After a really good night at our apartment, we were ready to go on a full day trip of visits. The first stop was the camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau, and the second part of the day was spent at Wieliczka salt mines. A day filled with discoveries and shared emotions.
Auschwitz and Birkenau
We booked the combined tour with Krakowtrip.com (260 zloty – 64e/pers.), and didn’t regret it. We were picked up at our apartment in a minivan with only three other people. The driver was extremely nice and explained a few points of interest on the road as well as some general information about Krakow. It took just over an hour to get to the camp of Auschwitz. There, we joined a group of around 30 people and were assigned a guide. The visit was really rich in explanations, the barracks have been transformed into museum about the different aspects of the life at the camp and filled with pictures and exhibitions. It was of course really interesting but I felt like it was too “industrial” with all these groups following each other non-stop through the different buildings. Even knowing, seeing and hearing about all the horrible things that happened there it was hard to realise. Anyways, it is still a place that’s worth a visit, to learn more about the History and hopefully learn enough so we don’t make the same mistakes.
I took really few pictures of the two camps, as I felt weird to do so in a place where so many people suffered and passed away.
After the 2 hours and a bit spent in the Auschwitz camp, we took the minivan to go to the second camp, Birkenau, also known as Auschwitz II. It’s literally 5 minutes away. There, we found our guide back for a visit of 1h30 around the camp. At the end, the guide offered us to go to the top of the gate tower to have an overview of the whole camp.
Wieliczka salt mines
After the visit of Birkenau, we took the road again to drive towards the Wieliczka salt mines, stopping on the way to eat a late lunch. Once at the mines we were given the kindest and most welcoming guide. She looked so happy and excited about her job and was amazing during the whole visit. The mines are incredible and so worth the visit! It lasts an hour and a half and you go as deep as 135m underground! It’s filled with chapels and statues made out of salt, as the guide kept saying “you can lick everything“. If you want to take pictures you need to buy a sticker for 10 zloty (2.40e).
After this very busy day we just went back to the city centre for a quick dinner and a good night of sleep! We were so exhausted! In my next post I’ll talk about our last day in Krakow, the visit of Kasimierz district, St Mary’s Basilica and some other really nice discoveries!