The first day I was walking around the old town region. Going down from the Hostel, the entrance into old town just 1 min walk, there were so many tour group and ppl crowded there, one of tower settled face to entrance, there is a square inside, and I noticed a kiosk there, need to pay entrance fee to visit inside. I just turn around heading to direction to old town. Someone played exotic music there, two silver gentlemen with traditional costumes. Maybe it's common in Europe, but to me, it's really interesting style, and I really like it! Keeping walking toward central part, it's a huge main square. I think it's the most crowded place in krakow... There is a castle on the hill in the south of old town name "Wawel Castle", it was the residence of King of Poland, one of symbol of polish culture, now it become an important art museum in Poland. On the way back hostel, I saw one piano musician was doing performance in main square, ppl gathered around him, amazing music and beautiful scene.
Second I was hesitant to visit salt mine or concentration camp, former one sounds really interesting place, later one is the most infamous camp in II Worldwar. In the end, I decided to go to Auschwitz rather than Wieliczka salt mine...one reason is Entrance fee to salt mine is around 20 euro for foreigners, a little too expensive, and I think I should visit the place the tragedy happened in modern history. Taking bus from Krakow to Auschwitz is around 1.5 hr trip, cost 14 bucks single way. The bus stopped in from of Auschwitz museum ( Auschwitz I), 10:00~16:00 need to join the group not for individual visitor, so I didn't go inside, plus no English group at that moment. Then I took the free shuttle bus to the biggest camp here "Auschwitz II - Birkenau", it's a combination concentraion camp & extermination camp, 1.1 million ppl killed here, the highest quantity in all concentration camps in the world. There are a lot of camp and facilities were destroyed already, owing Nazi tried to eliminate the evidences in the end of war, including gas chambers and a lot of camps. I spent around 1 more hour here, there were few camps available to go inside. when I were in the camp, I started to imagine how ppl was living in the cage, horrible feeling, the space is really small, but there were so many victims crammed here! It's really hard to believe how ppl passed the winter. I read it in the book before, ppl in camps were worried about winter time, a lot of victims cannot get over the freezing weather, especially, elders and kids... even jails are much better than here. I was trying to find some carving words or something there, but it was in vain..........and I was really surprised there are a lot of new carving words from "Visitors"! Like "XXX here in 2002" or "XXX ❤ XXX"... I really have no idea how visitors had heart to do it, they came here with fun mood like going to play ground. It's really disrespect to victims in my opinion...visitors should be discreet to this history. "Stop having fun in the Wrong Place! Stop treating history with inappropriate behavior please!" It's a tragedy and scar to some ppl...please respect it.
I recommend ppl visit this place if you are interested in history, it had better to read some infos what happened here before visiting, connecting with pass, you would feel more. Btw, I heard "Auschwitz I" they save a lot of living stuff inside, like pots, pans, hair, shower...etc, even need to pay entrance fee, but I think it's worth it. I have no time this time, I would like to visit when I come back here in the future.