”.

As soon as the trip was confirmed, the first thing I looked at was a trip to the Auschwitz Memorial and Cemetery. This was something I’ve always wanted to experience not only because so many people have recommended it but also because it’s such an important part of History.

Just a few days later our trip grew as our friends; Lucy, Charlotte and Katie, currently studying in Lapland joined us along with Lewis, Katie’s boyfriend. It was a great opportunity to see each other after a long summer break and our first couple of months on our Erasmus extravaganzas.

We got into Poland and were welcomed by the coldest weather I have experienced in a long time. Travelling without a coat was a BIG mistake. Poland in October is NOT a good idea if you’re a fan of the big ball of fire in the sky!

Danny and myself arrived first to Krakow in the nighttime and decided to get some snacks before the shops closed. This was when we discovered how cheap Poland was due to the exchange rate! Beer for around 40p?! It would be rude not to.

An early Sunday morning was next as a minibus picked us up and took us to the Auschwitz camp. Our driver was such a nice guy and gave us so much information on the camp and Poland in the war. He also took a detour and took us to some old Nazi offices on the way to the camp.

Auschwitz was the most moving experience of my life. It was completely eye opening. We walked through the camp, saw so many remaining possessions of the people that suffered there and also walked through one of the gas chambers used in the war. The experience was completed with a talk in the second Auschwitz camp where there was a strong, wailing wind surrounding us.

The next day we went exploring in Krakow. Through the very cold temperatures, we saw a marketplace and stopped for some coffee. We also went into a big cathedral, which was very quiet but also aesthetically pleasing. This was our last day in Poland so together, we went to a cocktail bar for a while and then to a less expensive pub. We didn’t stay that late because the Finland crew had an early 7am flight.

It was altogether a really fun and moving few days. It was a nice city to visit but also very cold which meant a constant battle with Mother Nature if you didn’t (stupidly) have a coat. But it was also really nice to see our friends after such a long time. It really enhanced to the experience.

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