Trip to Krakow, Poland

We arrived in Krakow on the morning of October 20th, raring to go and make a good start on Mr Gay's itinerary. We walked up to the Main Square and took in the sight of the Market Hall, St Mary's Basilica, the Bell Tower and the Town Hall Tower, along with all the shops, stalls and restaurants. After lunch, we headed back to the hotel to unpack and rested up before an evening walk around the Jewish Quarter, where some of us had hot chocolate and Polish cheesecake.


The following morning, we enjoyed a hearty breakfast - Rrshai's meal was something to behold - and afterwards, Mr Gay invited students to a History lesson in 'da room' for those who wanted to find out about Krakow during the Nazi Occupation. We then went to Plac Nowy for some delicious street food before meeting our coach for the journey to Auschwitz-Birkenau. This visit was the primary purpose of our trip and was an overwhelming and emotional experience. Our guide told us about the conditions and experiences of those sent to Auschwitz and we saw exhibitions of some of the possessions, photographs, preserved rooms, living quarters and cells, including the room where St Maximilian Kolbe was murdered. We then travelled to Birkenau Extermination Camp where we saw the industrial scale of the Nazis’ 'Final Solution'. Students stood on the exact location where prisoners were sorted into those who would live, and those sent straight to gas chambers. They also stood inside some of the bunkers used to house the prisoners. The visit to Auschwitz was one never to be forgotten and one which, we hope, reminded our students of the importance of tolerance and compassion. 


The following day, we took a walking tour of Krakow and visited the Jewish Old Town, some movie locations from Schindler's List, Wawel Castle (complete with fire breathing dragon), Krakow Cathedral, where a mass for St John Paul was being celebrated, the Main Square and heard famous Polish legends from our guide. In the afternoon, we visited the Krakow Ghetto Memorial and Oskar Schindler's Factory. In the evening, we had a night in the Jewish Quarter, complete with traditional live music. After our night on the town, students returned to their rooms for their final night's sleep. 


On our last morning, we enjoyed free time to explore. Some of us rode in a golf buggy taxi to get out of the rain. We visited St Mary's Basilica and even sang a hymn outside it, much to the enjoyment of passers-by and church staff! Students managed to cram in some last minute sightseeing and shopping before returning to the hotel to collect our luggage and begin our journey home. The students as always were fantastic. It was difficult to choose our 'Top Trippers' as there were so many worthy winners, but after long deliberations, Tilly Farmer and Adam Tooley were unanimously chosen! We would like to thank our students for their perfect behaviour and enthusiasm, for getting in front of the camera, and behind it, and sharing their memories with us! Dziękuję bardzo!


Mrs Lavelle & Mr Gay
Teachers of History and Citizenship

Other News...