and the winter begins

hello all, sorry for the length between posts, probably mostly to my mother, who I am sure takes a keener interest in my activities than the other exchangees 🙂

anyway, how to describe my last month in poland? I have been to lots of places, including Auschwitz and Birkenau concentration and death camps, been ice skating, an impromptu trip to Scotland to see a friend, as well as lots of university, and the study associated with it.

one of the most interesting aspects for me in Poland is its close link with the Holocaust and the second world war. I feel really lucky to be able to visit the places I have read so much about my whole life. The university organised a trip for us to Auschwitz, which consisted of a guided tour, which was informative, and thus also incredibly depressing. I left the camp after a long day in a sad mood, but was glad to have had the chance to learn more about such a important event, which must never be forgotten.

In responce to the tour, I went and downloaded Schindlers List, which gives an overall account of the Jewish experience in krakow. This was another chance for me to live out the history I had only read about in books, and thus I went on the krakow Jewish walking tour, which concluded at the famous Schindler’s Factory, which now has been renovated and turned into a museum. The walking tour also reinforced the desperation and struggle of the Jewish plight, and of the barbarism of the Nazi party. We were lucky enough to visit many alleys and streets where the movie was filmed in the early 1990’s.

My internship at the international office has began, and I have been lucky enough to be given a really exciting and interesting project. I, together with the ESN team will be researching the city of krakow (things to do and see, culturally important sights, hiring bikes, walking tours etc) as well as the history of jagiellonian university, in order to add another dimension to the Erasmus Students Network facebook page and website. I am working in tandem with Ainslie, who with her journalism skills will help to construct a english/student friendly page, dedicated to improving the time students have in Krakow! I look forward to seeing this project come to fruition

so what else is new? The weather is getting really cold now! we are experiencing 0 celcius and with promises of -20C….it could be a long cold winter. I have made plans to ski however in december, and thus i am hoping for lots of snow this season. I really noticed a difference in the weather on monday when I returned from Edinburgh, where it was actually much warmer.

In the city centre all the christmas markets are being erected, and a giant present sits proudly in the centre of the main square. It really adds a festive feel to the city, which already has its old world charm, with beautiful horse drawn carriages and candlelit restaurants. I think i will enjoy a white christmas this year!

This weekend I head to Wroclaw, in the west of poland for a weekend of sightseeing. The silesia region had historically been a melting pot of german and polish culture, and was one of the most developed parts of poland pre WWII. nowadays its mostly inhabited by poles, but still sounds great fun, and a good chance to meet new people and try new foods!

Goodbye for now 🙂

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