It doesn't look like I'm going to be able to do my big Europe trip this summer, so, I'm looking at a couple weekend trips. How would you get to Auschwitz from here by bus or train(prefer train)? And, does anybody have recommendations for hostels nearby?
I live in Prague and have been to Auschwitz several times in the past couple of years to write articles and travel books. There are a couple of travel agencies in Prague that offer full day Auschwitz tours. I found one on the net and there are a couple of others: http://www.wittmann-tours.com/content/view/26/42/ That said, it's a pretty long ride from Prague -- figure on a good 6-7 hours by car. There are not very many decent hotels there. Most people stay in Krakow and make it a long day trip (about 90 minutes by car). One pretty good hotel (and not that expensive if you book in advance over the net) is Hotel Galicja www.hotelgalicja.com
Some trains to Oswiecim here- http://jizdnirady.idnes.cz/vlaky/spojeni/ As for hostels, I don't think there are any in Oswiecim itself (although there is a place specifically for youth groups who are visiting the camps), you would probably need to stay in Krakow and travel from there.Oswiecim has a couple of cheap and nasty hotels eg Hotel Glob which is really nasty, and one pretty decent hotel. http://www.hotelgalicja.com.pl/
Skoba .. I see we are on the same page!
I'd definitely recommend a long weekend in Krakow (a beautiful destination in itself) and spending one of those days doing a day trip from there to Auschwitz. You'll have a more "rounded" trip that way...
plenty of showers.
Quote: DoubleFisterplenty of showers.Hmmm....
The real horror of Anne Frank's diary is that there were millions of Anne Franks. At Auschwitz you meet them. At least what's left of them and that's too much to bear if you're at all serious about why you're going there. You see their photos, their hair, rooms full of hair, their luggage, bullet riddled walls, building after building filled with Anne Franks. I hope I never see anything like it again. Then to realize there were other camps, it really gets overwhelming. I can't comprehend what it must have been like, and i am thankful for that.
This is just it ph, and why it's such a positive thing Anne Frank's diary survived - people can get their heads round the tragedy of one individual, but not several milllion... It's the inverse of Stalin's phrase: "the death of one individual is a tragedy, the death of one milllion is a statistic"... Whether looking at it from the searching (hopefully most of us) or cynical (Stalinist) sense, one just can't get one's head around the sheer numbers...
The numbers are too much to grasp, it makes it unreal for those who weren't alive at the time and makes it seem like some story. I went skydiving from 1,000 meters and bungee jumping from 50 meters. i was much more afraid at 50 meters because it was so real and close. 1,000 meters was almost like not real. 1,000 is hard to grasp, let alone millions.
i was thinking of planning to go there when the weather improves but after reading this i dont think i want to go any more
You should go, just not as a holiday, but an experience to learn.
My half-sister's mother, an Auschwitz survivor recently decided to end her life in Warwick NY by terminating her dialysis. One thing I learned from her was that courage and hope spring eternal within the human spirit. She maintained that she would never talk about her experiences, and only later in life her courage moved her to lecture to schoolchildren in Florida.
A not so well known fact is that two of the highest profile escapees from Auschwitz were Slovaks. One, Rudolf Vrtba, wrote a great book in the early '60s called "Escape From Auschwitz: I Cannot Forgive" ... It's an amazing story. He lived much of the rest of his life in Canada.