This is a post that’s not about Eastern Europe!

So this weekend the Zombie and I are going to visit his family in Hereford, I’m not entirely sure why he was trying to convince me that it wasn’t actually in Herefordshire but a quick google had me sorted (geography was never my favourite at school).

I’m hoping that we get a chance to visit the cathedral and the bridge over the River Wye but a lot of the time will be spent seeing his Gran and spending time with the family. I’ve not met any of dad’s family other than his partner, so this will be a nice change and a good chance to meet the youngest of the family, his uncle’s girls.

Expect a full photo report from one or both of us on the return :)

Also if anyone is interested in my photography I’m going to start posting bits and pieces on kiltedtwizzles here.

Communication is key!

Now the boything and I both work for a mobile phone company for a living so you can imagine that we’re both very dependent on our own means of communication. Our friend K is going to look into Polish SIM cards for us in a few weeks but I was wondering what your take is on it, Internets?

Has anyone been on holiday and just gotten by without or do you have a Baggie of foreign sims living in your carry on bag? Both of us will no doubt be blogging every day or two, as that’s the entire point of said travel blog in the first place, but is it possible to get by just using hotel wifi and coffee shops? Can’t say I won’t miss my constant Internet connection but I think it would do us both good to go incommunicado for a fortnight.

Also I’m thinking about getting a second hand iPad or tablet to take with us because I’m lazy and blogging on a bigger screen would def be an easier option. Though boything has asked the Sony rep about borrowing an Xperia Z for the trip, 13 megapixels of glorious 1080p video of us being tourists!

What would you do oh lovely bloggers of WordPress land?

Homework.

So, as I may have mentioned previously, I’m learning Polish. After all, what’s the point in going somewhere if you can’t even say thank you in their own tongue? [And boything’s Mama is pleased that I’m learning her mother tongue too, bonus girlfriend points to me ;).]

Now I’ve been learning about a month and a half and let me tell you it hasn’t been easy; there’s far too many constants, everything is spelt really strangely, and they roll their Rs. And that is inherently my downfall; I can the schf, I sort of get the cht but I’ll be buggered if I can make a rrrrrr sound.

And that is your homework as well as mine, Internet. Tell me if you can roll your R and if you could just do it or had to learn it, or actually if it’s part of your first language so you’ve never needed to learn.

Peace out~

Next bit done

Quick update people, our trip into the Chernobyl exclusion zone is confirmed!!! This is the biggy, we are going into the contaminated city of Prypiat which has stood abandoned since 28/04/1986.
As Capt. Macmillan in COD4 said “50,000 people used to live in this city. Now it’s a ghost town”
There will be pictures posted and I’ll do my best to document feelings and impressions whilst we are there. Once it’s clear in my head I’ll post a quick crash course in measurments read from a Geiger counter so if I say something reads 0.25 mSv it’ll mean something lol. Yes this’ll be the first blog ive written that includes homework lol

Much love
~Zombie

PS all future posts will include the tag zombietwizzles. Just fyi ;-)

To blog or not to blog? That is the question

So in “Getting there” I posed the question “Would it be disrespectful to post from inside Auschwitz?” 

In this blog Twizzles and I are hoping to pass on the feelings and emotions we experience when we visit the various places on our adventure. To start off we will visit Auschwitz-Birkenau, then the salt mines at Wieliczka. After we move on to Chernobyl and the abandoned city of Prypiat. Finally, we’ll visit my uncle in the north who was inside the shipyards in Gdansk when the workers barricaded themselves in and demanded a Trade Union (I’m not going in to that now).

Now, stevetaphouse made a great comment “I think you should aim to take everything in while you’re there and then blog later. If there’s too much to say in one blog, write 2/3shorter ones but above all write it from your heart and remember the experience.”

I think Steve is right, if I try blogging from within the camp then perhaps I might loose sight of what’s around me, or perhaps I might just write “shocking” over and over again.

I’m going to take my notebook into the camp with me. Now don’t anyone expect me to draw something; I’m dreadful at drawing (more’s the pity). What I hope to do, is to perhaps sit somewhere that was significant – the selection ramp sticks firmly in my mind and write how I’m feeling and what I can see. When I post in the evening when we return to Krakow and I’ll quote word for word what I write in my notes.

The more I think about this the more and more trepidation I’m feeling. I’m actually getting a bit scared about going Auschwitz. To see a place where humanity demonstrated how evil it can truly be; every time I try to comprehend how I might feel, I just draw blanks and see some of the photos of the women and children who were mere minutes from the gas chambers. 

As I have said before, it deserves the time and respect, and so it shall have it.

I promise not to be so depressing on my next post.

Until then, Much Love

~Zombie

Getting there

Ok so its the middle of January, we are leaving in the middle of August; Twizzles has already made a list of what to take in the cases. Speaking of, we picked up a Radley Case for £50!! how cool is that? 

Got some advice from Mama Zombie, she gave me some useful info for Krakow and Warsaw. But we were on the phone talking over directions on a map, we had two different maps and the Lonely Planet pocket map clearly didn’t have the same level of detail as hers because she was listing every street name not shown on my map. Fortunately she’s going to lend me that map so we won’t get lost. 

The Lonely Planet guide also has a small section about Auschwitz-Birkenau. Not sure how I feel about visiting this place. Of course it deserves our time and needs to be witnessed but even the few pictures (or even the street map of Oswiecim (which is the polish name for the town)) seem almost scary. I have an odd fascination with things that scare me but I have no idea how seeing this place of mechanised horror will affect me. I would like to post from the camp to try to articulate how I’m feeling in the moment, as it were. Would this be disrespectful? I’m not sure to be honest but I want this journal to include true feelings of the places we visit and I get the feeling that somewhere like that will generate feelings which should be logged and not allowed to be diluted by time.

I’d appreciate any posts with opinions on this. If we agree I shouldn’t (or its simply not possible) I promise to write my feelings down in my notebook and post them upon our return to Krakow.

Enough of such a depressing subject. Everything is booked now, the only thing outstanding is the long haul train travel within Poland, we’ll pick that up a little closer to the time.

The reality of this trip is starting to settle in, I have wanted to visit Auschwitz and Chernobyl for so long and this year I’m finally going to get to do it. As long as I’m planning to go places I might hit up out Chernobyl tour provider for a trip to somewhere totally batshit crazy… North Korea. 

On that note I’ll bid you goodnight

~Zombie

Baggage trials and tribulations

Turns out no matter how awesome a bag for hand luggage is, if it isn’t under RyanAir hand baggage dimensions you’re screwed. 55x40x20 is not the same as 52x37x27 :(

But I am now the owner of the most gorgeous Radley suitcase in existence, it even came with two shoe bags and a wash bag.

Pics to follow~

~Twizzles