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I’m Home!!!! I am not sure how many of you knew, but I recently took a long weekend break in the beautiful city of Krakow, Poland.

Flying from London Southend Airport, proved to be as easy as always, getting through the security at the airport in around 5 minutes! Crazy isn’t it?! Then we were off, a short 1 hour 55 minute flight (not even giving me enough time to finish my in flight film) & we arrived in the very snowy and bitterly cold Krakow. Being my first ever winter escape, I wasn’t quite ready for the freezing temperatures that met me leaving the plane, and believe me… they got a lot lower!

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Can anyone guess who we flew with?? :P
Can anyone guess who we flew with?? :P

Whilst away we visited 2 main places, the first being the town of Zakopane situated right on the border of Poland & Slovakia.

The town it’s self was simply stunning, and looked truly beautiful under a thick covering of gorgeous untouched snow. Around a mile or so from the main town, (with us getting lost trying to find it) was the main attraction for which we had headed on the 2.5 hour coach journey for, this was the cable car leading to the top of the mountain range; Kasprowy Wierch.

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Kasprowy Wierch - just short of 2,000m
Kasprowy Wierch – just short of 2,000m

Not being a particular lover of heights, it was a slight test hanging from a metal cable about as thick as a skipping rope, hundreds of metres above the ground, however I managed to pull through and arrived at the other end of the cable.

Ecstatic, being on “dry land” again, only to very quickly realise we had only actually covered around 1/3 of the ascend up the side of this mountain. There was now another, much longer, trip again hanging from this (too thin) metal cable.

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Off into the mist!
Off into the mist!

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A nervous smile when I relise where we are heading
A nervous smile when I realise where we are heading

Eventually, after trying to keep my mind from the towering heights by taking lots of photographs of the beautiful scenery, we arrived at the top, and what we saw was truly breath taking. It’s not something as a photographer I say often, but photographs really do not do any justice. It’s a view I will remember for the rest of my life!

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At the top of the mountains
At the top of the mountains

Unfortunately, our day in Zakopane had to come to an end, but we had plenty to speak about and lots of photos to look through during our 2.5 hour coach journey back to Krakow.
The following day, was not such a happy visit, however it was simply breathtaking, visiting Auschwitz….

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"Work Sets You Free"
“Work Sets You Free”

This was something I had wanted to visit for a very long time, and what I saw really was mind blowing. To put it into words would be extremely difficult, all I can say is go and visit the Auschwitz museum. To think that any person had to go through what these people did, is really not even thinkable, you really cannot know what it feels like to have nothing, when we have everything. The day was one of the biggest eye openers I have ever experienced, and again it is an experience that will stay with me for the rest of my life. Here are just a few of the photos I took whilst visiting the camp.

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40,000 pairs of shoes taken from the prisoners
40,000 pairs of shoes taken from the prisoners

As I have already said, it was a truly mind blowing experience, and I would really suggest you to visit there and learn more about what these people had to go through.

 

Time flew by very fast, and before we knew it, it was the end of our weekend. I had a fantastic time away, and I hope you enjoyed reading about my mini break. I will leave you with one of my favourite holiday snaps! Make sure you leave a comment below :D

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Krakow Poland Auschwitz Zakopane

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Comments

Many thanks Beverley, I had the most fantastic time out in Poland, so much so, we are actually heading back for a photoshoot out there in March!

Great city …. We went last year as we had always wanted to go to Auschwitz …. Salt mines where tremendous and we saw one of the very few da Vinci paintings which is housed in Krakow …a wonderful city ….looks like you had an experience which should be something everyone should do ….great share

Fantastic post Gary, thank you!

Thank you for your comments Dave!

Many thanks Moy, I hope to see you soon too!

Gary these are really stunning and thought provoking photos, you would’nt have got me near the cable cars so your a lot braver than me. Auschwitz has truly become a memorial to all those that lost their lives and those that survived mans worst atrocities to their own kind, but unfortunately it is still going on. thank you for sharing your photographs, looking at that snow makes me feel quite comfortable tucked up in my caravan with a hot water bottle and a bar of chocolate. hope to see you soon

A great blog about a really significant place, I used to work for Sue Ryder many moons ago and we often had ppl that had endured captivity during the war! they were all emotionally screwed up and had dreadful stories to tell – I imagine the camp must evoke so many feelings. Thanks for sharing Gary

Thank you Jo! It’s a mind blowing place!

Fantastic blog Gary, you really brought your weekend to life! It was very interesting seeing your pictures of the mountain, it looks so beautiful and you’ve made me want to visit!!! Thank you for sharing your experience, as for the concentration camps, having visite them myself I believe it is something everyone should do in their life, I’m glad you got as much out of it as I did :)

Thank you Emma, it was a truly fantastic weekend, one I shall always remember!

Hey Gary,
Loved this post and thank you for sharing. It’s not a place I had considered visiting before, but I will now! The beauty you captured contrasted to the atrocities that took place there make for a compelling story. Europe and it’s history is so accessible to us now and yet very few of us bother to make the effort and go. I appreciate you sharing your experience, now I just need to go see for myself.

Many thanks for your kind words Graeme, it truly is an amazing country! One that I will be returning to very soon!

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