Wednesday, January 25, 2012

RHETO Extravaganza: 8/1/2012

     Ana and I went to bed extremely late the night before so waking up at 6 am was difficult. It was not required for us to wake up so early, but time was needed to prepare for the day. Packing is not a problem for me, so I finished within a few minutes, but the case was not the same for Ana. I hurriedly helped her gather her things and luggage together and then we ran to catch the bus. I also gave a hand with other people luggage where I could. Even though we were checking out of the lodge we still visiting Auschwitz II. The bitter, cold air penetrated the access of layered clothes I wore and froze my bones. It was the perfect setting for a concentration camp. Most of the prisoners in the Holocaust were not as lucky as me to have thick clothes. Many of the incarnated people wore one layer of thin clothing and sometimes no shoes. The Nazis did not give the detainees an extra pair of clothing so life was very unsanitary in Auschwitz Birkenau.
     We all returned to the buses when we finished our tour. Our next stop was at the .... mines. While making our descent into the mines on the stairs I noticed how long the journey turned out to be. With every corner I turned on the stair case I thought was the end, but it kept going. Myself nor my friends thought we would make it to the bottom, however, we eventually made it and met our tour guide at the bottom. Our tour guide lectured my group in french, but it was not his first language. His accent, combined with the french language, made him sound like Dracula; he even looked like the fictional vampire character! He revealed to us the history that lied behind the salty occupation of the miners. Apparently, miners have been digging for salt in this particular place for numerous years. It did not surprise me that after so much time the corridors, rooms, and art in the mines transformed into a divine and spectacular piece of architecture. When our tour was terminated I ascended in an elevator that ran at the speed of light.
     The students and I left the mines to find our next hotel. My friends and I decided to check out the hotel that resembled a bed and breakfast. When we went up to the attic where my guy friend was going to sleep, we discovered many disturbing objects. Trash and other old trinkets were behind every door. The smell consisted of decay, and I could not help but feel sorry for my unlucky friend who was going to spend the next two nights surrounded by unknown gadgets.
     I explored the local town after settling down at the bed and breakfast and it was magical. Snow covered every object in a white blanket of snow. The sky was filled with crystalized snowflakes that flew around my head like butterflies. The town reminded me of a typical fairy tale settling with the little boteak shops and the friendly passerby's.
     I entered the little supermarket down the road and met two Russian foreigners. They were traveling from their country to explore the mountains and to go skiing. We chatted about their life and Russia and about touring other countries in general. My friends wanted to return to the bed and breakfast, so I bid my new acquaintances farewell and went on my way.
     When I opened my door to my room, my eyes fell upon the dozen of people sitting on my bed. My room mates were throwing a mini-party that night. I pulled up a chair, sat down, and joined in the various conversations. Time was flying by and when I looked at my watch it was already around one o'clock in the morning. All the guests had already left and my friend locked the door before going to bed. In the middle of the early morning, someone was trying to get into our room - somebody must have not gotten the queue that the party was over - but the door was sealed such, not allowing any person to enter. The noises became duller and unconsciousness soon took over.
     The day included activities of me surveying Auschwitz II, touring the salt mines, exploring the bed and breakfast and the town, and wasting time having fun at the party in my room. I felt like I had enough exercise for the day from running down the mine stair case and walking around town. The time was short, yet so much happened; I was glad to sleep for the few hours I had left before my next extravaganza.

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