March 22, 2016 Krakow, Poland
From March 21-30, ten Hoban students traveled with Greg and I to Krakow, Poland, Prague, Czech Republic and Berlin, Germany (with a stop in Dresden along the way). We were in three countries with three languages and three currencies. It was a great adventure. And yes, we got lost a few times.
March 23, 2016 Krakow, Poland
Our first full day in Krakow was spent facing the stark reality of the Auschwitz death camp and then going to the depths of the Wielizcka salt mine. Two extreme examples of the power of the human will.
After spending several hours at Auschwitz and Birkenau, we traveled to the Wieliczka Salt Mine. This 13th century mine was a stark contrast to the horrors of the Holocaust. It was reassuring to see the good that humans can do when they combine energy, engineering, hard labor and artistry. The mine is over 300 meters deep and was in operation from the early 13th century through 2007. During that time miners would spend off-duty time sculpting statues and worship spaces out of the salt. Our group went 135 meters below ground and saw about 4% of the mine.
March 24, 2016 Krakow, Poland
Today we began by meeting with artists and students at the Fine Art Academy located in Krakow. We saw their stone carving studios, figural sculptures and met with faculty to talk about their current artistic pursuits.
After spending time at the academy, we relaxed in the Old Town Square by reading, writing, talking and drinking coffee.
March 25, 2016 Prague, Czech Republic
After a night spent in the sleeper coffin, er, berth we arrived in Prague. It was a rainy morning and we got a little lost but eventually made it to our hotel and met up with friends Tasci, January and Max. We spent all day together, walking around the city and taking in endless architecture - Prague remained mostly undamaged during World War II.
March 26, 2016 Prague, Czech Republic
During our second day in Prague we walked up to the castle, posed at John Lennon's wall, ate Mexican food and gushed all over this beautiful city.
March 27, 2016 Dresden & Berlin, Germany
After Easter Mass in Prague, we jumped on a bus and headed toward Berlin. Along the way we made a quick stop in Dresden to see the rebuilt city. Over 95% of Dresden was flattened by US firebombing during WWII.
March 28, 2016 Berlin, Germany
Our first full day in Berlin began with Wolfgang the tour guide flaking out on us. So, Greg and I plotted some spots on the map and led the group around town. Berlin is like a little big town - so accessible, so affordable and so friendly.
March 29, 2016 Berlin, Germany
During our second full day in Berlin we spent time at Checkpoint Charlie Museum, in the Kreuzberg quarter and with our new friends at art & design studio 44 Flavours.