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Auschwitz concentration camp and Krakow

  • Jul 4, 2014 · 7:00 AM
  • This location is shown only to members

Auschwitz concentration camp, where at least 1.1 million prisoners were killed.

We are going to join a 3 1/2 hour tour of the labor camp Auschwitz I and the extermination camp Auschwitz II - Birkenau. You will see the prison blocks, storage rooms for human hair and spectacles, the gas chambers and the crematorium.



Besides Auschwitz we will also spend a lot of time in Krakow itself, which is beautiful and very lively city. A perfect destination for a weekend break in July.

For many centuries Krakow was the seat of the Polish kings. It miraculously escaped destruction by war. Krakow's historic centre, which includes the Old Town, Kazimierz and the Wawel Castle, was included on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 1978. Some of the amazing sights that we can visit include

• The gothic market square and the renaissance cloth hall in the middle of the square

St. Mary's church, a 14th century gothic basilica with beautiful decorations and its main attraction, the altar created by Veit Stoß, the master in the art of wood carving. The altar is a 11x13m miracle in wood carving, which took the artist 12 years to complete.

Wavel castle and cathedral, the seat of the Polish kings for many centuries. All rooms, both the private and royal chambers are open to the public.

• The Czartoryski museum, a museum of fine arts, where you can see paintings like Leonardo da Vinci's "The Lady with the ermine" and pictures from Rembrandt.

• The factory of Oskar Schindler, of Schindler's list fame. The factory now houses a war time museum

• The suburb Kazimierz, the centre of Krakow's Jewish heritage.

Krakow is known for its lively nightlife, with many restaurants, pubs and clubs in the old town and especially in Kazimierz. We will also be able to enjoy ourselves in numerous outdoor cafes and beer gardens.

Around the time when we will be in Krakow, there will also be the festival of Jewish culture. I will try to find a Klezmer concert for us.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WCcB3dbhiHU

Finally we will visit the Wieliczka salt mines, another UNESCO world heritage site. Miners have created incredible pieces of art out of salt 150m below the ground. You will also find a cathedral carved out of salt, a salt lake, chapels and even a restaurant 135m underground.


I would recommend to start your diet way before the trip, since Polish cuisine is very yummy, but not necessarily diet food :-)


*********************************

You have to be a regular member of the London European Club to join this trip. Please contact Henning before you buy your flights.

*********************************


Flights

Recommended flights

04/07/2014 at 08:40 with RyanAir from London Stansted to Krakow

07/07/2014 at 18:40 with RyanAir from Krakow to London Stansted

Flights currently cost £120 return. RyanAir charges £25 per flight (!) for 15kg or £35 per flight (!) for 20kg of check in luggage. 10kg of cabin luggage is free. If you travel with a friend, sharing one 20kg suitcase plus hand luggage might be an option.

Accommodation

We will be staying at the Best Western Krakow Old Town hotel, conveniently located close to the Krakow old town and Kazimierz, the historical Jewish quarter. Accommodation will be in shared double rooms. Single occupation is possible for an additional £120. Breakfast will be included.

Planned schedule

Friday: exploration of the city, Polish dinner, Krakow nightlife

Saturday: Wieliczka Salt Mine + city

Sunday: guided tour Auschwitz concentration camp

Monday: War time museum in Oskar Schindler’s Factory + city

I will try to organize a visit to a Klezmer concert on one of the days.

Costs

A deposit of £160 is required to secure a place on this trip. The deposit covers the costs for accommodation, airport transfer and Auschwitz tour. The price does not include the flights.

Single accommodation is available for an additional £120.

Additional costs to be covered by you: entrance fees for the salt mine and the Schindler factory and any attraction in Krakow (only a few pounds each). Lunch and dinner. And not to forget coffee and ice cream and cakes and desserts, etc, etc :-)

Please contact Henning before booking flights.

Visa

If you are an EEA national, you don't need a visa for entering Poland. Please check here if you need a visa for entering Poland: http://londyn.msz.gov.pl/en/consular_information/visas/who/

Useful information

Exchange rate: 1 GBP = 5 Polish Zloty

Money can be easily withdrawn at ATMs


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  • Mel

    This was an excellent trip. Krakow is a cultured and charming city, while the two major trips we made - to Auschwitz and the salt mine - were very thought-provoking and educational. It was a great bunch of people too. Most of though I would like to thank Henning, who had the idea for the trip in the first place and whose organisational skills (and patience with some of us!) were excellent.

    July 10, 2014

  • Edmund

    What an amazing trip, thank you all for making it special but first and foremost thank you to Henning as without his meticulous attention to detail, planning and effort, and laid back attitude- it would not have happened in such a great way Thanks you

    July 9, 2014

  • Henning

    Also thanks to all of you. It was a lot of fun to explore Krakow together with you !!! Hope to see you all soon again :-)

    1 · July 8, 2014

  • Ana

    Too many highlights... and only one low point: saying the goodbyes at the airport!
    Henning organised a marvellous trip to very high standards, had several options for us to choose from, and was even open to our crazy last-minute challenges (i.e. Henning, find us a lake to swim in! ;)... Henning, you managed to make 19 (different) people, very happy for 4 days! Thank you!!
    Thank you all for the laughs and good times!!
    Some famous quotes: Maja: "Romanticism is Hollywood", Dennis: "Squeeze the cherry" and Edmund: "You'd better start doing some jogging yourself!" :D

    2 · July 8, 2014

  • Elisabetta

    Thanks Henning for organising this and thanks everyone for the lovely weekend.

    July 8, 2014

  • Clarice

    Beautiful city and great company!

    July 8, 2014

  • Anneke

    To all. First of all, Henning thank you so much for organising this marvellous trip and to all of you thanks for your great company and good fun. Krakow is an very interesting and pleasant city. The program was excellent. The hotel was very convenient and comfortable. Thanks and hope to see you soon for the reunion.

    July 8, 2014

  • Anneke

    To all. First of all, Henning thank you so much for organising this marvellous trip and to all of you thanks for your great company and good fun. Krakow is an very interesting and pleasant city. The program was excellent. The hotel was very convenient and comfortable. Thanks and hope to see you soon for the reunion.

    July 8, 2014

  • Maja

    Seeing Auschwitz and Birkenau was an eye opener, Krakow was lovely, the salt mine is a UNESCO site for a reason, the whole trip was very interesting. The best thing was spending 4 days with a group of wonderful people, discussing serious issues but also having a good laugh along the way. Without Henning's idea and perfect organisational skills this trip would have never happened so all my gratitude goes to him.

    July 8, 2014

  • Brian

    A very educational trip in glorious company. Wish I could've spent another week with everyone. A big thanks to our zen-like leader. A high benchmark has been set.

    July 7, 2014

  • Tim

    First overseas trip with the group and looking forward to my next.

    July 7, 2014

  • Deborah R.

    Umm not so sure that Poland will show that game - after all Germany did demolish Poland in the 2nd world war and France, along with Britain and the US gave Poland to Russia!! Yep I know it was many many years ago but they are still trying to over come the consequences! Keep that in mind when visiting Krakow etc but hope you all have a good time. Krakow is now a super place to visit and Austwitz so moving! You have guessed, yes Im half Polish and they didn't deserve to struggle!

    July 2, 2014

    • Maja

      ?!?!??? I will have to test this theory by interviewing the public in Krakow. I truly hope this is a minority view if it at all exists among contemporary Poles.

      July 2, 2014

    • Maja

      We are watching Germany:France in a bar in Krakow with lots of Polish people and almost every bar is showing the game!

      1 · July 4, 2014

  • Edmund

    As soon as you come in on the right - Edmund here too

    July 4, 2014

  • Maja

    Brian and I are sitting in the Bridge bar.

    July 4, 2014

  • Henning

    Lucky us, the weather forecast for Krakow shows 30 degrees and sunshine of Saturday and Sunday :-)

    3 · July 1, 2014

  • Maja

    Does anyone want to share a cab to Stansted from West London?

    July 1, 2014

  • Edmund

    flights are now open for check in remember you need to do this online pre getting to the airport

    1 · June 30, 2014

    • Lisa

      OK, I will read all the blurb! Have you any idea what the charge is for an allocated seat?

      June 30, 2014

    • Florence

      Checked in today. Very straight forward. I didn't see the price for allocated seats. From today onwards you can also check-in for the return leg.

      1 · June 30, 2014

  • Robert

    Iv always wanted to go visit this place... Its a sad piece of history.. even sadder that history keeps repeating itself ...

    1 · May 10, 2014

  • Nasser

    Is this event related somehow to the other event called "the ethics of neuromarketing", April 6th?

    April 5, 2014

  • Cathie

    @hening are places still available for single occupancy ? I'm not a regular, as I was waiting for something which would take my fancy.
    Cathie

    March 26, 2014

    • Henning

      Hi Cathie, The trip is an offer for regular members of the European club. "Regular" in this respect means people who have shown interest in other activities of the meetup and who have been to a couple of our events. Please have a look at what the European club offers and join a couple of our events. You will then be more than welcome to RSVP :-). By the way, we're a nice bunch of people and our events are actually quite a lot of fun :-)

      1 · March 27, 2014

  • Marion

    There's an event coming up at the European Bookshop called "Translating the Poetry of the Holocaust" on 15 January. Details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/691554174209253/

    January 9, 2014

    • Henning

      Thanks for sharing. It does sound very interesting. I'll be on a business trip on Wednesday. If I return early enough, I'll go

      January 9, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I would not recommend the Schindler' Factory unless you speak Polish or German. It's a tourist trap. Try the underground museum more interesting.

    January 3, 2014

    • Brian

      I'd also be interested in visiting the Schindler Museum.

      January 4, 2014

    • Henning

      Like I said, the Schindler factory is only one of many options. Everybody can decide on Monday what they prefer. I'll prepare information about several options :-). Thanks for the feedback, Aleksandra :-)

      January 4, 2014

  • Florence

    Flights booked as suggested. As per your email Henning, I will transfer you the deposit. thanks for organising this. Really looking forward to it.

    December 7, 2013

    • Florence

      Lol Edmund

      December 9, 2013

    • Florence

      Lisa, got your msg but couldn't reply for some reason. Yes let's discuss at the movie night.

      December 9, 2013

  • Lisa

    I know somebody who went earlier this year who said they couldn't get in the Schindler museum as it was so busy they stopped people going in so it might be worth booking this perhaps?

    December 8, 2013

    • Henning

      Cheers, I'll look into it...

      December 9, 2013

  • Edmund

    Currently watching auschwitz the nazis and the final solution on the tv channel yesterday ....

    December 7, 2013

  • Deborah R.

    Sorry my mistake, I hadnt checked on the date of the trip! Who knows what the weather will be like!! LOL!! Still, walking would be available in the mountains! :)

    December 7, 2013

  • Deborah R.

    I have visited Krakow a few times in the past, and it really makes you feel that your back in the past!! So amazing that it wasnt trashed, like Warsaw, in the second world war! The market place, in the centre of Krakow, is the largest in Europe and the magnificent 'Cloth Hall' a must for crafts and jewellery. It also has great restaurants and bars! I have seen Poland transform decade by decade, since the Russians went back to there own country, and its great to see its now a vibrant country, esp in Krakow! Must see's are the 'Salt Mines' (small entrance fee) and a visit to Auschwitz, though of course, very moving. For this experience, no charge, just a donation. Time permitting, visit the lovely mountain village of Zakopane, where, snow permitting, skiing is so, so cheap! You will find that a long weekend is not long enough! Ok Im a bit biased being half Polish, but Poland is still great value, at the moment, for the money and great historical value too!! Enjoy! LOL!!

    December 6, 2013

    • Maja

      Skiing in July?

      December 6, 2013

  • Henning

    we will use a tour company with door to door transportation for the Auschwitz tour. That will make life much easier :-)

    1 · December 6, 2013

  • Pedro

    My most recent big-ish leisure trip abroad - great place to spend an extended weekend! Three recommendations: Wawel Castle is not that impressive, and the works of art are interesting, but I wouldn't qualify them as outstanding - the cathedral is nice. Train to Auschwitz is two hours long, and you find no indications to get there when you leave the station. Bus might be preferable, and it is also much more frequent. Finally, there are a few people doing tours of the Jewish quarter in English on a "pay what you want" basis, and I think the standard fare is 5 zlotys. You're spoiled for choice for nightlife and restaurants / milk bars, but Polish members may be able to advise better. ;) Have a smashing time!

    December 6, 2013

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