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Well, I’m back! I had an amazing experience of a lifetime in Poland that I can’t wait to share with all of you! I went to three main cities, Warsaw, Krakow, and Budapest. I figured the best way to break this down was to describe each city and my experiences there. So, let’s get started!

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In Warsaw, we went to three main places: a holocaust museum, a Jewish cemetery, and the biggest public park (it actually used to be the king’s hunting grounds!). The Holocaust museum we went to was somewhat of a blur: we went to it the same day we got in and all of us were incredibly tired from the plane ride. However, I did take a few photos of the museum. My favorite was the one I took of the Star of David. Next, we went walked through the park on our way to the cemetery. It was really interesting to me that it’s so common in Europe for parks to have been the king’s hunting grounds in the past! Finally, at the Jewish cemetery, I felt very disappointed. Walking around the massive cemetery, I saw overgrowth and cracked tombstones as far as I could see. With the rest of my class, we discussed how it could be this way. Our teacher explained that there are many families that were entirely wiped out, so no one could come to take care of their ancestors that died before the Holocaust. Going to the cemetery felt very real and left me with many emotions about the Holocaust.

On a brighter note, in the top center photo, I am posting with the largest building in Warsaw! It was built by a Soviet architect in 1955 and dedicated to Stalin. However, after the Soviet Union fell, the dedication to him was revoked. The palace is controversial to Poles; some see it as an inevitable part of their history, while others see it as a remembrance of their time in the Soviet Union, and therefore do not like it. This controversy and its history are what intrigued me, along with the fact that it is the tallest building in Poland, seventh tallest in the European Union, and in the top twenty for tallest buildings in all of Europe.

Well, this blog was a bit longer than I intended. I will write a little about Krakow and Budapest in separate blogs that will come out in the next day or two!

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