We woke up really early so we could arrive to Ostrava and take the train. At the end, we had to wait five hours in the station waiting for it. We slept a little, ate something and it finally arrived. We jumped in and tried to rest for a bit. It was on that moment that our duo trip in Europe started. Me and my good friend Mari (She is from California and we met in Seoul). We took our backpacks, we said goodbye to Czech Republic and we were ready but, what a terrible day to start! No motivation what so ever… It was gloomy and we were tired.
While we were in the train, we realize that it had a stop at Katowice so we had to go down at that stop. We tried to find out what we had to do so we could arrive to our final destination: Auschwitz, but we failed. We asked a young man and he couldn’t tell us either. We didn’t even know where were we.
“Excuse me, Where are we?” we asked.
“Katowice” he said.
“ohhh.. but humm, Are we in Poland?”
“Yes, we are in Poland”.
So, we asked a police officer where we had to go to take our next train to Auschwitz and he show us the way. We had to step out the train station, walk a little and then we would find the platform number five (peron 5). It was cloudy, with some drizzle and the streets of Katowice (specially the ones at “peron 5”) weren’t really welcoming. We weren’t scared but we sure weren’t excited to continued. At the end it was the only thing we could do: continue. I was glad to had chosen to wear leggings that day under my long skirt I bought in Thailand, it was a really cold day and it kept me somehow warm.
We took the train of one hour without restrooms to get to Auschwitz and there we met a french girl called Lea that was going to do the same thing as us; first the museum and after she was going to go to Krakow. We arrived to the train station and the first thing that we wanted was a toilet but they charged people so you could use them and we didn’t had Zlotys (Polish money) so Lea and another random girl that was passing trough borrow us some cash. We went out of there and took the bus to the museum. The day was cloudy, the streets had puddles and the atmosphere was somber. That is how Auschwitz received us.
The museum is big and there is a lot of people but you don’t even feel them, or the mob, you are so absorb in what you are seeing, what you are reading, that you don’t pay attention on the ones who are passing next to you. With the exception of the old people that were crying. But, crying or feeling that kind of sadness while you are in a place like that it is inevitable.
There is a room with the hair of the jew women. The nazis used to sell that to make fabric and the quantity of hair is impressive, which makes you feel shocked. You have heard the stories, read books about the holocaust and even watch movies, but being there and actually see it, have a glance of what it was… it is devastating and it even can makes you feel hopeless.
In the museum, there is also a lot of objects that the jews left and pictures of some of them. There were people that brought a red rose with them and they put them in some picture or showcase… so while you were walking those halls, you could see this gray room and a red point that came to life.
We went to all the places we could, to the barracks, the gas chamber, there were people that were taking pictures (or selfies) like tourist style but there weren’t many. While you are there you just don’t feel like taking a picture of yourself with a smile.
We went out and took a taxi to the train station. We realize that we could take a bus to Krakow and so we did. One hour of travel, I don’t remember exactly because I fell asleep. We arrived to the station and we said goodbye to Lea, we told her we were going to meet her after. We didn’t till next day.
That night we were so tired of a day full of trains, buses and waiting. The plan was to go to Budapest the next day but we decided to cancel that and stayed two more days in Krakow. I am happy we did that because Krakow is one of the cities I have liked a lot and it gave us the chance to see more of it and also to meet more people.