Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Mother's Day to all our travelers' Moms

Today is Mother's Day in Europe. On behalf of all our travelers we do
send a bouquet of red and white carnations and our congratulations for
raising such a fine group of young people! Our travelers are exemplary!

Today we visited the 700 years old mine of Wieliczka and were 135
meters (400 feet) underground! I did not take pictures for my iPhone
was not strong enough. Then we visited the Royal Castle and there
pictures were not permitted. Free afternoon on the square, Wedel
chocolates, and St. Mary's basilica with the world famous Wit Stwosz

As I write this, we are being serenaded by a Hungarian orchestra at
the "Balaton" restaurant. All of us are eating together tonight. My
pictures are not very good because I am being serenaded by the
violinist, but you will no doubt see lots of pics on FB. This is
another " First" for our group.

Today the Holocaust was present in our activities, although in a less
obvious fashion. In the salt mine we were told that the Germans kept
prisoners whom they later sent to Auschwitz. And then Jews hid in the
300 kilometers of the mine and the Germans could never find them. We
were only on the third level of the mine and there were nine of them.
We saw 1% of the total mine and we walked and climbed down for two
hours. . .

Then in the private apartments of the royal palace we came across the
residence of one oh the last Presidents of the Polish Second Republic
in the 1930 s and we were told that Hans Frank who was Governor of
occupied Poland and Hitler's right hand, lived there with his family
during the war. The Nazis even built a wing of the castle -- a strange
thing since the castle was first built in the Middle Ages and much
embellished during the Renaissance by an Italian royal spouse.

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