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Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial

70 km from Krakow lies the largest extermination center in which the German Nazis operated, Auschwitz, during the second world war. This is the only camp to preserved to such an extent in its original condition to be made into a memorial.

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Warsaw

After so much putting off and more putting off I finally made it to Warsaw, Poland to see, yes you guessed, Erin. Although the winter isn’t the best time of year to visit the city it was still nice to another part of the world and explore the city where Erin has been living in the last 10 months.

One thing that I didn’t take into consideration when booking flights is that the polish celebrates Christmas over three days, the 24 to 26 the of December, with mostly everything closed on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. But unlike in New Zealand most things were open on Boxing Day.

Due to World War two the buildings in Warsaw are relatively new, including old town. The Old town which stands today isn’t older than forty years old and was rebuilt from original blue prints or off photos taken before. The builders have done an amazing job but there is not really a vibe of oldness.

Right in the middle of the city stands the Pałac Kultury i Nauki, translated into the palace of culture and science. This building was a gift from the soviets to the poles which started its construction in 1952, lasting 2 years.

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Warsaw is a green city, where almost one quarter of its area is comprised of fields, parks, green squares and lush gardens. We visited Park Łazienkowski or Łazienki Park, the biggest park in Warsaw. The park also has history behind it, as it was the favoured residence of Polish royalty. It stands over 76 hectares and was built between 1774 to 1784. Right in the center of the park is the Palace on the Isle a baroque bath house erected in about 1680 by an the most outstanding architect in Poland at that time, Tylman van Gameren.

Life of a Student

And then it was into the books. No warming, was just bam straight into it and a major information overload on the first day! I must admit that after 10 months of not really doing any study, it was a bit of a struggle to get back into the rhythm. Although I did manage somehow to pass the first exam, maths, not flying colours but it was a massive confidence boost. Continue reading “Life of a Student”