Episode 9 of our European Overland trip 2020
For those who prefer the video, it’s at the bottom of this blog 😉
All four of us wanted to go to this place, but all of us had different reasons and thoughts when visiting concentration and exterminiation camp Auschwitz in the village Oświęcim in South Poland. We camped in the garden of the Center of Dialogue and Prayer just 500 meters from the concentration camp.
We had a very good guide who set the right atmosphere and through her stories life in the camp became very real. What a job!
The 2,5 hour tour took us past the well preserved buildings, exhibitions with photo’s, shoes, hair, suitcases with names on them, protheses, and other things the victems of this horrific crime left behind. We went through the remains of the gas chambers and passed the crematorium. Very overwhelming. All of the people in our group were silently taking it in most of the time.
In the afternoon the tour continued in Auschwitz II-Birkenau. An inmens area where most of the baracks as well as the crematoria had been destroyed. There is one last wagon on the railway track which ends in the camp. A symbol of the endless one way ticket arrivals of so many unlucky people from various countries in this terrible Nazi operation.
This visit gave us a lot to think over and it was good to share this experience with friends.
Our next stop was Krakau, a historical city with a pleasant musical surprise. In one of the big squares we just stumbled upon an open air ballet performance. Worth spending some time walking around in this beautiful city.
A friend of Hans gave us the tip-off to go the the aerotowing field in Pińczów, about 40 km south of Kielce. Although we arrived unannounced were welcome and could camp in the parking area with a view on the airstrip.
Unfortunately the weather combined with the absence of tugpilots, did not allow for any aerotowing for the next couple of days. So we went to a small ridge just north of the village were we met a local pilot. The wind was still from the wrong direction so there was a lot of waiting, trying, etc., until Koos and Hans finally were able to take of for a small flight.
If you want to try this place out; park at the landingfield just below the take-off and walk up (15 min). With enought wind and the right direction it could just be the place to get you in the air in this part of Poland.
As the weather predictions were just not good enough to stay on, we went on the move again to the north.