Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Barrowford, Lancs
Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I went on a stag do last year to Krakow, big lash up going in plenty of bars for beer & best vodka!.
Managed it for a couple of days, then we decided we had to do something else - a visit to Auschwitz somebody decided, not a typical stag trip, & to be fair I was a little nervous about 30 blokes going to somewhere like that, some of them could be quite, er shall we say, politically incorrect.
The taxis picked us all up at about 8.30 to take us there, most people still bevvied up etc etc. When we arrived there, parked up in the car park, the taxi driver organised a tour guide for just us (as recommended if there are, i think, more than 10).
Within about 15 seconds of walking under the famous gate, everyone was stone cold sober!
It's a harrowing place to look round, some of the exhibits really make you think, the piles of shoes, the replica human hair which, incidentally, was used to make socks for the German soldiers. The tiny punishment cells (as if being there wasn't bad enough in itself), where 6 or 8 people would crawl in then have to stand as there isn't sufficient space to crouch/sit/lie down.
A weird place initially because the buildings, & I make no apologies for this, actually look quite nice from the outside, you can almost imagine arriving there thinking it wasn't too bad - how wrong can you be?
Again we followed this with a trip up the road to Birkenau, this place just makes Auschwitz as an environment look plush. Row upon row of what can only be described as chicken sheds packed with bunks - horrific. The memorial at the end of the train line is truly emotionally evocative.
30 blokes on a stag do stood round blubbering & hugging makes you realise just how much of an impact the place has. You know what was actually being fought for - freedom, equality, peace. Almost seems like a waste of time sometimes nowadays.
Would I recommend a visit? I'm not sure you can recommend something like this.
Would I go again? Not sure to be honest, it was terrible in the best possible way.
Am I glad I did go? Absolutely, although glad is probably an inappropriate word.
After a very quiet ride back to the hotel, & an almost silent thoughtful hour in the bar, boy did we celebrate being alive!!
An experience I will never forget.