What to expect when visiting Auschwitz concentration camp

There is no simple answer to this, as the emotions, you feel throughout the camps will change as I found myself mainly in a state of disbelief that not only did this happen but the sheer size of the camps. But I did upset and it came over me so quickly that I didn't realise I was getting upset and also didn't realise that I had lost my tour group... But let's go back to the start.

We had booked our Auschwitz tour through our accommodation and it cost us just over £35 each which was around the going rate online and included our transport to and from Krakow and gave us a guided tour around Auschwitz I and II. When we arrived I was full of apprehension as I knew what we were going to see and just couldn't bring myself to prepare myself for it. Our tour guide was excellent and so brave as I would not be able to bring myself to do this every day. It was my first time visiting and Victoria's second so she had an idea of what to expect and I thought I did after visiting The Killing Fields in Cambodia, but this was different it felt rawer as we are taught about it in school and is something which we have seen and heard about through the media so much. But I would 100% recommend doing your research before you arrive, as growing up in the UK I had learnt heavily about the Holocaust in school, but I still wasn't prepared for the reality when we arrived. We got picked up in from Krakow and boarded a tour bus which took us to Auschwitz which is about two hours out of Krakow so a four hour round trip plus you spend around three hours there so overall is a seven-hour trip. And although this is a half day trip, it still takes up the majority of your day, so please bare this in mind when you book. As by the time we got to Krakow it was dark, although we did have the surreal experience of seeing Auschwitz at sunset and the sunset was insane.

When we first arrived we had a guided audio tour around Auschwitz one and this was done with a guide who spoke into a microphone which we then heard through a headset, which works really well as I was scared that it would be noisy and chaotic but this worked perfectly. Furthermore, our tour guide was brilliant, which really added to the experience. I'm not going to go into too much detail about what you will see around the camp as I want you to experience it for yourself. But I found the whole experience overwhelming and I couldn't grasp the fact that this happened, and I know this sounds stupid as I knew all about it and learnt so much about in school but just being there and seeing the sheer size of it shocked me to the core and broke me. This is also when I lost my tour group, as I remember walking to the corridor with all the photographs and looking at the photos and suddenly I wasn't looking at the photographs I was searching for my one of best friend in the photos, not her family name as she is of Polish descent I was looking for her and I just burst into tears and checked every photo. And then I came to the end of the corridor I suddenly realised I couldn't hear my tour group anymore but luckily I was travelling with one of my best friends (not the friend who I cried over) and luckily she had noticed I wasn't with the tour group so was looking out for me, and after around ten minutes I was reunited with my tour group and then we got back onto the bus and headed to Auschwitz Birkenau where we continued our tour. We started by walking from the bus to the entrance to the camp as we walked along the famous train tracks where again I became shellshocked by the size of it as the size is unexplainable and it was purpose built and you don't realise this until you're there. After this, we headed to the remains of gas chambers II and III which have been left since they were blown up as the Nazi's tried to hide what had happened here. After this, we headed towards the bunkers but due to the sun setting, we were unable to see inside before we headed back to the bus to travel back to Krakow.

Visiting Auschwitz was one of the best and most core shocking places I have ever visited and I urge you if you're thinking about visiting, go it was will an incredibly difficult day but it allows you to truly be able to understand the sheer size of what happened in the Holocaust as six million is just a number, until you're there looking at the size of it that number is just a number.

After visiting Auschwitz I can say I would return as there is so much still to learn about what happened there and at other camps across Europe and would love to visit other camps across Europe. And we can never forget the atrocity which happened. Ashleigh xx Here is a discount code, to give you £25 off your first trip over £55. www.airbnb.co.uk/c/ashleighh1808

#Krakow #Poland #Citybreak #europe #eu #Auschwitz #History