|just a few of the many buildings|
|where people would |
disembark from the trains
"We walked through Auschwitz-Birkenau in disbelief, in pain, in tears. Auschwitz, the first camp, was intended for concentration of the Jews, and others who were considered enemies of the Third Reich. Although there was a gas chamber, the Nazis quickly realized that the quantity of people being murdered was too much for their incinerators. Thus the Birkenau death camp was built, a short distance down the road.
While touring Auschwitz-Birkenau, our distinctive faith, ethnicity, nationality, and all other differences melted away. Here we were all simply humans who were horrified by the capabilities of humanity less than 100 years ago. Here we comforted each other in silence, with a look, a hand on the back, a hug."
|waving at the sunset|
Some people say that the journey is just as important as the destination, and so this seems like a good point to describe our bus rides through Eastern and Central Europe.
|not so light reading|
Frequently, a group up front discussed (argued) politics, religion, and history while gazing out at the small town buildings and beautiful landscapes. Everyone munched on snacks and anticipated the next real meal. It was a time to talk, laugh, and get to know each other. We built lasting friendships through a once in a lifetime experience throughout Poland and Austria.
|Who is in the driver's seat?|
After getting us safely to Vienna, we bid Darik goodbye. We'd be using Vienna's public transit for the last two days of the trip. It was wet and rainy outside. We checked into our hotel, went our separate ways for food, and called it a day.