#RonAbroad – A Weekend Trip to Krakow, Poland

By: Ronald Hobbs

Bonjour!!! My Name is Ronald Hobbs, and I am currently a senior at Purdue University Calumet where I study history. I am studying abroad in Paris, France for the fall semester at the Institut Catholique de Paris through ISA. While I am here in this amazing place I will be sharing with you my many adventures (taking the metro every day is a big adventure!!), some tips for being abroad, many of my personal experiences, and random musing from my day-to-day life while in Paris. I hope that you follow my journey and follow me with #RonAbroad! Au revoir!!

This week I am going to write about my one weekend trip that I was able to afford. It was a trip to Krakow, Poland. During this trip I experienced some fun things and let’s just say, some not so fun things… So with out further delay lets dive in!!!

I booked this trip a little over a month ago when I was searching for some reasonably priced travel. During the initial planning stages I was deciding between visiting either Rome or Krakow. Needless to say, the cost of travel expenses was the deciding factor, so Krakow it was!  A round trip flight to Krakow was 40 euros while one to Rome was 3-4 times more!!! Once I decided on Krakow I booked my flight with Ryanair and then I  searched for a hostel on Hostelworld.com. It took me awhile to find a hostel that I liked but one stood out because of it’s 94% rating and affordable prices (less than $40 for 2 nights). It was called Lets Rock Hostel and it was located in the heart of Krakow!! SO after that was taken care of all I had to do was wait for this weekend to arrive. After talking with other students in my program, I actually found out that two other students were heading to Kakrow and staying in the same hostel that weekend too! I was thrilled to have travel buddies!

When the weekend arrived I was more nervous than anything because of what people typically visit when they go to Krakow and because I had to be up super early for my flights!! One of the primary reasons I was going to Poland was to visit Auschwitz, one of the largest concentration camps during WW2 where Jews, Russian POWs, and many others were murdered by the Nazis. The other two girls I was traveling with, Courtney & Nikki, and I spent a total of 4 emotional hours at the camp. The camp was almost overwhelming to be at and I had trouble holding myself together while I was there. At the camp you can go through the blocks and see museum exhibits that break down the atrocities that happened. Some showed what the dormitories looked like, another was a prison building, and then one of the most depressing was the block that housed the Nazi’s plunder from the inmates. We were going to visit Auschwitz 2 to see the remains of the main gas chambers but the camp was starting to close, so we were forced to catch our bus back to Krakow. Visiting Auschwitz is something that I believe everyone should do during their lifetime.

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On the way back from the camp I found out that in China they do not teach very much about the holocaust in their history classes (Nikki is chinese) and that she was overwhelmed and even confused about how something like this could be allowed to happen.

Now, I want to close with something a little more enjoyable!! I want to talk about the excellent polish food I ate while in Krakow!  Not only was it delicious it was also extremely affordable! One meal that I had (and considered rather fancy) was a duck breast with soup, rice, and veggies – It only cost the equivalent of 10 Euros! I also enjoyed some of the best polish sausage and dumplings  I’ve ever eaten! Needless to say,  I definitely did not go hungry while I was in Krakow and it did not break the bank!
All in all this weekend trip was great and it ended up being really educational! I look forward to telling you about more of my adventures to come! Stay tuned for my next post and follow #RonAbroad on GoEnnounce and Twitter!
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