A Travellerspoint blog

August 8th

FP Church Glasgow

sunny 21 °C

We arrived at church at about 11am and headed in. This is a really nice FP church, not like any FP churches I have seen before. It is big and has 2 levels of seating. There is arches around the top level and you can sit at the back or on the right and left . I wish I had taken a few shots now, but at the time I thought it might have been frowned upon.

Posted by classique 13:22 Archived in Scotland Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

August 7th

Glasgow

sunny

After a quick shower and breakfast Andy and I headed into Glasgow for a look around. We left the car in a 7 storey car park and I spent 10 Euro's on a new pair of jeans because the pockets in my others were torn. So many times i would forget and put a whole handful of coins in only to feel them run down my leg and scatter. It was like they were having a competition to see which coin could roll the furtherest. After changing we headed in to see the council chambers, i think, which had the first and original statue of liberty on top of it. This was actually built before the statue of liberty in New York. We peered through the locked doors to see floors and ceailings covered in mosaic tile work. We continued on and found the Provand's Lordship which is the oldest house in Glasgow. It was epic! I loved it. The rear door way was so tiny we had to crouch to get through. The walls were really thick at the bottom and got thinner on the way up. The floor joists/beams were the original ones and looked like they had been hacked from a huge log and they bowed this was and that. There was fireplaces in every room and antique furniture everywhere. I especially liked the dining room which had a long tabled and enough seats to seat eight.
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We headed out the door and across the road to the Glasgow cathedral.
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Once we had walked around it and checked out the grave stones we headed inside to see the different chapples and the main church building itself whilst the sounds of a huge organ filled the room. We then headed to the Necropolis which is the dead centre of Glasgow (lol, yes thats a pun!) In this old graveyard they have some of the most amazing graves i have seen. They have a memorial to John Knox which towers over evrything else in the grave yard.
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We headed down to the salt markets and dropped into a dinner for a feed. We ordered a big breakfast which came with sausages, bacon, eggs toast, black pudding and a can of Irn Bru. The black pudding definitely is not pudding but tasted pretty good. After howing down our late lunch we headed back to the car and over to Andy's sisters place for dinner. Now this was really awesome. I didn't really feel hungry at the time but we ordered in a whole bunch of Indian curries.

Posted by classique 13:17 Archived in Scotland Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

August 6th

Scotland

rain 15 °C

I arrived at the London Stansted airport at 11pm. After going to customs I headed to the seating area to find a bed. Well, everyone else had the same idea and the seats were covered by bodies sleeping and attempting to sleep. I wandered around the airport and eventually lay down on the ground across from the unmanned Ryan Air check in desks. I rolled my jumper and jacket up and used them as a pillow and lay my feet over my bag. After about half an hour the cold from the floor became intolerable so I put my jumper on and lay back down. This was better but as I am a light sleeper, although there weren't many people around, I didn't get an ounce of sleep. Finally, at 4:40am the Ryan Air desks opened so I headed across and got my passport checked. After a fatty but enjoyable breakfast at Burger King I through customs for another long wait. As the plane wasn't leaving till 8:20 I lay down on a seat, which was slightly more comfortable then the floor, for the next 2 hours and again got no sleep. Finally it was time to board so I headed through and was one of the first in the queue for boarding. I climbed the steps onto the plane and took a seat nearest the back door. I attempted to watch some Top Gear through the flight but my eyes were heavy and I kept dozing. Eventually I arrived at Glasgow and was given a spot check by customs. Andy picked me up from the airport and we headed back to his place for some lunch. After a lot more dozing, a little shopping, some TV watching, some more dozing, and some email writing we had a couple of pizza's. It was heading on toward 9pm when some of Andy's friends turned up so we headed out to play some 10 pin bowling. As they were over booked we went for 18 holes of golf... sorry did i say golf, I meant putt Putt! Sweet As!
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We split into 2 groups of 3 and went round with several of us getting a few hole in ones. I didn't really feel tired until we got home just before midnight. I hit the sack and woke up around 10am.

Posted by classique 13:15 Archived in Scotland Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

August 5th

Krakow walking tour

sunny 20 °C

I got up after not a lot of sleep and grabbed a bite to eat from the hostel kitchen. I repacked my bag as efficently as i could, locked up my gear and headed out for a free walking tour of Krakow.
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The tour takes about 3 hours and the guide takes you around historic and funny parts of the city giving a background picture of how it all came to be. We went around some of the older buildings in Krakow, the city walls and gate, and then onto the castle itself. The castle itself was rebuilt after a hugh fire destroyed a large part of it. The cathedral has several chapels as each king decided he wanted to have his own chapel and each one was built in the style of that time. So, as you can imagine, the outside of the cathedral on one side looks very odd indeed!
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After the tour I headed back to the town square for a bite to eat. I sat at an outside table and watched as horse drawn carriages that were fit for royalty rolled on the coble stone square. After attempting to update my blog and failing misersably I grabbed my bag and headed for the train station. I got there in time to catch the 6pm train and waited and waited and well... you get the idea. It finally arrived 6:30pm. I arrived at the airport in good time, got my visa check done and went through customs. This time Ryan Air were weighing the bags. I got a few more heavier things out of my bag and filled the pockets of my jacket etc. Thankfully it came in under weight and I walked outside, climbed the stairs and found a seat on the plane.

Posted by classique 15:31 Archived in Poland Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

August 4th

Auschwitz, Birkenau, and Dinner

sunny 16 °C

Today, after breakfast at the hostel, I headed off at 11:45am with a tour group to spend the day doing a tour of Auschwitz and Birkenau. I joined a french guy, Mohamed, who was from the same hostel as I. It took just over an hour by bus to get to Oświęcim which the germans called Auschwitz. There was a bunch of senior girl guides on the bus who we ended up chatting to for most of the way. We arrived and then had to wait for about 45 minutes while our tour guide waited for several more bus loads. Thankfully when we went inside and got our head sets we were sorted into smaller groups for offical Aushwitz guides. We set the channel on our headsets to 6 and were able to hear the guide who had a microphone without her having to raise her voice at all. As the tour itself took about 3 hours it is pretty hard to cover the day with any kind accuracy. We went through the gates under the signs "Arbeit Macht Frei" meaning "work will make you free".
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The origins of the camp and how it came to be were explained to us. If I remember correctly the camp was originally used Polish army artillery barracks and then turned into a concentration camp after the germans invaded as it was very easy to hide and all the buildings were already there. We were then taken into a series of barracks which showed the how the Jews, gypsies and some polish were brought in by rail carrages, processed etc. Some had spent 8 to 10 days in the carriages without food or drink. They were ordered off the trans and sorted. All luggage was to be left behind and some went to the gas chambers imediately and some went to the labour camp. We were shown how the jews bellongings were processed with stock piles of everything setup in storehouses including their hair which was shaved off so it could be used for textiles. The next barracks showed the toilets, and bedding situation and the photos of the first victims to be brought and photographed. There was one persons photo who stood out for me above all the rest which had a huge smile on his face. Most died or were executed within a year. A lot didn't make it past 3 or 4 weeks. We moved on to the last barrack on that road to be shown where the men and women sentenced to death by the SS were led out through a door to a wall where they shot. Inside that barracks was where the SS commander/judge made his rulings as to whether people would be shot, starved to death, suffocated or other sentences. There was another room which had boxes in it which were just big enough for 4 people to stand up in. They would be forced to work all day, then stand all night in this box which they had to crawl into and then work again all day with the possibilty of this going on for up to 10 days. We were led to the spot where the jews were grouped and roll called every morning and evening and where hangings were carried out. And then finally we were led to and through the gas chamber were a hugh amount of jews were killed.
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This was the end of our tour of Auschwitz I, so after a 20 minute break we jumped onto a shuttle bus and headed over to Birkenua which was also known as Auschwitz II(the final solution). It was many many times bigger then Auschwitz I. Once again we were shown through the barracks and toilet blocks. They were only allowed to go to the toilet twice a day, once before work and once after with many hurrying others up so they could go. They had barracks enough to hold 90,000 people which they crammed in 200,000. The beds in the barracks were 3 high and cramed next to each other. Each bed heald 10 jews. The top bunk was generally wet from the leaky roof and the bottom bunk was where you were attacked by the ferocous rats which woul deat living and dead people.
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There were i believe 4 gas chambers. They were led into the changing rooms where they all had to strip and then crammed into the gas chamber which was disguised as a shower room complete with dummy shower heads. It took an hour to get 2000 people into one and then they closed the doors. An SS officer wearing a mask would open and drop the contents of several cans of Zyklon B which was a granulated substance down the air vents. As soon as it mixed with oxygen it reacted and became cyanide gas. It took 15 minutes to end the lives of those 2000 souls. They were then incinerated in the the ovens by other jews who had this job. These jews also had to strip any remaining valubles from the corpses. The four gas chambers were destroyed by the germans who left just before the allies arrived. over 20,000 jews could be gassed and incinerated in a day. After walking around the remains of a couple of the gas chambers it was time to head back to Krakow.
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I went for a wander around the town square and listened to a few pepole who were busking. There was one guitarist who could really play! Later in the evening I caught up with Mohamed for a drink in the town square. We headed off to a italian restaurant for dinner where we had a selection of breads, pasta and wine for only 38 sloty which equates to about CAD$15.Mohamed___I.jpg

After taking a few shots of Krakow after dark I head back to the hostel for a much desired sleep.

Posted by classique 15:26 Archived in Poland Tagged backpacking Comments (0)

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