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Author Topic: Poland - Krakow and Walsaw  (Read 1231 times)
slb_000
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« on: June 15, 2013, 09:26:05 AM »
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I'm expecting to visit these two cities on holiday in a few months, and wondered if there were any photographic recommendations, particularly stuff not in the normal guide books / tips about times or light conditions to see things.

I'll have a few days in each location, no car, and as well as staying in the two cities expect to do a day trip to Auschwitz-Birkenau.

Thanks,

Simon
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PhotoEcosse
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« Reply #1 on: June 17, 2013, 10:34:27 AM »
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Hi Simon,

Assuming you mean Warsaw rather than Walsaw, I have only done both those cities as day trips from Edinburgh, so can't really comment on their potential for longer visits.

On the positive side, both are eminently walkable and good for architecture and street photography.

Have fun.
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JohnTodd
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« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2013, 01:41:21 PM »
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Simon,

I spent a hectic week between Krakow, Warsaw and Lodz last year. My quick recommendations are:

Krakow: the Market Square and old town is an obvious stop; the Jewish quarter; the Wawel Castle complex is much bigger than it looks, but entrance to the interior rooms can be a long wait; a boat trip on the Wawel river needn't take long, but try to get an idea where you'll be going (to avoid less photogenic stretches); the day trip to the Wieliczka Salt mines will test your low-light skills to the maximum, but the underground cathedral is worth it (despite the hidden photography charge  :-()

Warsaw: the Old Town will take an easy day; the trip up the Palace of Culture and Science gives a 360-degree view over the city; the Wilanow Palace has great gardens and interiors.

But, most of all, if you've never been to Eastern Europe before, just street shooting; there're a million details on every corner. Just a few streets away from every tourist area are little markets and corner kiosks full of 'real life'.
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kmeyers
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« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2013, 04:08:01 PM »
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Auschwitz and Birkenau -bus runs every 30 minutes or so.
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cmburns
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« Reply #4 on: June 22, 2013, 04:14:48 PM »
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I'm in Warsaw tonight. Only had part of an afternoon so I headed to the cemetery. Google Powazki and Okopowa cemeteries to see what the big deal is. I went in the north at Powazki. Some ok stuff there. I eventually headed south, then on the east wall walked through the wall and into the Okopowa cemetery. I didn't realize it was closed on Saturdays until I made my way to the gate at the south east only to find it locked. I then had 45 minutes to get back to the way I went in, barely made it. The cemetaries are enormous.

The Powazki is somewhat taken care of. Step through the brick wall in the Okopowa and it's a forest with gravestones. A lot of it looks untouched since WW2. Here and there are some paths deep into this part of the cemetery. Or you could go in the gate at the south east, just not on Saturday, and start on paved paths and make your way into the hard to reach bits.

Go in the late afternoon, you get the occasional shaft of light penetrating the trees. Use copious amounts of bug spray. It's been a wet summer and the mozzies were ridiculous.

Krakow, yeah the old downtown bit, and the castles. Also do the salt mine. A little touristy but pretty cool. Hey it's an UNESCO site for a reason.

Auschwitz/Birkenau. I think it was 2008 when I was there. At that time you went through the small Auschwitz camp on a tour only. The rules were kind of in flux then so maybe they let you go on your own again. The barracks with the incredible amount of human hair and shoes were no photos allowed. Not sure why, but the tour leader seemed to know people were going to take photos and left us to it. At the big camp we also got a tour but then were left to our own at the end. It's huge but then you have tiny things like a few stones or a candle left at the entry to the gas chambers that maybe got across what happened there better than a wide angle of the place. If you're lucky there will be a survivor there while you're there. Telling their story, maybe walking around with their family.




 
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