Poland marks the 16th country on my journey to #20under20. Poland has such a rich culture and history that makes it a fantastic destination for the whole family. It was cold and slightly windy with spots of rain throughout the weekend, but it was all worth it for the amazing tours we took around the city.
Poland has been through a lot historically and it was so enriching learning about their battles throughout the centuries. It has strong connections with WWII and a lot of places to visit with regards to that. The first day we were there, my study abroad program organized the trip to show us these places. We went to the Jewish Ghettos, visited scenes from the movie Schindler’s List, and most importantly, the booming city that has grown from its past. The area is flourishing with street art and some that pay homage to the people who were forced into the Ghettos during the war. After the tour, we headed back to the Main Square and explored the downtown. I naturally headed to Zara and blew through my money. We walked around a corner and stumbled upon a beautiful market that had all hand made goods, including delicious chocolate covered fruits. I had the apple covered in milk chocolate and I can honestly say it was life changing.
At night, Krakow truly comes to life. Everyone is still out and about, going to dinner or out for a drink. I had some great dinners while in Poland. Polish food is pretty good and so is their American food. I had the best burger I’ve ever eaten while I was there. They are the home of the pierogi and a diet that consists heavily of potatoes in various forms. The potatoes were definitely my favorite.
The next day we visited Auschwitz and Auschwitz-Burkenau and the experience was truly indescribable. Out of respect, I will not be writing about my experience there. I will say that there is a memorial built in the Death Camp, and it is a warning to all of humanity, written in twenty different languages, that the events of this time are not just in our past and have the possibility of happening again.
Krakow was truly an incredible place, full of life and history. I would love to go back to Poland and explore some of the other great cities over there. It is absolutely a trip I will never forget and that I will hold close to my heart forever. I will pass on the lessons I’ve learned there to the world in hopes that we can create a better today and a brighter tomorrow.
Tips for the Trip: If you are ever in Poland, I recommend visiting the Death Camps and pay respects to the men, women, and children who suffered senselessly during that time. It is a powerful experience that all of humanity should have.