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marleyb’s Travel Diary

Wednesday, 19 Jul 2006

Location: Prague, Czech Republic


Well, this morning Poland tonight Prague, or Praha as the Natives call it! Natalia had the brain wave to drive to Auschwitz, only 1100km round trip but if your not driving it's a great idea! We hired a Skoda for 50 quid for 2 days (a real beauty) and set off last night, slept in the car to save money and visited Auschwitz today, getting back an hour or two ago (guess where our bed is tonight). It was amazing, exactly as you would imagine, complete with rooms full of childrens shoes, luggage, prostitic limbs, glasses, and a whole room of human hair, pretty overwhelming really. We spent 4 hours on a tour visiting the infamous block 11 (execution block), wall of death, Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II Birkenow, site of the murder of 1,500,000+ people. Went to a museum devoted to the invasion of Poland which as you can imagine in Poland was as bigger deal as the extermination of the Jews. The scale of Auschwitz II is immence most of the housing stables are no longer there but the chimneys are still standing and stretch on as far as the eye can see in a huge field surrounded by woods which disguised 2 of the 5 cremetoria. Everyone must know what went on there but until you see it for yourself you can't grasp the horror, they had photo's of the mass execution of children, and wall after wall of mug shots of people in there late teens early twenties all of whom had been killed on the spot we were standing. To be honest as I'm sure you can tell we were both blown away by it all! All the brick structures are still there complete with the infamous railway lines leading to the gas chambers which are even worse when you find yourself standing in one.
Anyway enough of that, we're currently staying in Prague, a beautiful place. It was built in the 13th to the 15th century mainly and is as gothic a place as you could imagine, unfortunately filled with people called Dave on stag Do's from Wales as the beer is good and ridiculously cheap, a pint for 20p or 35p in an expensive bar. I don't think I'll be able to stomach London prices after this, but I'll try! To be honest there's not a great deal to do in Prague except drink as it's pretty small, but we had fun never the less!
We're off to Vienna on thursday, and neither of us know what to expect but I've heard it's nice, but not cheap!
Not much more to add except to tell you we had a funny run in with the Czech police 20 mins ago whilst driving our beloved Skoda (called Sky by Natalia, even though it's Burgundy) the wrong way up the street! The police waved us down, never a good sign, asked us for our passports, then said it's a 2000kc fine, about 50 quid, which dropped to a 500kc fine when we looked poor and upset, luckily the chip and pin machine they carried around for just this eventuallity didn't work! Ha we got away with it after pleading ignorance and trying to distranct them by asking directions to a tourist attraction that was never going to be open at 1:30 am, they we so pleased to practice their English and be helpfull they completely forgot about the cash machine behind us! Oh well!

Keep in touch and all our love to you all!