Saturday, April 26, 2014

Krakow - Warsaw

Today we had a sleep in day, if you can call sleeping in waking up at 7 instead of 6?!  Must have been needed as we had to do wake up checks in the morning and Vic actually woke up one of the girls' rooms. Good thing because we had to be packed and ready to go. I know everyone at home is still waiting for Spring but I think I had an allergy attack this morning - eyes itchy and needed medication. 

Just so everyone at home knows - our travellers are eating really well (especially in Poland) and except for some small rooms the accommodations have also been good. We have realized that the trip is really on the home stretch and are trying to get as much out of these last few days as possible!

We started the morning with a little free time in Krakow with a little drizzle in the air.  Amazingly enough the kids still found things to purchase!!

                Center Square Shops

             Logan and Reid posing

On our way to the Salt Mine our bus driver found time for us to visit Plaszow Concentration camp. It no longer exists but a memorial still stands.  This was the first camp in the movie Schindler's List. Also on the way we were shown some other sites from the movie. The scene at the beginning where they are being recorded on lists and stating their names - they now have a memorial set up at that spot represented by steel chairs in rows. Also the bridge they walked is also marked as it connects the Jewish Quarter with the area that was the ghetto. 

   Square from movie Schindler's List

                   Plazcow Memorial

Once at the salt mine we were split into two groups. Our guide had a very droll sense of humor. We went 135 meters underground and all of it we were walking down stairs. The Salt walls were licked several times by most of the students. Not naming names but unfortunately some decided to taste the floor as well (it is also salt). No claustrophobia but we were down there for several hours. In these mines they even have a hotel underground that has 18 rooms with all regular hotel facilities. There were about 800 steps that we climbed and 380 of those were at the beginning. 

                         Salt Mines

         Working like mules/horses

   Pope John Paul II - salt (no licking)

  Miners took us back to ground level

     Group picture - USA and Canada

The drive to Warsaw was long and we arrived late. To pass the time we watched The Pianist and then lightened the mood with a little Q&A session with questions asked by the students. A little dangerous but was all in fun. Tonight - lots of cheers for a later curfew. 

Tomorrow a day spent in Warsaw known for its Amber. 

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