remnants of barracks at Auschwitz

Six Hour Tour of Auschwitz

When visiting Krakow, seeing Auschwitz is a must.  Auschwitz, a complex of 48 concentration and extermination camps, was operated by Nazi Germany in occupied Poland during World War II.  The complex includes Auschwitz I, Auschwitz II-Birkenau, and Auschwitz III-Monowitz along with several subcamps.

Auschwitz was the largest Nazi German concentration and death camp.  Between the years 1940 and 1945 when Auschwitz operated, the Nazis deported at least 1.3 million people to the camp, including 1,000,000 Jews, 150,000 Poles, 23,000 gypsies, 15,000 Soviet POWs, and 25,000 prisoners of other ethnicities.  Of these prisoners, 1,100,000 died.  90% were Jewish.  Most were killed in gas chambers, but many also died from illnesses and starvation.

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Chapel of St. Kinga in Wieliczka Salt Mine

The Wieliczka Salt Mine

Ever since I heard about the Wieliczka Salt Mine from my friend Ron, I have wanted to visit it.  I am fascinated by mines and Wieliczka Salt Mine is definitely the most unique mine I’ve seen.

Tour Options

While preparing to visit the mine, I reviewed its website and was surprised to find there are a variety of tours from which to choose.  I ruled out the 30-minute Graduation Tower visit that includes breathing a brine mist above ground as well as the Pilgrim Tour that concentrates on praying throughout the 2.5-hour mine tour.

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Sedlec Ossuary

Kutná Hora and the Sedlec Ossuary

Kristin and I planned two and a half days in Prague.  Then I found out about this town, Kutná Hora, and the Sedlec Ossuary, and I wasn’t sure how to spend my time.  My friends have raved about Prague, and many have claimed Prague was their favorite European City to visit.  As such, with all the places to see and things to do, I figured I at least needed our planned two and a half days to visit, maybe more. 

But after seeing pictures of the Sedlec Ossuary, I felt like I was too close (only an hour away by train) to pass up a chance to see it.  After much deliberation, I signed on to a six-hour tour of Kutná Hora and the Sedlec Ossuary with Discover Prague.  While I really enjoyed Prague, I’m so glad I took the time to see Kutná Hora and Sedlec Ossuary.

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Old Town Prague

Top Places to See in Prague

Praha Train Station

Once the historical capital of Bohemia, Prague is now the capital and largest city in the Czech Republic with 1.3 million people.  We arrived in the fifth most visited European city via bus from Nuremberg which was the fastest mode of public transportation.  The bus dropped us off at the main train station, Praha, which interestingly used to be called the Wilson Station, after American president Woodrow Wilson!

Woodrow Wilson was a leading supporter of Czech and Slovak independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.  He recognized the sovereignty of a defacto government modeled after the US constitution which was set up by Masaryk who was in US exile.  Soon the Czechs and Slovaks joined together to form the independent Czechoslovakia in 1918.    

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Trodel Markt in Nuremberg

Nuremberg’s Walkable Old Town

We arrived in the morning to Nuremberg on our last day of our Danube Cruise and organized a taxi ride from port to our hotel in Old Town for around 20 euro.

Where to Stay in Nuremberg

Our hotel, Gideon Designhotel, was in the Old Town of Nuremberg’s southeast corner.  The hotel was conveniently located near a variety of restaurants, the pedestrian area, as well as the train and bus station.  We really liked the location.

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Happy New Year! FREE Give Away!!

Is one of your new year’s resolutions to travel more? Let me help with that!

Announcing four more travel posts now available on GPSMyCity! and one includes the offline maps for FREE!

You may wonder, “What’s the big deal? I can read the travel post on your blog.”

Well, yes, assuming you have access to the internet, you can read my article on my blog.

But what if you don’t have access to the internet? Or you don’t have a good data plan in country you are visiting?  How do you find those famous sites or the corner pub?

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Passau

Top Things to Do in Passau

Passau

Our ship sailed all night and through the morning until we reached our next destination, Passau.  We docked aside another ship and walked across it (a common occurrence on the Danube) to begin our walking tour of Old Town located on the peninsula between the Danube and Inn Rivers.

Passau, a German city of 52,000 people sits on the border of Austria in the Bavaria region at the confluence of three rivers.  The third being the Ilz.  As such, Passau, a bishopric since 739, profited from important salt trade routes and remained independent until it was incorporated into Bavaria during the Napoleonic times of 1803.

Today, attractions in Passau can be found on both sides of the river.

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