Thursday, March 22, 2012

Poland Ponderings & Picture Post

I got back from Poland on Monday, and wow.  That was a huge experience.  Poland is a place I never thought about going.  I mean, I didn't not want to go there, but in imagining my European adventures, I never pictured myself busing through it to get to Krakow and Auschwitz.  Yet that is exactly what happened.

Just to get to our destination, we had to drive through Sweden to the port at Ystad (two and a half hours), ferry overnight across the Baltic Sea (seven-ish hours), and then drive southeasterly through pretty much all of Poland (eleven hours).  I spent a lot of time staring out the windows.  The Polish countryside is fascinating.  It's a little like looking through a time machine, because if you were just dropped there, you'd have no way of knowing what year you were in,

The main purpose of the trip was to go to the Auschwitz concentration camps.  There's no way to possibly explain them.  Seventy years ago, they were populated.  And seventy years is not a big gap in time.  

They were difficult places to go, and they're difficult places to write about.  There was a uniquely chilling energy in the air there.  That, along with the pictures, is the best description I've got.  

Thankfully, Krakow is a great city filled with Jewish culture, and after spending two mornings in the wreckage of the attempted destruction of said culture, it was good to spend the rest of the day around it. 

That was Poland.  I am so glad that I went...and that is not sarcasm. 

No comments:

Post a Comment