WARSAW » (1 night) 2-3 April & 4-7 April (3 nights) & 13-14 April (1 night)
I went to Warsaw to meet a Portuguese girl I had met in Bratislava, and who opened her home for me and with whom I traveled for two weeks.
The truth is Warsaw was not even in my plans, and I ended up spending more time there then any other city in Poland. I had read so many bad things about Warsaw, on how boring and ugly it was, that I was not excited to explore it.
The night I arrived, I met with the Portuguese girl at the bus station, we went to pick up a friend of hers, another Portuguese girl, and arrived at her appartment, where another Portuguese girl was waiting. Yes, four Portuguese girls randomly meeting in Poland!
I had a plan to spend two or four nights in Warsaw, but as researching for bus prices to Krakow, we found ourselves deciding to go to Krakow the next day, as we purchase return tickets for as little as 0,5€. Yes, you read it just right. FIFTY CENTS!
By the time I was back in Warsaw, I got to know the city a little better, eat some local dishes like the famous pierogi, soup inside bread and goulash. I made an Old Town free tour with the best guide ever, who showed us the city, told us incredible and funny stories, and made me stay very curious about Warsaw, and a city I enjoyed way more than I hoped.
KRAKOW» 3-4 April (1 night)
As soon as we set foot in the Old Town I knew this was the Polish city I should've spent more time. I fell in love in a second, and I didn't want to leave Krakow after only 24h.
We started our visit by going for lunch to a typical Polish restaurant, super cheap, eating Goulash and soup inside bread. We then ran to the Free Walking tour, in which we got lost from the group because the girls decided to buy some terrible street food.
We walked the Jewish quarter, climbed up the Castle and saw the Dragoon spitting fire, we saw the guy playing from the top of the tower. We booked a GREAT restaurant for dinner, where they didn't let us book for the time we wanted, so we booked it pretty early for portuguese people to have dinner, and ended up loosing our reservation because we're portuguese, and portuguese people never on time for anything and we ended up eating Italian pasta, which was not in our plans at all.
We finished our night by hitting a local bar, where we watched some football match with crazy fans in the bar, and enjoyed a relaxing night drinking Polish beer that we hated.
On our last day, me and one of the girls went to the Auschwitz & Birkenau camps, as the other girl went to the salt mines. All would've been ok with the girl who went to the mines hadn't lost track of time, and it was a mission impossible to get that fifty cent bus! We tried to hold the bus as much as we could, we begged the driver, but the other girl wasn't at the station, and the driver said he was sorry and closed the door right in my face. I felt like crying, I felt anger, as I thought that we would have to get the train, and spend like 15€ on it. But the girl showed up running across the station as the bus was departing, so we just ran to the bus, screaming and waving for the guy to wait. And? WE MADE IT! Never felt so good to be on a bus like that day.
Auschwitz & Birkenau
I had the luck of going with one of the Portuguese girls I had met the day before, which made the experience a lot lighter and I had someone to share all those horrible things with.
From gas chambers where so many were mudered, to the terrible contidions people had to live, the amount of shoes, hair, bags and belongings of all those killed in the Auschwitz and Birkenau camp, and a slightly emotional guide, things were heavy to watch and listen. It was like a paralel world as you can't really take in all the terror, and how it's possible that something this horrifying happened and not that long ago.
I feel like I'm a richer person for having visited the Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration camps, and it's one of those experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life.
GDANSK» 14-16 April (2 nights)
I had been travelling for two weeks with the portuguese girls I had met, and Gdansk was a reminder of how much I actually enjoy travelling alone, at my own pace, doing whatever I want and spending the day as I please in a new place.
By the time I got to Gdansk, I knew my trip across Europe was almost over. The only city left was Berlin, and I would fly home after that, so I had to enjoy my alone time well and make the most out of it. With the weather being cold, actually freezing is the word, I decide to hop from one coffee house to another, tasting all the cappuccinos in the city, and always feeling warm because of it. And on my last day, I discovered a place to have lunch, in which I paid 4€ for the main course, drink and desert. Got to love Poland!