When one of my friends invited me to visit Krakow for five days during our break, I had to google the place. Poland was never on my list of places to visit, much less the first Easter European countries I wanted to visit. However, when life invites me to unheard of places, I’m trained not to shove it out of my radar.
In fact, the places I’ve visited are not the most touristic places but they have been the best experiences I’ve ever had. So when I had no time to research and plan out my break, I joined my friends going to Krakow, Poland.
Those 5 days surpassed my expectations.
If you are around, here is the must try food.
Zürek Soup: Warm delicious full of sausage, veggies, and a boiled egg. I liked their creativity and combination.
Polish Dumplings: They come in different combinations for everyone’s preferences.
Polish Donuts: They don’t come too sweet as you may expect which was perfect for me. Inside they have a strawberry jam sweet. It makes for a good combination.
And here are my most memorable places…
About 2 hour bus ride from the city centre, you find a room full of tourists ready for an underground expedition. It starts with a solid 20 minutes of descending staircases which lead to a gray mysterious world. The tour took us by rivers, salt sculptures and big churches, all underground. The most impressive chamber (out of 300 apparently) was this famous room, see picture. It contains the Lord’s Supper painting carved into the wall. You must see it. It’s super!
Also a bus ride away from the city centre, we found ourselves in a reality that hit hard. It was so real being there that you could smell the pain and horror. Among the many stories that hit me the most were the twin stories. When the tour guide explained that twins were exempted from the gas chambers for experiments, my heart stopped. She went to explain in detail what the experiments were, and as a twin myself, I just lost it. The vision of their torture was so vivid on my mind, tears followed.
The sky continued to tear white drops of snow while my feet froze. That feeling made me really remember one particular story. One of the girls had to stand bare foot on the snow the whole day as punishment and she never walked normally again.
There is a Jewish tradition to place a stone to remember the dead. They are usually little stones. At Auschwitz, the memorial to the Jews includes big stones.
Poland was a learning experience. I’m glad I visited all those places as now I am more aware of history.