A Travellerspoint blog

Why You Will Never Find Your Soul Mate

by George...


View WOA: GANDA TRAVEL 2014 on woa's travel map.

Our train rolled passed the old railroad tracks.

Weeds and colorful wildflowers sprout through the rusty rails.
They bloom once again like their ancestors did when the holocaust trains rolled by
carrying thousands and thousands of humans to their doom at Auschwitz.

These weeds all stood straight up, saluting us as we rolled by.
Were they thanking us for their existence because of the blood, sweat and
tears that spilled from the hot holocast trains that watered their ancestors?

Yes, the doomed watered the vegatation along this route.
The doom watered the seeds of their parents, grandparents greatgrandparents etc...

And these weeds and wildflowers live because no one pulled out their
ancestors from the soil or sprayed them with poisonous gas. They continue
to live on for another year, to seed for the next and the next.

But the doomed on the trains that rolled past the flora ancestors were
indeed yanked from their soil and sprayed with poison so they would never
seed again.

Those seeds. They never existed.

And it is these unexisted children and grandchildren that could have been the
love of your life, or the ones to solve the world's problems. Maybe you
wonder why you're so lonely, why no one understands you, why you have
no friends. There is a simple answer to that. They were murdered long
before they existed.
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Posted by woa 11:42 Archived in Poland Tagged auschwitz Comments (0)

Katowice & Auschwitz, Poland

~Andrea

sunny 78 °F
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We took a train to Katowice, Poland. We stayed in a nice apartment right in the main area near the train station. I don't think we've stayed right in the core of the center before. Conveniences galore.

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Our apartment kitchen where I cooked a pasta dinner! I really enjoyed having a kitchen to cook in again.

While in Katowice, we decided to to go see Auschwitz and Birkenau. It's a pretty heavy-hearted experience and I will share some photos but not a lot of words.
I'll admit it felt a little creepy taking a train there.
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To visit Auschwitz, you first have to make an online reservation (don't wait until the last minute), but it is free to enter. They are strict about the entry times too. We did not go with a tour, nor get the headset guide. George felt we didn't need them.
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We entered a building where there had been mass killings and I was overcome with sadness. My eyes started tearing, then stinging, I felt a big lump in my throat, then my ears and throat felt a burning sensation. It was painful. Physically and emotionally.

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Next stop: Kraków

Posted by woa 07:45 Archived in Poland Comments (1)

European Capital of Culture 2016

~Andrea

sunny 74 °F
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Wroclaw Poland was a city we'd never heard of until my friend Gosia suggested it. (Thanks Gosia!) Wroclaw has belonged to different countries, but became part of Poland in 1945, due to border changes after WW2. We also learned that Wroclaw was chosen as one of the cities for the 2016 European Capital of Culture. That explains a lot of the current construction going on.

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We walked around the old town, the bridges along the Oder (Odra) River. But hands down, our favorite place was the Botanical Garden (Ogród Botaniczny). It is so beautiful and inviting. Of the many botanical gardens we've been to in the U.S. and Europe, this is a top favorite.

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Wroclaw is very walkable, has a good tram system, and some good pizza.
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Posted by woa 22:44 Archived in Poland Comments (0)

Never Tear Us Apart

~Andrea

semi-overcast 70 °F
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It is no secret INXS is my favorite band ever. The song "Never Tear Us Apart" was filmed in Prague, and released in August 1988 (on the KICK album). Arriving in Prague I had a new mission. Yep, to find the locations in the video, and I am very grateful that George is a good sport and helped me find them. My pictures are in the areas and general proximity, not exact.

Around the brown brick building on the left of this photo could be the first scene where a guard walks out at the beginning of the video
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The riverbank
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(Just another part of the river with a city view)
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I am sitting under the lamp post were the first scene on the Charles Bridge was
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The park on the Castle side of the river, with the bridge in view
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City view
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On the Charles Bridge
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They had scenes in the old Jewish cemetery, my photo is at the gate since we didn't go in
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The steps they climbed by the Castle area, yeah baby
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Near the end, Michael Hutchence walks under the Astronomical Clock
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The video ends showing the old square
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Link to the video and info I used -
http://inxsonline.com/music/never-tear-us-apart/

Posted by woa 11:29 Archived in Czech Republic Comments (0)

Oh Vienna...(the Ultravox song from 1981)

~Andrea

all seasons in one day
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The name 'Vienna' had first come to us in different ways. For me, (George) I think I first encountered 'Vienna' while watching Bugs Bunny's 'Tales from the Vienna Woods' cartoon. It was a cartoon that cleverly infuses humor into the classic musical composition by Johann Strauss. I probably first heard 'On the Beautiful Blue Danube' also while watching Bugs Bunny but became enamored with it while watching Stanley Kubrick's '2001: A Space Odyssey'. That waltz piece seemed perfectly aligned with ships floating in space in a kind of elegant marriage between past and future human accomplishments. Thinking about it now, I believe that particular scene greatly inspired me to become a filmmaker. I supposed I've always loved classical music from a very early age and the name 'Vienna' always seemed synonymous with beautiful music. For Andrea, it seems the Ultravox song (and music video from MTV days) had enough of an impact on her that she decided to title this blog post after the chorus in the song.

How did we get to Vienna? We left the sunny beaches of Spain and flew to Vienna, Austria using one of the cheap discount airlines. Vienna welcomed us with cloudy skies and cooler weather. However, the weather changes from sunny-to-cloudy-to-rain-to-sunny again. As the saying goes in Europe, "If you don't like the weather, just wait five minutes." We see rain in the forecast during our five-day stay, and it has rained nearly every evening when we are in our nice hotel, streaming classical music from KDFC in San Francisco. The falling rain adds an inspiring and poetic element.
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Vienna is a very walkable and bike-friendly city. It has been named one of the world's "most livable cities" and you quickly see why. The architecture is grand and astonishing as are the parks and platzs. On one day, we visited the only apartment of Mozart still preserved in Vienna. He lived there Sept. 1784 to Apr. 1787, where he composed numerous chamber pieces and the famous opera "The Marriage of Figaro".
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Here are some photos of our wanderings for now. Happy Summer Solstice.

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The Ankeruhr clock that puts on quite a performance at noon!

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Roses in the Volksgarten
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We rented bikes and rode around the city and along the Danube. As we were riding along, we saw an old lady in front of us walking, wearing a scarf on her head, shoes on her feet, carrying her purse. Apparently this area is 'clothing-optional'. Further along were older men sans attire as well.
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George made a new friend who clung to his hand! Yep, a schmetterling!
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We stopped by a community garden and saw the Ferris Wheel of an amusement park, and rode paths along the rivers.
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Next we are heading to the Czech Republic including Prague. Then it is off to Poland.

Thanks for thinking of us!

xooxox

Posted by woa 11:15 Archived in Austria Comments (1)

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