15 March 2010 Journal
BLR 03 - 17 - 2010

March 15 2009. What a rollercoaster of a day, so many emotions rolling out one after the other. It all started when I was getting ready for the day and could hear some commotion from the hall and then my roommates warning me to hurry and get ready. It so happened that a swarm of middle school aged kids attacked breakfast putting all of us in fear of going without and the chance to sneak out a sandwich and fruit for lunch. Crisis avoided thankfully when the hotel opened up another buffet near the lobby. We had just enough time to eat before it was on the bus for an hour and a half to Auschwitz. Our guide narrated a Russian documentary on the concentration camp but most of us turned our heads to look elsewhere when the images became too gruesome. This set the solemn tone for the morning's tour. Auschwitz was one of the milestones on world tour. It was a change of pace compared to the usual thrill and excitement we experienced like at the pyramids but was still powerful and moving. I was surprised to see so many people were there and of all ages, including many school aged groups. It was a different experience that what I thought it would be. Instead of roaming around the grounds peaking into buildings we followed a guide weaving us in and out of a maze. Most of the barracks were clear of bunks and in their place housed a collection of photographs, documents and items belonging to the victims. Each exhibit became more difficult to take in. Before that day I had expected to be overcome with sorrow and leave sobbing but with every explanation of each display I became angry. A deep hatred for those who could throw life away came over me. By the end I was disgusted and couldn't take it anymore. On the bus ride back to Krakow little was said. Others including me ate our lunch with headphones in staring into the snow covered ground. The afternoon and evening was a complete turnaround. A group of us had a much more light hearted afternoon. We wandered through the old town looking at poster and souvenirs. We also stopped at the Beer Garden to get hot chocolate. Before the group dinner we found ourselves settled into a pub in the former Jewish district having a few drinks and playing cards. The day ended on a high note when we all packed into the sleeper train with six people to a room. What a different energy, everyone was buzzing with conversation and excitement of the next destination. Top Image- view of barracks at Auschwitz Lower Image- view of the guys room on the sleeper train

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