The one who does not remember history is bound to live through it again - George Santayana
After a month in the Mediterranean heat, Anthony and I were excited to travel north. While booking our tickets to Norway, we noticed all our flight options would have a layover in Poland. Even though this country was never on our radar, we booked a four-day layover in Kraków. As a result, we fell head over heels in love with Poland.
We landed in Kraków close to midnight. The weather was drizzly and cold, and we bundled up in our coats while wandering the tiny streets for a late dinner. Music filled the walls of the city as a mix of Polish teens and young travelers huddled near club entrances and steaming food carts. Couples strolled through the alleys, linking arms to stay warm. Men with thick accents whispered in the shadows, cigarette butts lighting only their faces. After feasting on Polish food, we wandered back to our hostel and slept with the windows open, listening to the rain hit the pavement as we fell asleep.
The next three days were heavy and sacred as we traveled to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps, watched Schindler's List and explored the Jewish Ghetto. We dined on Polish cuisine and indulged in great craft beer. We listened to a three-man orchestra as they serenaded the city in the square. We set our alarms for sunrise and walked the historical streets of Kraków as everyone slept. Coffee cups in hand, we walked in silence, allowing the history and story of the city walls to invade our soul.
Below are a few photos from our short stay in Poland. Of all the places we visited in Europe, this is the country that pulled on our heart the most. We feel extremely humbled to have been warmly welcomed into the tragic story of this city.