This is the story of two glass jars and their content: water and soil.
(image goes here)
It was on March of 2013, when I was still living in a very cold country, that I found via Ryanair roundtrip tickets to Poland for around 45 usd, which I bought as a self birthday present.
So I flew in April 2013 to Krakow, in a 4 days travel on which I stayed at the very center of that city @ the Let’s Rock Hostel. It was a very cold month, even when the winter was supposed to be over, there were remains of snow on the streets. (From that visit I specially remember the Museum of Contemporary Art in Krakow as being one of the best museums I’ve ever visited)
On the second day I heard a suggestion from the hostel’s staff to visit Oświęcim, a town situated 50 km west of Krakow, better known worldwide by it’s german spelling:”Auschwitz”. And, even going there wasn’t my main intention when I got the tickets, the place’s historical relevance is so tremendous, so I knew I had to go.
Organized tours where very expensive for my budget, so guided by this page I took the bus from Krakow Bus Station, where the german spelling was barely used. The bus and almost all the signals used the polish “Oświęcim”. I thought of WW german soldiers imitating the polish sound and adapting it to their language. I felt that, by having both, Oświęcim and Auschwitz, the Poles have two identities for the place: the polish word to refer to the whole city whose historical identity goes beyond the camp, and the german word to refer specifically to the camp.
That very day there were almost no tourists on the bus. Maybe it was just me, but as the bus was getting closer to Oświęcim, the landscape seemed getting sadder, as you can see on this pics below.
The bright pics are shoots from Krakow, the dark one is from Oświęcim
The bus last stop was some place on Oświęcim, near the concentration camp. Natives seemed to know by far where do foreigners/tourists lead to once they get off that bus, so my lack of polish, were no obstacle for them to knew right away where I wanted to go. They instructed me kindly and clearly.
The first view after the bus.