Saturday, April 29, 2017
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Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp: Advice from a Tour Guide

You have to see Birkenau (Brzezinka) with its train unloading ramp, and the wooden stables to fully understand the horror of Auschwitz. Some of the wooden barracks once served as stables for just over fifty hourses - then after some modification they had to accommodate up to 1000 prisoners. The maximum number of people who lived in any one time in Birkenau concentration camp was up to 100,000 people (1944).

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Kazimierz: Krakow's Jewish District

Kazimierz was founded as a separate town by King Casimir the Great in 1335 and was named after this king. In the late 15th century Jews from Krakow were moved there. THey established a separate Jewish town with their houses, businesses, synagogues and cemeteries. The character of this city, later a district of Krakow changed dramatically with the World War II. Nazi moved Jewish population of Krakow to a ghetto, which was established outside of original Kazimierz. As a consequence of the holocaust two thirds of the residents of Kazimierz died either in the ghetto or in the extermination camps. Only six thousands Polish Jews came back to live there but many of them subsequently emigrated to the USA, Israel etc.

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Poland: Basic Information

Total Area: 312,685 sq km (117,400 sq ml); Geographic coordinates: 52 00 N, 20 00 E. Poland is situated in Central Europe, East from Germany, West from Russia, South from Carpathian Mountains and North from Baltic sea; Compare - Germany: 357,021 sq km, Czech Republic: 78,866 sq km

Border countries:: (clockwise from Baltic see): Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 206 km, Lithuania 91 km, Belarus 407 km, Ukraine 526 km, Slovakia 444 km, Czech Republic 658 km, Germany 456 km, coastline (Baltic sea) 491 km

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Bialowieza Forest: Polish Bison, Bison Grass, and Vodka

On both of our trips to Poland, we spent some time in the beautiful primeval forest of Bialowieza in Eastern Poland. The area is only an hour or so from our relatives, so we opted to stay at the forest and took a tour in a horse-drawn wagon as well as wonderful walks on our own. One afternoon we rented bikes and rode through the little town of mostly wooden homes. Every home had a garden in place of the customary lawn. The flowers were beautiful and it was hard to decide what to photograph. We rode up and down the winding roads, stopping often to admire the gardens and wondering what causes such a beautiful tradition to develope. We ended up at a small cafe where we drank sodas at a quaint table right under the warm afternoon sun. We could cot imagine returning to Poland without another visit to this wonderful spot.

Read more: Bialowieza Forest: Polish Bison, Bison Grass, and Vodka


Warsaw: Where, How, When, What

What to do in Warsaw? What to visit during the one day trip? Where to stay, where and what to eat and drink? These and much more questions are answered in a beautifully illustrated guide of Warsaw from the series: Warsaw - Eyewitness Travel Guides.

It is hard to imagine how the publishers could store so much information, beautiful photographs and maps in this relatively small and practical book size: Paperback: 288 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.70 x 8.73 x 5.15

The book not only have more than 800 full-color photographs and maps, but it is very easy to use with sections highlighted by different colors.

Read more: Warsaw: Where, How, When, What


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This is Brande from Uganda with a photo of Ela, my daughter.

Polish Pottery

Polish pottery