Jasna Gora Monastery (The Black Maddona) & Auschwiz

We left Warsaw and got on our way to our first stop – Jasna Gora monestery.  Our tour guide said the temperature was going to reach a high of 32deg C, and we were going to walk around in this temp…. hmmmm

We arrived at the monastery around lunch time and the throngs of people and buses were a worry.  We were introduced to our guide, “Father Simon” and were quickly ushered into the monastery, the amount of detail was breath taking, the paintings, chandeliers, gold, silver, tiles and glass were too much to digest in one viewing.  Any photos would never do the beauty justice.

As we were walking around the monastery there were also other tourists wandering aimlessly around and also locals who had come to the monastery to take mass, so whilst trying to keep up with Father Simon we were also dodging and stepping the throngs of people and trying to keep cool in the soaring heat.

The inner sanctum was where they were taking mass and as we neared we could hear the singing, luckily for us they keep the outer walls clear so tourists can make a line and walk up and take photos of the black maddona and walk around the back and out the other side, it was an experience that I will ever hold dear, the atmosphere and the sights within the monastery are a sight to behold.

I also got a blessing from Father Simon and some amber rosary beads.  So we made it out through the masses of people and went to have lunch under a tree, mum, Greta, Mac, Jeremy and myself from our tour group.

So after lunch we were back on the bus to reach our second stop of the day, Auschwiz.

The atmosphere alone of this tragic place is eerie, you cannot grasp the enormity of the loss and what these people went through. It really hits home when you see the mere fraction of personal belongings that the Nazi’s took from the people.

I am glad i went so that I could learn about this tragic event and to understand better, but on the other hand i was very emotionally drained.

We all left in silence and had a quiet trip on to Krakow.

Shells.

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