AUSCHWITZ – BIRKENAU

I visited Auschwitz-Birkenau on a day trip when I was visiting the Polish city of Krakow. It’s hard to put into words the awful senselessness of what happened here. The moment of it hits you when you’re told that they don’t actually know how many men, women and children were actually murdered in the camp, either by gas, assassination or by disease and starvation! The Soviets claim it was 4 million, others believe it to be around the 1.1 million to 1.5 million marks. I read an article the other day saying “at the height of the gassings 6000 people a day were been killed” and that’s just at Auschwitz. But whatever the numbers! The horrors are real and are felt when walking around the death camp. This is no more apparent than when our tour guide told us, there was so much smoke been made from the burning of the bodies, that the Luftwaffe complained? It’s funny that! As no one knew what was going on??? Then the Germans had the problem with what to do with all the ash, which was been made from the burning of the bodies! The response was to scatter the ashes all around the camp. Yes! I actually realized I was standing on someone’s life! Someone’s relative! Someone’s forgotten dream that was so cruelly taken away.

Auschwitz had three main divisions.

Auschwitz One is where the famous and ironic greeting sign saying “Arbeit Macht Frei” meaning “Work makes you free” sign is. This was where the prisoners entered upon arrival. This camp could hold up to 20.000 political prisoners.


Auschwitz Two is located in the village of Birkenau also known as Brzezinka and could hold up to 90.000 prisoners. There were bathhouses (Gas chambers) and this part of the camp is where the bodies were put into the crematorium ovens. The majority of Auschwitz victims died at Birkenau.

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40 smaller facilities called Sub camps were built to form salve labor camps. The biggest of these named Auschwitz Three (Monowitz) could hold a further 10.000 prisoners and started to operate in October of 1942 by the SS.

The first prisoners arrived in Auschwitz in May of 1940 with the first extermination been in September of that year. Out of the 1.5 million prisoners that died at Auschwitz 90% of them were Jews. That’s 1 out of every 6th Jew that died in the holocaust was killed at Auschwitz. It wasn’t until January 27th 1945 that the Soviet army liberated the camp. It’s hard to put yourself in their shoes with what their eyes saw! 7.600 sick left behind, mounds of dead bodies, thousands of pieces of clothing and shoes and also 7 tons of human hair! This was shaved from the prisoners before their death from the gas chambers. It’s so hard to imagine human beings been so cure to each other.
For my final thought I would like to say and it is in my opinion that everyone should visit Auschwitz – Birkenau not just for the history but to educate and make sure this disgusting and hateful act never happens again.

It takes 90 minutes to get from Krakow to Auschwitz and Birkenau by road. I went with a tour company called http://www.krakowtours.com it was just £27 and that included all entrance fees and an English speaking tour guide.

 

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It takes 90 minutes to get from Krakow to Auschwitz and Birkenau by road. I went with a tour company called http://www.krakowtours.com it was just £27 and that included all entrance fees and an English speaking tour guide.

Getting to Krakow was simple and cheap as well. I flew with Ryanair out of Manchester Airport. It was a good no frills 2 hour flight. They also fly to Krakow Airport 3 times a week, so it gives you a lot of flexibility. Please check http://www.ryanair.com for details.
I stayed at the Hilton Garden Inn in Krakow. Please check http://www.hilton.com for special rates and weekend deals.

http://www.hilton.com 

http://www.ryanair.com or http://www.klm.com

Poland is an up and coming tourist destination. I have been lucky enough to have visited quite a few times and Warsaw is a great city to visit with lots going on, and lots of history to tie in with Auschwitz and World War 2. Please keep checking the Travelmoose.info site for my article on the Polish capital, which is coming out soon.

 

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Standin’ On The Corner

“Well, I’m a standing on a corner in Winslow, Arizona and such a fine sight to see. It’s a girl, my Lord, in a flatbed ford slowin’ down to take a look at me.


The “Take It Easy” song by Jackson Browne and the late Glenn Frey, and most famously recorded by the Eagles, has really put the spark back into this northern Arizona town.
During the 1960s, Winslow was a thriving town, off the famous Route 66 trail. But with the construction of the bypass and I-40 bypassing the town, Winslow was hit really hard. Many local bisnesses disappeared, and with that so was tourism. But the Standin’ on the Corner Founation was formed in 1997 to help the town get back on it’s feet. With a lot of fund raising they opened a public park called “Standin’ on the Corner” in September of 1999. The Founation took adventage of the town being memtioned in the famous song to create a statue of a man standing on the corner as a flatbed ford is slowly passing by. It’s absolutely fantastic, a really thoughtful tribute and a must see if your in the Grand Canyon area.

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Address: Old Hwy 66, Winslow, Arizona, 86047

Web-Site: standinonthecorner.com

 

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The Mystery of Mothman!

The Mothman Legacy dates to the fall of 1966. On a cold November evening a group of friends drove in the TNT area of Point Pleasant, West Virginia. They soon realized that they weren’t alone! What they saw that chilly night became one of the world’s most mysterious mysteries of all time. The Mothman phenomenon had people intrigued, curiously asking questions: What really did happen? What did these people see? Has it been seen since? Two of the three questions I have no answers for? But, one I do know, has it been seen since? The answer is YES! Amazingly there has been over 100 reports, with many more sightings been unreported as the people were too scared to come forward, fearing repercussions from Mothman. As the years passed though all went quiet on the sightings, but still its rumoured that Mothman is still out there?! The small town of Point Pleasant is now visited by hundreds of people each year, wanting to find out for themselves about Mothman. No more is this the case, then on the 3rd weekend of September when the town hosts an annual Mothman festival to honour their famous mystical creature. Also in the town is a 12 foot tall metallic statue which was created by the sculptor Bob Roach and was revealed in 2003.

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Address: 400 Main St, Point Pleasant, WV 25550

Opening Times for the Mothman Museum

Monday through Thursday 11am-5pm 
Friday – 11am–6pm
Saturday – 10am–6pm
Sunday – 12–5pm

Web-site: http://www.mothmanmuseum.com

Phone (304) 812-5211 

 

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The Vulcan Monument!

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Created by the architect Giuseppe Moretti and located in Birmingham, Alabama, the Vulcan Monument reflects the cities roots to the iron and steel industry. Standing 56 foot (17m) the Vulcan is the largest cast iron statue in the world and depicts the Roman God, Vulcan (the God of fire and forge). The statue was added to the National Register of Historic Places in July 1976 and interestingly has held a Coca-Cola bottle, Ice-cream cone and a Heinz Pickle in its time! The statue based at Red Mountain and underwent a massive $14 million-dollar renovation in 1999 and was completed in time for Vulcans 100th birthday. On that day, the park welcomed 100.000 visitors who enjoyed the stunning views of Birmingham and enjoying the newly built museum and observation deck. The stone walkways leading up to the Vulcan statue were restored and is wheelchair accessible. The restoration project received a National Preservation Honor Award from the National Trust for Historic Preservation in 2006 and is a must see when visiting the deep south.

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Address: 1701 Valley View Dr, Birmingham, AL 35209, United States

Admission: $6 Adults, 65+/Military $5, Children 5-12 $4, Under 4 Free

WWW.visitvulcan.com

Phone: 205-933-1409

 

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The Whistle Stop Café

“A true American gem of a place”

The original cafe where the famous and one of my favourite films “Fried Green Tomatoes” was filmed. Located in Juliette, Georgia, the cafe is just an hour’s drive south from Atlanta on I-75 at exit 186. As well as the cafe (which still serves the famous fried green tomatoes!) you will find “Smokey Lonesome hunt” and the BBQ where “Big George cooked his famous BBQ” Oh and of course, we all know the secret ingredients don’t we!

 

You will also find a small handful of antic shops to wander round as well as public restrooms at the top of the street, it’s fantastic.

 

 

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Address: The Whistle Stop Café – 443 McCrackin Street, Juliette, GA 31046

 

Open Daily from 11am till 4pm

Phone: (478)-992-8886

 

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Veterans Memorial Museum

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Ahhhh the ole Miss, the heartbeat of the south, my favourite part of America! I love the people; the food is unbelievable and oh my, is there so much to see and do! I would need a year or more to fit it all in. Unfortunately, I just had a week! But, in Arnie’s famous words “I’ll be back”

                                                            “Kilroy Was Here” 

“The Hospitality State” really did live up to its reputation for me, no more was this the case than when I visited the Veterans Memorial Museum, which is in a town called Laurel, off I-59 just north of the city of Hattiesburg. As soon as I entered the museum I was greeted like a lifelong friend by everybody. Larry offer to show me around the museum and what a magnificent pleasure that was. He was so informative, telling me about the different weapons and tactics that were used during passed wars. It was here, that I came across one of the most powerful paintings that I’ve ever seen. The painting by Charles L. Brown called “The 13 Minute Gap” (below) shows a badly shot up American Flying Fortress Bomber which is heading very gingerly back towards the English Channel and the safe haven of England. The bomber though, was spotted by a German Messerschmitt. The German super fighter plane headed towards the stricken US bomber, the crew could do nothing to stop what they thought was the inevitable outcome! Facing death right in the face, they watched the Messerschmitt get closer and closer. But, no bullets where been fired? thought the crew. Then the Messerschmitt drew alongside the bomber, eye contact was made between the two pilots and to their amazement the German pilot wave his arms and pointed the way back to the English Channel. With the US bomber crew now on the right course, the German pilot waved and turned back towards his airbase. The bomber crew landed their battered plane back in England safely. After the war had ended, the US pilot wanted to know who the German fighter pilot was and posted an article in the papers. Amazingly the German fighter pilot read the article and came forward, he had married a Canadian woman and was living in Canada. The two pilots arrange to meet up and became good friends. What a remarkable story hay folks, truly fantastic. As you can gather the Veterans Memorial Museum is very educational and packed with historical wartime memorabilia. If your ever in the Hattiesburg area, you MUST visit.

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Address: 920 Hillcrest Dr, Laurel, MS 39440, USA

Phone: (601) 428 4008

Opening Hours: Tuesday through Friday 10am – 4pm – Saturday 10am – 2pm

Web-Site: http://www.veterans-memorial-museum.org

Facebook Link: https://www.facebook.com/Veterans.Memorial.Museum.LaurelMS/#

 

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Rock City – A Kansas Geological Wonder!

Rock City, a geological wonder of large spherical boulders in Kansas…?? Yes, it’s true! And what a unique place it is. Located 20 miles north of Salina off interstate 70, it’s a must see for any road tripper. As you drive down the old farm road leading up to the fascinating sight, upon arrival, you will find a small visitors center. Here you can pay your small entrance fee of $3 which includes an information booklet on Rock City and the historic area. Then off you go, to explore at your own pace, Fantastic.


It is a very interesting place with 200 spherical boulders divided into three clusters and has been designated as a national natural landmark since 1976. The giant rocks millions of years old, were formed when the sea levels reduced leaving a land surface of Dakota Sandstone. The ground waters containing dissolved calcium carbonate seeped through the porous sandstone, cementing the sand grains together. The boulders slowly increased in size as additional layers of sand grains were cemented. Eventually the softer, surrounding sandstone was eroded by wind, rain, floods etc. lowering the land surface. This left many of the cement-hard concretions totally exposed, while others are still partially embedded with only their rounded tops showing. Many have left interesting shapes, and some have even got their own names such as The Bathtub, The Turtle and The Doughnut, it’s such wholesome fun hunting for them.


The visitors centre also sells items by local artist, rocks and postcards to send back home (Bet they wouldn’t have seen anything quite like Rock City before folks!) The park itself is owned by a non-profit organization and all the money paid goes back into the park to help with the up keep. There are restrooms and picnic tables for a family picnic as well as a nature trail. Rock City has lots to offer and it is well worth a small detour off interstate 70.

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Address : 1051 Ivy Rd, Minneapolis, KS 67467, USA

Entrance Fee : Adults $3 and Children $0.50

 

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Celebrating 3 Years of Travelmoose.info

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Well, how time flies a folks! I can’t believe it has been 3 years since I started up my travel research sites. From http://www.bensplacestovisit.com to my little nurtured baby http://www.travelmoose.info 😊 It’s been tough, exciting and a crazy ride but we got there! So, to celebrate this achievement, I would like to invite you all to enter a very special competition which will take place on my birthday the 11th of September 2017. The winner of the draw will receive 2 FREE flight tickets to Dublin from your chosen airport (UK ONLY)

Interested…? All you do is register at http://www.travelmoose.info through (word press) and share your favourite post from http://www.travelmoose.info The more you posts you share the more entries you get, It’s as simple as that.

Terms and Conditions!

NO SMALL PRINT HERE! Nice and Easy – When I’m back from Zurich, Switzerland (Where the draw will take place by a Hilton Staff Member and myself) I will email the lucky winner and offer you 5 available dates, you pick the dates you want and I will take your details and off to Dublin you trot.

*The competition is open from now until 12pm on the 31st
August 2017.

*Please Note – This Is a Flight Only competition*

*Accommodation and spends are at your own expense*

Happy Posting Folks!

And…

GOOD LUCK!