We went back and forth on whether or not to dedicate a whole post to our day visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau, but ultimately we decided that it was too important to glaze over. Something I was really adamant about before leaving for this trip was the transparency. So often you read about travel and it’s a sheen of incredible, mind-boggling, once-in-a-lifetime, how could it not be perfect, accounts. While we’ve had a lot of these, we’ve also had a lot of challenge, contemplation, reflection, realizations, and overall humbling moments. Sometimes it’s great to smile, and other times it’s totally okay to cry, too. So, with that being said, here’s a bit about our day visiting Auschwitz-Birkenau.
The journey from Warsaw to Krakow was slated to be our first train ride of the trip. Having only traveled by train once before, I had little to no expectation. Long and short, the train we tried to book online didn’t even exist once we got to the station. So we ended up shorting ourselves three hours in Warsaw, leaving late morning, and embarking on a much longer train ride than expected.
Have you ever thought about visiting Eastern Europe? Neither had we until about two weeks prior to taking off for our trip. Brittany was captivated by a podcast describing the world’s best European food destinations and we quickly rerouted our trip to bypass Germany and continue in Poland.
We needed to bookend this part of our trip between Gothenburg and Rome, arriving by September 16th to meet grandma. It only made sense to work our way north to south and take advantage of a steal of a flight to Warsaw for $18 a person. We tried to ease our budget by registering to teach English in Warsaw. We were accepted and they ended up not having space for us. So, on to Warsaw, we went with loose plans of Krakow, Slovakia, Budapest, Zagreb, and Ljubljana to follow.