Secrets of Poland – Exploring Warsaw and Krakow

After Warsaw, we then went on to visit Krakow in the south. There we went to the Historical center, the Christmas markets, Oscar Schindler’s enamel factory, and the Jewish districts that were once the infamous ghettos. We took a day trip to the Wielicksa salt mine and to Auschwitz Berkenau labor camps to learn about the WWII atrocities in person. The trip was truly unforgettable and made Poland one of our favorite countries to visit yet!

Wielicksa Salt Mine, Poland

They quickly found salt at Wielicksa and began extracting it to use and export abroad. This sale of salt eventually consisted of 1/3 of the total revenue made in Poland at the time and became a key part of the country’s stability over the next 3 hundred years continuing operations through 2007. Today the mine is a tourist stop filled with stunning carvings of salt made into the most beautiful and inspiring sculptures,

Auschwitz Birkenau

Personal belongings were taken upon arrival to a section of the camp referred to as “Canada”. Called “Canada” because people brought valuables (thinking they’d use at their relocation) and the Americas were viewed as prosperous. The Germans took anything of value, burned anything personal. These “Canada Warehouses” were subsequently destroyed by the Germans (along with gas and cremation facilities) to hide evidence of wrongdoing.
Correction, upon arrival they were allowed to keep one item…a belt…because they’d lose weight quickly.
I think guide said initially they’d photograph each inmate, but as cost of film and developing increased, they began using tattoos to save money. Also, as the death toll grew, tattoos were an easier way to identify the bodies.
Each prison uniform had a distinguishable patch so guards could quickly identify the category of prisoner. IE – political prisoners had a red triangle, criminals a green triangle, Jews a yellow star of David, Jehovah witnesses purple triangle, etc.
See bunk pic below, 5-6 people slept on each level.

Isla Rosario, Colombia

One of the last holdouts for authenticity in the world we find paradise close to an international tourist destination. This intimate island holds lots more than just tranquil beaches and friendly faces. Rosario islands consist of 80 archipelago just an hour boat ride southwest of Cartagena! This special island is home to some wonderful local…

Castillo de San Filipe de Barajas – Cartagena, Colombia

This impressive battery was the largest in the Americas at its time. Construction began in 1604 and reinforced over the next 200 years with multiple additions to the hill structure this iconic fort was the center of multiple pirate attacks and the point to collect the wealth of treasures from the new world before shipping…

Monserrate, Colombia

High atop the mountain overlooking the city of Bogota sits the famous cathedral of Montserrat where the faithful make their annual pilgrimage by climbing barefoot, or even on their knees, up to the beautiful cathedral for the daily traditional catholic services. Hiking to the top can be a great way to spend the day, watch…

Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Diving and snorkeling on the great barrier reef is unparalleled and simply leaves you breathless with the spectacular wonders and creatures held in these waters. You never know what wonders await you underwater! I was fortunate enough to meet these unforgettable creatures over my 9 dives.

Cusco’s Mercado San Pedro

One of the best places to be on just about any day of the week in Cusco is the Mercado San Pedro.  Here they offer every type of food you can imagine from Amazonian fruits and veggies to fresh meats and seafoods to baked goods and everything in between.  The market was design by none…

Diamond Beach, Iceland

Crystal clear hunks of glacial debris washing up on the jet black sands of Diamond Beach is undoubtedly one of the world’s most stunning sights.  Driving up from Vik and past the Skaftafell glacier you pass the Glacier Lagoon Jokulsarlon, and Ice Bay where you come upon a steel bridge with a large parking area to…

Seljavellir – Iceland’s Secret Thermal Springs

Icelanders love their natural hot springs and have been bathing out in the thermal springs for hundreds of years.  Taking advantage of the year long warm waters the Icelanders socialize out in the warm pools as a national pastime.  Many great places to enjoy the springs are all over the island. The Blue Lagoon is a…