We went in Poland with the school’s European section from the 27th of March to the 2nd of April. We were 40 students and 3 teachers: Mr. Connan, Mr. Boulanger and Mrs. Bazire. For some of us, it was the first time we traveled by plane.
On the first day, we went to the youth hostel and visited the center of Krakow’s city. During the week we did some shopping on Rynek, which is the marketplace. We bought some souvenirs but also obwarzanki, the traditional polish breads. On Rynek place, we could see saint Maria chuch, where a man was playing bugle on the 4 cardinal points every hour.
On the second day we visited the Castle of Wawel where many kings lived when Krakow was the capital of Poland. We visited the church and the crypt where famous historic people are buried, and the bell tower with the beautiful view on the city. In the afternoon, we visited Schindler museum, with a guide who speak French. We discovered the horrible story of thousands of Jews during World War II. After that we took a walk to discover the old Jewish Quarter with the calling place.
On day 3, we visited another college: the collegium Maïus or Jagellon university. Two guides presented to us the place in French. We could also see some astronomical instruments, some of them used by Nicolas Copernic. The visit was quick but very interesting and the guides were very nice.
On the 4th day we did the most important visit of the trip: Auschwitz-Birkenau. We discovered the barracks were deportees lived, but also the gas chamber. This was a difficult visit for most of us, but we regretted that the barracks were modernized and transformed into small museums. It was great to discover the story, but a big too long and we felt less emotions than in others which were not restored. We would also have liked a bit more explanations and informations on some points during the visit. But it was however very heart-rending.
Next day, a French teacher from the college XVIII has guided us in the present Jewish Quarter: Kazimiert. We couldn’t visit a synagogue, but we could see a Jewish museum and discover a little bit of the Jewish traditions. This teacher also guided us in her college XVIII, which is a small college of Krakow. There wasn’t any student because they have had exams on the morning and came back home after that.
And to finish the trip, we visited the salt mine of Krakow! We all enjoyed this visit where we went 300 meters underground! We could see long corridors, chambers, even a chapel and many statues, all made in salt!
It was a trip full of visits, but also of free time. It was a bit exhausting but interesting, and we had a lot of fun during this week together!
AP presse, Lise Gaury, Anna Camuzard, Loïc Leteillier, 1L