Poland (Recap at 138 Days)

Poland (Recap at 138 Days)

On Tuesday September 20, we were finished with our stint in Ukraine and headed to Poland for the last destination on the European portion of our draft itinerary. Flights back to Europe were surprisingly expensive, but we remembered that LOT Polish Airlines are a member of Star Alliance, and a relatively small 30,000 United miles and a copay of only $43 were able to get us from Kiev to Krakow, Poland.

Krakow was a wonderful city to relax in for a few days, and we didn’t do much tourist stuff, aside from a day trip to the Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, the site of some of the most heinous crimes in human history. It was a really exhausting day, but in the end, it’s important for us to remember and understand the scope of the horrors that were here. It’s part of our shared human experience, for better or worse. (Don’t forget: you can see Charley’s incredible pictures here.)


The buildings at the Auschwitz camp have been maintained and turned into exhibit halls for the museum.


These used canisters of the “Zyklon B” gas were particularly disturbing to me. Ten cans were enough to kill 2,000 Jews in twenty minutes in one session. Every ten used cans here represents 2,000 murders.


This exhibits tries to chronicle the names of the murdered from the Holocaust, but the “book” is so much more.


Here you can see the full size of “The Book of Names,” which goes on for over ten feet.

Auschwitz-Birkenau aside, we managed to recover emotionally and enjoy ourselves a bit while we were in Poland. Krakow is a great city, and we even managed to meet up with our friends Seth and Ela who were in town at the same time.


This delicious flatbread open-faced sandwich is called a zapiekanka, and it’s DELICIOUS. They come in tons of varieties and only cost a couple bucks each.


Krakow town market

From Krakow, we headed to Warsaw for just a couple days to see the Polish capital and finish out the time in Europe on our draftitinerary. Warsaw was a nice city, with really hospitable people, and we enjoyed our time there. We started at a fairly touristy restaurant where there was an entertaining dinner show:


I don’t know the Polish language at all, but based on this sign in Warsaw, it’s ADORABLE.


This beer pub in Warsaw, the Jabeerwocky, was a nice craft beer pub, with a good variety of local craft brews.


Plac Zamkowy, Warsaw, Poland

Craig Chu

Craig Chu

Craig is a credentialed pension actuary who worked most recently as a software developer with Winklevoss Technologies, in Greenwich, CT USA, where he worked to maintain and develop ProVal, the world’s leading software product for pension valuation and forecasting analytics. A proud graduate of Caltech, he is a big fan of all things science-related, as well as (in no particular order of preference) beer, New York City, choral singing, and cats. He can be reached at craig@draftitinerary.com


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