Saturday 29 November 2008

Saturday Wordzzle # 41

The idea is, every week Raven (View From Raven's Nest) gives you between 8 and 10 words/phrases and you have to create a small but coherent paragraph using every one of them and the same with the mini challenge. You can do either, both or a megawordzzle using all the words, or even all three, it's up to you, you can post them on your blog or email them to Raven. If you join in go to Raven's and put your name on the Mr. Linky so other participants can come visit you.

Here's my efforts complete with my doodles.

This Week's Ten Word Challenge is: posthumous, flagrant, seven days a week, cheese and crackers, pyramid, civil war, clarinet, microwave, absent without leave, blue jeans

Scarlett didn’t believe the stories that her great, great, great grandfather had gone absent without leave from his unit during the civil war. Her granny had told her tales of his bravery, and the fact that he played the clarinet, over cheese and crackers when she visited, which she did seven days a week. Granny insisted that he was a hero and anything less was a flagrant lie!

When granny died she left the house and everything she owned to Scarlett. Sitting in granny’s old rocking chair Scarlett remembered the tales granny had told. She loved this old house and everything in it but if she was going to live here she would have to modernise it and the first thing she would get would be a microwave oven. Scarlett couldn’t cook, despite granny’s attempts to teach her, and the microwave was her friend.

Scarlett had lived in the house for 6 months and had made many changes but still managed to keep the character of the house. The rubbish skip in the yard was almost full, though she had sent a lot of the treasures she’d found to auction. There were just a few bits and pieces left in the loft to sort through so she donned her old blue jeans and climbed the ladder once again. She was almost to the bottom of the old trunk when she picked up a pyramid shaped box. Opening it carefully she gasped. There it was, the posthumous medal, awarded to her grandfather for his bravery above and beyond the call of duty. Granny was right, he was a hero not a coward.

Mini Challenge: sugar-coated, thermometer, tractor pull, evangelical, masquerade

Mike cursed and swore, unusual for an evangelical minister, but he was annoyed that the thermometer showed his temperature was too high for him to take part in the tractor pull for charity today. Even the effects of the sugar-coated painkillers were not enough for him to be able to masquerade as a fit man.


Today was the County Fair and Jessica was determined to be there. She had been working seven days a week lately but today she would be absent without leave and she didn’t give a damn what her boss thought, but she had rung in sick, just in case. She secretly fancied her boss which is why she worked more hours that was contractually necessary, but today she just needed a day off.

Jessica had slept in this morning and was now trying to decide what to have for a quick snack before she set off for the Fair. Rejecting a microwave meal she opted for a cup of coffee and some cheese and crackers. Jessica was in fact participating in the civil war re-enactment at the Fair, a pastime none of her colleagues knew about, and one she had been neglecting of late. Well all that was going to change from now on, she was going to have every weekend off.

She really enjoyed the re-enactments, getting to dress up and following the soldiers round tending to their pretend wounds, it was all done as close to the real thing as possible, even the fallen were given posthumous bravery medals.

There were other events taking place at the Fair such as stalls selling sugar-coated almonds, candy-floss, a local music group playing clarinets, and the police performing the amazing fete of a human pyramid whilst riding their motor cycles, with a seemingly flagrant disregard for Health & Safety issues.

Watching the tractor pull competition her eyes lighted on a cute guy whose blue jeans were wrapped rightly round his fabulous rear end. Jessica’s thoughts were anything but evangelical. If she’d been a thermometer her mercury would have been exploding out the top of her head. Suddenly he turned and caught her eye.

“OMG” she thought “thank goodness I’m masquerading in this re-enactment!”

The guy in the blue jeans was none other than her boss!

Friday 28 November 2008

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 53 Secret Admirer...

Secret Admirer

A bouquet arrived, the third in as many weeks.

"You must have a secret admirer" commented Steve "lucky I'm not the jealous type."

Lynn didn't know who'd sent them, but was secretly chuffed.
"I'm back" said Mum " I won a competition.....

flowers every week for a year, I gave them your address, have they arrived?"

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55.

Wednesday 26 November 2008

Krakow Part 4...

All too soon it was time to go home.   We had a leisurely breakfast at the hotel then took our luggage and boarded the tram into the city centre. We wandered through the streets once more taking in the architecture and the sunshine wishing we had booked another couple of nights as we discovered that November 1st and 2nd. are All Saints’ and All Souls’ Day respectively and important dates in Poland’s calendar. These two days are dedicated to prayer and paying tribute to the deceased by visiting their graves. Families all over Poland make pilgrimages to the resting places of their relatives, tending the gravesites laying wreaths and flowers and lighting candles that will be kept lit throughout the length of the holiday and beyond. As night descends, the country’s graveyards are aglow with the warm light of literally thousands of flickering candles apparently a sight to behold. Shame we were to miss it.

What we did see though was a sort of military parade, though what it was in aid of we had no idea.

They looked very smart in their uniforms and the horses were beautiful.

We sat outside one of the cafes in the Main Square enjoying a coffee then my friend and I decided to do a little retail therapy in the Cloth Hall.    My friend had been told by a friend that crystal was really cheap but excellent quality in Krakow and she had seen some crystal champagne flutes which had really taken her fancy and she wanted a second opinion.     The price on the glass was 95 zlotys which equated to about £22, now you can pay more than that in England for good crystal but when she asked the stall owner about the price he told her that was the price for SIX glasses!   "Wrap them up" she said "I'll take them!"

I bought a large Baltic Amber cross pendant for myself and an amber heart pendant as a present for someone else.     As we'd been shopping for about an hour we thought we'd better get back to the menfolk and have some lunch before it was time to go to the airport.    We ordered some toasties and another drink and spent another hour watching the world go by in the Square.    We noticed some men stretching nylon rope all around the square and wondered what was happening.  It turned out there was some sort of a road race and before too long the runners were charging past us - this lasted all of ten minutes then the rope was wrapped up again.

We hopped in a taxi to take us to the airport and although the driver didn't speak much English he was very friendly and told us he is coming to England at Christmas to visit his son who lives here and he was really looking forward to English food - I hope he's not disappointed!

Our flight was on time and uneventful and we landed at John Lennon Airport, Liverpool at 7.10 p.m., collected our luggage and car and were home by 8.30 p.m., when we had to go to Asda to do some shopping to stock up the fridge and the vegetable rack.

We probably won't go back to Krakow, as we have seen what we wanted to see, but if you are thinking of going I would certainly recommend it.

I hope you enjoyed our trip.

Monday 24 November 2008


Emmie (Emmas Dilemmas & Great Expectations) has bestowed this award on me, how kind is she?  Thankyou Emmie. x

Now there's rules with it

Rules: Pass it on to five other bloggers, and tell them to open the nearest book to page 46. Write out the fifth sentence on that page, and also the next two to five sentences. The closest book, not the coolest, or the one you think will sound the best. THE CLOSEST

The closest book to me at the moment is 'The Boy in Striped Pyjamas' by John Boyne, so here's the sentences from page 46.

'Yes, Father,' said Bruno.
'You were a help to your mother and sister in closing the house?'
'Yes, Father, said Bruno.
'Then I'm, proud of you,' said Father approvingly. 'Sit down, boy.'
He indicated a wide armchair facing his desk and Bruno clambered onto it, his feet not quite touching the floor, while Father returned to his seat behind the destkand stared at him. They didn't say anything to each other for a moment, and then finally Father broke the silence.
'So?' he asked.  'What do you think?'
'What do I think?' asked Bruno. 'What do I think of what?'
'Of your new home. Do you like it?'

I decided to read this book when we returned from Krakow and our visit to Auschwitz and Berkenhau, as that is where the book is set.

Now I have to pass it on to five bloggers.   No pressure, do it if the mood takes you.

Julia (A Piece of My Mind)
Laney (Liebfraumilch and Lipstick)
Linda (Are We There Yet?)
Cloudia (Comfort Spiral)
Anndi (Transition)

Saturday 22 November 2008

Saturday Wordzzle # 40

The idea is, every week Raven (View From Raven's Nest) gives you between 8 and 10 words/phrases and you have to create a small but coherent paragraph using every one of them and the same with the mini challenge. You can do either, both or a megawordzzle using all the words, or even all three, it's up to you, you can post them on your blog or email them to Raven. If you join in go to Raven's and put your name on the Mr. Linky so other participants can come visit you.

Here's my efforts complete with my doodles.


Ten words: pipe organ, ravages of time, lottery tickets, angelic music, five x five, boxes of books, flattery will get you nowhere, yodelling, pig tails, knitting needles

“What’s five x five?” asked Miss Caldwell. The class of 7 year olds looked blank.

Why was she still doing this, she wished she could retire and sit at home with her knitting needles, listen to angelic music and play pipe organ at church on Sundays. The ravages of time were showing on her once pretty face. She remembered when she was a pupil, having her pig tails pulled by the boy sitting at the desk behind her, him telling her how pretty she was and she telling him

Flattery will get you nowhere!”

Now all she had to look forward to was boxes of books to mark and the sound of the pupils reciting their times tables which sounded like yodelling if she didn’t listen too closely.

“I must keep buying those lottery tickets” she reminded herself.

Mini challenge: canary yellow, grizzly bear, out of the frying pan into the fire, simpleton, Ministry of Crazy Walks

Arthur thought “I’ve jumped out of the frying pan into the fire coming to work here. I must be a simpleton taking on a job where I have to dress in a canary yellow grizzly bear costume, cavorting about like someone from the Ministry of Crazy Walks!”


Debbie was like a grizzly bear at the moment, she was so stressed out trying to organise the Christmas Fayre for the church. Lydia, who was supposed to be organising it, was a simpleton who couldn’t even manage to multiply five x five so Debbie was having to do it all. If only she had kept her mouth shut instead of letting it be known she had tons of experience organising events, she’d been happy being relatively unknown in the church now she was the centre of Lydia’s attention.

Lydia had come up with stupid ideas like giving all the church members knitting needles to make pig tails in canary yellow wool to sell.

“Have you ever organised a Christmas Fayre before Lydia?” enquired Debbie.

“Well no, but I’ve sold lottery tickets” said Lydia.

“Ok, then you get to work selling the tickets, there’s boxes of books of tickets over there, and leave the rest to me!” offered Debbie. In the blink of an eye she’d gone from helping Lydia, to organising the whole thing. ‘Out of the frying pan into the fire that’s me’ she thought.

Debbie set to work on the telephone, she organised various competitions such as yodelling, Ministry of Crazy Walks, a karaoke, cake stall, fancy goods etc., etc.

Sitting in church listening to the pipe organ playing angelic music Debbie’s ears pricked up as the Vicar said,

“The Christmas Fayre was a fantastic success, we raised over £1000!”

“Well it was worth all the effort” thought Debbie, “even if I did run myself ragged.”

I just want to thank all the wonderful people who were involved in the organisation of the Fayre” said the Vicar.

“Here, we go, flattery will get you nowhere Vicar” Debbie mumbled to herself.

“Especially Lydia, for overseeing everything and putting it altogether” said the Vicar.

“What?” cried Debbie, who was exhausted, her face showing the ravages of time and lack of sleep she endured whilst organising the Fayre “Lydia isn’t so simple after all!”

Friday 21 November 2008

Friday 55 Flash Fiction # 52 Air, I need Air.....

Air, I need Air

"I need fresh air" he gasped "but I'll have to be careful, they'll be watching for us to come out of the tunnels."

He inched his head through the opening, trying to be inconspicuous but
They spotted him.

Next thing the worm knew he was the rope in a tug of war between two ducks!

Friday 55 Flash Fiction is brought to you by G-man (Mr Knowitall). The idea is you write a story in exactly 55 words. If you want to take part pop over and let G-man know when you've posted your 55.

Wednesday 19 November 2008

Potrait of Words # 3...

Jeff (A Word in Edgewise) has started up this monthly challenge, derived from a previous challenge from R.E.H.'s "Picture Fiction Challenge".

Photo Credits:

(From commons, unless otherwise noted)
Main Character- Trekguy
Backdrop- tootsie 14
Purpose- Uncle Phooey
Item- vodainghia_takeshi
Wild card #3- unknown- (was sent via an email)

Each month Jeff gives FOUR pictures which represent THE CATEGORIES and THREE pictures which represent THE WILD CARDS.

The object is to:
Write a story of any length or style. Long or short, comedy or tragedy, fact or fiction, etc,etc... it's up to you.
Use each of the picture representations in your story. (one from the wild card options)

Here are the portraits for this month's basis of the story and the guidelines:
Main Character(s): Your story can be told through or about this person(s), i.e. first or third person. Either way you go, their involvement in the story should be a focal point. Have as many or as few additional characters as you wish, but at least one of the ones pictured should be central to the overall story.

Backdrop: This will create the setting for your story. It can take place at the location depicted, be a destination to it, or be a journey from it.

Purpose: This is what drives or motivates the main character(s) to action. It can also be viewed as the objective of the story.

Item(s): The object(s) should have a significant value to the main character, backdrop or purpose of the story.

Wild Cards: Writers choice here. Choose one of the three options to use in your story anyway you see fit.

Here's my story:

Annee looked longingly at the lake.

“It’s so beautiful, I can’t believe it’s been so long since we were here last” she told Tom.

“I hope the cabin is comfortable” Tom replied “you did book the luxury one didn’t you?”

“Of course I did and I booked a meal at The Lodge for the last night” replied Annee.

The drive from home had been a pleasure in their new convertible, the weather being kind enough for them to have the top down. The weather forecast was good and they were looking forward to recreating their honeymoon in the perfect setting of the cabin and the lake.

“We should have let people know where we’re going, rather than just saying we’re going away for a few days and we’ll be back Friday” suggested Annee.

“Nah, it’ll be fine, we want to be alone don’t we?” replied Tom

The days passed like a dream, spent walking through the surrounding forest enjoying the dappled sunshine and eating simple food outside, whilst listening to the lapping water of the lake. Evenings were cooler, as Autumn was closing in, so they lit a log fire and snuggled up on the sofa whilst listening to their favourite CD’s which they’d brought with them.

There was no telephone or television at the cabin, which they were glad of, no interruptions, no worries. They talked about how special their wedding had been, though they hadn’t been able to afford much. They were both orphans so there were no parents to fund a big wedding, it had been a register office ceremony, a simple dress for Annee and a borrowed suit for Tom, no reception, no cake, but they were blissfully happy.

Their last day was idyllic – they were showering and getting dressed to go down to the lodge for dinner when Tom noticed dark clouds looming over the lake.

“Looks like a storm brewing” said Tom as he started the car up whilst Annee locked the cabin. It was a good hour’s drive to The Lodge but it was through the forest and a lovely run Annee was really looking forward to it. Half an hour into the journey they rounded a bend in the road only to find a fallen tree blocking the road.

“Oh shit” said Tom “we’re going to have to do a detour which will make us late for dinner.”

“I’ll ring The Lodge on my mobile and let them know” offered Annee, only to find the battery was dead. “Oh bugger, I hope they keep our table.”

Turning the car round Tom headed back to the crossroads to take the dirt road through the forest to the Lodge but by this time large drops of rain were hitting the bonnet of the car.

“Tom, you need to stop and put the top up otherwise were going to get soaked!”

Tom pushed the button to put the top up but nothing happened.

“It seems to be stuck” he told Annee as the rain increased.

Annee found a plastic carrier under her seat and fashioned a rainhood.

“Stop messing about with it Tom and just get us to the Lodge!” she said.

By this time the rain was coming down in sheets. The wipers were going double quick but weren’t really making any impression on the driving rain hitting the windshield. Annee’s dress was stuck to her body and Tom’s suit looked like a dishcloth. Suddenly the car stopped dead.

“What now?” cried Annee as Tom desperately tried to get it started again.

“We’re going to have to walk Annee we can’t sit here.”

They clambered out of the car and started trudging down the road, it was only about a mile to the Lodge but the going was hard through the driving rain and the dirt road had turned to mud.

Exhausted and soaked they reached the Lodge forty five minutes later.

There were no lights on but the door was open so they struggled through the door and collapsed in the dark hallway. Suddenly there was a flash as all the lights were switched on.

“Happy Silver Wedding Anniversary” chorused their three children, their families and friends gathered in the dining room.

“Where have you been we’ve been waiting ages for you?” they asked, shocked at their appearance.

The room was decorated with balloons and streamers, a table was laden with food and the most beautiful wedding cake imaginable. It was the wedding reception Annee and Tom had always dreamed of. Once they were able to shower and change they forgot about the misery they’d endured and were able to laugh whilst relaying what had happened to them. The party was better than any wedding reception, Annee and Tom had a wonderful time but both agreed they would get rid of the convertible at the first opportunity.

Tuesday 18 November 2008


I hope you'll join me in a piece of birthday cake today.   I'm 21 (again).

I saw this The Birthday Calculator at Mary's (Work of the Poet) who got it from Jamie (Duward Discussion) which gives you all sorts of useful(less) information about your birthdate.   Here's what it says about mine.

Your date of conception was on or about 25 February 1949 which was a Friday.

You were born on a Friday

under the astrological sign Scorpio.

Your Life path number is 7.

Your fortune cookie reads:

If you want the rainbow, you must to put up with the rain. D. Parton

Life Path Compatibility:

You are most compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 1, 5 & 7.

You should get along well with those with the Life Path numbers 4 & 22.

You may or may not get along well with those with the Life Path number 9.

You are least compatible with those with the Life Path numbers 2, 3, 6, 8 & 11.

The Julian calendar date of your birth is 2433238.5.

The golden number for 1949 is 12.

The epact number for 1949 is 0.

The year 1949 was not a leap year.

Your birthday falls into the Chinese year beginning 1/29/1949 and ending 2/16/1950.

You were born in the Chinese year of the Ox.

Your Native American Zodiac sign is Snake; your plant is Thistle.

You were born in the Egyptian month of Tyby, the first month of the season of Poret (Emergence - Fertile soil).

Your date of birth on the Hebrew calendar is 26 Heshvan 5710.

Or if you were born after sundown then the date is 27 Heshvan 5710.

The Mayan Calendar long count date of your birthday is which is

12 baktun 16 katun 15 tun 17 uinal 14 kin

The Hijra (Islamic Calendar) date of your birth is Friday, 26 Muharram 1369 (1369-1-26).

The date of Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 17 April 1949.

The date of Orthodox Easter on your birth year was Sunday, 24 April 1949.

The date of Ash Wednesday (the first day of Lent) on your birth year was Wednesday 2 March 1949.

The date of Whitsun (Pentecost Sunday) in the year of your birth was Sunday 5 June 1949.

The date of Whisuntide in the year of your birth was Sunday 12 June 1949.

The date of Rosh Hashanah in the year of your birth was Saturday, 24 September 1949.

The date of Passover in the year of your birth was Thursday, 14 April 1949.

The date of Mardi Gras on your birth year was Tuesday 1 March 1949.

As of 11/16/2008 8:32:46 AM EST

You are 58 years old.

You are 708 months old.

You are 3,079 weeks old.

You are 21,548 days old.

You are 517,160 hours old.

You are 31,029,632 minutes old.

You are 1,861,777,966 seconds old.

Celebrities who share your birthday:

Owen Wilson (1968) Kirk Lee Hammett (1962) Elizabeth Perkins (1960)

Linda Evans (1942) Brenda Vaccaro (1939) Alan Shepard, Jr. (1923)

Imogene Coca (1908) Eugene Ormandy (1899) William Gilbert (1836)

Top songs of 1949

Riders In the Sky by Vaughn Monroe

That Lucky Old Sun by Frankie Laine

Cruising Down the River by Blue Barron (also Russ Morgan)

A Little Bird Told Me by Evelyn Knight

Mule Train by Frankie Laine

Some Enchanted Evening by Perry Como

You're Breaking My Heart by Vic Damone

Slippin' Around by Margaret Whiting & Jimmy Wakely

Forever and Ever by Russ Morgan

A You're Adorable by Perry Como

Your age is the equivalent of a dog that is 8.43365949119374 years old. (You old hound dog, you!)

Your lucky day is Tuesday.

Your lucky number is 9 & 11.

Your ruling planet(s) is Mars & Pluto.

Your lucky dates are 1st, 10th, 19th, 28th.

Your opposition sign is Taurus.

Your opposition number(s) is 6.

Today is not one of your lucky days!

There are 2 days till your next birthday

on which your cake will have 59 candles.

Those 59 candles produce 59 BTUs,

or 14,868 calories of heat (that's only 14.8680 food Calories!) .

You can boil 6.74 US ounces of water with that many candles.

In 1949 there were approximately 2.8 million births in the US.

In 1949 the US population was approximately 131,669,275 people, 44.2 persons per square mile.

In 1949 in the US there were approximately 1,595,879 marriages (12.1%) and 264,000 divorces (2%)

In 1949 in the US there were approximately 1,417,000 deaths (10.8 per 1000)

In the US a new person is born approximately every 8 seconds.

In the US one person dies approximately every 12 seconds.

In 1949 the population of Australia was approximately 8,045,570.

In 1949 there were approximately 181,261 births in Australia.

In 1949 in Australia there were approximately 72,999 marriages and 6,572 divorces.

In 1949 in Australia there were approximately 75,260 deaths.

Your birthstone is Citrine

The Mystical properties of Citrine

Citrine is said to help one connect with Spirit.

Some lists consider these stones to be your birthstone. (Birthstone lists come from Jewelers, Tibet, Ayurvedic Indian medicine, and other sources)

Yellow Topaz, Pearl, Diamond

Your birth tree is

Chestnut Tree, the Honesty

Of unusual beauty, does not want to impress, well-developed sense of justice, vivacious, interested, a born diplomat, but irritable and sensitive in company, often due to a lack of self-confidence, acts sometimes superior, feels not understood, loves only once, has difficulties in finding a partner.

There are 39 days till Christmas 2008!

There are 52 days till Orthodox Christmas!

There, didn't you find all that incredibly interesting?

Monday 17 November 2008

Krakow Part 3...

Thursday arrived and we were up and down for breakfast for 7.30 as the minibus was picking us up at 8.20 a.m. for our visit to Oswiecim better know to the world under its German name of Auschwitz. We had to pick up others on the way but the actual 75 kilometre trip took about an hour and a half.  There were 16 people on our minibus and when we arrived we combined with people from another minibus and waited for our guide. We then collected a pair of earphones and a receiver each so that we could listen to his tour notes as we walked around and made our way to the infamous gate which states ‘Arbeit Macht Frei' - Work brings freedom.

There is nothing I can tell you about Auschwitz and Berkenhau that you can’t find by searching the web, so I am not even going to try, but I will tell you that whatever you read the reality is a million times worse. We all cried many times during the tour. Feelings of despair at the reality of what happened were foremost in our minds, there were many school groups being taken round and I truly believe that the Holocaust should be part of every school curriculum in every country in the world so that what happened is never forgotten.

We visited Auschwitz/Berkenhau not out of any morbid curiosity, but to pay our respects to the millions who lost their lives in those God forsaken places. We were allowed to take photographs outside, which we did and I have put up a slide show at the end of this post so you can get an idea of the size of both Auschwitz and Birkenhau and better understand how the victims of the two camps lived.  It was forbidden to take photographs inside the buildings and to be honest you wouldn't want to out of respect for the people who's belongings were exhibited there.   It was a pity that some of the other ‘tourists’ did not give the respect due, the ones who insisted on taking photographs of the exhibits, such as the room full of human hair taken from the people who had been killed, despite the signs saying no photographs inside and the guides repeatedly telling them to put their cameras away. There was a man with an American accent in our group, who appeared to be with his elderly mother, who had filmed every building we went in and been told numerous times not to film.  He was behind us filming the walk into the gas chamber and crematorium and I was so incensed that 'Mrs Gobby' reared her head and I told him to put his camera away and show some respect.  He did stop filming but deliberately sought me out after the tour and asked me

“Sprechen Sie Deutsch’ to which I replied
“No, I’m English” his retort to this was
“Well you can thank us lady!”

I couldn’t make my mind up whether he was American and taking credit for American forces liberating Auschwitz, which isn’t true, or whether he was German and telling me to thank his nation for the atrocities that were committed there. Either way he was a tosser, which I informed him of as he disappeared into the crowd as he scurried away before MWM and our friends returned from the toilet.

We returned to the minibus to be taken the 10 minute drive to Birkenhau which is even more desolate than Auschwitz. There was quite a wind blowing as we stood in the open area between the two camps (male and female) though the day was warm the wind did blow straight through you. Our guide pointed out that in winter it is often 20 degrees below and to be standing there dressed only in striped pyjamas without the benefit of good health one could barely imagine what it was like.

We could not see the boundaries of Birkenhau it is so huge.   The four crematorium were destroyed by the Nazis before the camp was liberated as were the 'CANADA' buildings.   The 'CANADA' buildings were so called because Canada was known as the land of plenty and these buildings were where all the possessions of the prisoners were stored to be recycled.

It is said that there is no birdsong at Auschwitz and Birkenhau – I can tell you this is true.

If you hover you cursor over the photographs you will see the description.


We left Birkenhau to return to Krakow where we had just enough time to have a drink and a toastie before we had to go to meet our minibus at 15.55 p.m. to take us to the Salt Mines.

Light was fading as we climbed aboard the minibus for The Wieliczka Salt Mine. It is only a 20 minute drive but the traffic was building – it always seem to be rush hour in Krakow no matter what time of the day – so it actually took us thirty minutes to get there.

We were told before we went in that there were 380 steps to climb down but a lift would bring us back up. What they didn’t tell us was those steps just took us down to level one 65 metres below ground, then there were a lot more steps in the two kilometres of tunnel to take us down to level three at 135 metres. There are seven levels to the still working mine but tourists only go down to level three, which is enough believe me because by the time you get down there your legs are like jelly because of all the steps!

The temperature in the mine is a constant is a truly wonderful sight to behold there are numerous chapels all carved out of the salt such as St Anthony’s Chapel created in the 17th Century and at level three there is a 23,000 cubic metre masterpiece the Chapel of St Kinga which was created by three men, taking them 68 years to complete. There are underground lakes in the mine and a theatre and a restaurant on level three also.

The tour of the mine takes about three hours and it was 8.30 p.m. before we got back to the centre of Krakow – just in time to go to our favourite Polish restaurant to sample more of their delicious food, down a few Polish beers and head off back to the hotel to crawl into bed exhausted.

Krakow Part 4 coming soon.