After the success of last year’s tip to Budapest, a small group of KCC members and their partners ventured to the beautiful and historical city of Karkow.
Armed with our cameras, our first day was spent exploring the streets surrounding our hotel, which was conveniently located in the Jewish Quarter. A bustling area in Krakow and a stone’s throw away from Europe’s largest medieval city square, Rynek Glownynd, a great place for some architecture and street photography!
During the day the group broke off to explore the city with some opting to visit the Salt Mines, Nova Huta ( a town built by Soviet Architects in the 50s), Wavel Castle, Schindler’s Factory and St. Mary’s Basillica, to name but a few. Our evenings were spent together, over great local cuisine with excellent company and of course a little vodka!
Krakow, as you may well know, is a city haunted by a dark and turbulent history. On our last day a trip to Auschwitz and Birkenau was organised to pay our respects and remind ourselves of the horrors that xenophobia and racism can lead to, and the relevance this still has today.
As we came to the end of our Krakow adventure, thoughts were already on our 2019 trip! Barcelona seems to be a strong contender! We hope you enjoy the photos we’ve taken and welcome you all to join us next year!
Zoe, Morag and I opted to go on a trip to see Nowa Huta – the Communist New Town built for the Steel Works workers. It was fascinating to learn the history of the town and visit the homes, cafes, etc designed to be a propaganda success for the Communist state. Nowa Huta literally means “The New Steel Mill” and was built in 10 years from 1949-59 originally for 100,000 people (it now houses 200,000).
However, the point of this article is to highlight our mode of transport for the trip. We travelled in a communist car called a Trabant.
It was first designed in 1959 and never changed until production ended in 1990. It is extremely noisy and has no meaningful system of keeping the exhaust fumes from coming into the car. We were warned that the car was likely to break down but that should be part of the “fun” of the trip. It has no petrol gauge and the only way you know you have run out of petrol is when it judders to a stop. (you can switch over to a reserve tank which may last to the next garage. My lawnmower has a more sophisticated engine that the Trabant. Despite all this and more, it was an extremely popular car with a long waiting list for new owners.
We were left to ponder how an average family could fit into such a small interior. We really struggled – taking turns in the front passenger seat helped. There was one piece of good news – our Trabant didn’t break down. We had a great time.