11 august Auschwitz (POLAND)

Jews. People with own ideals, their own religion, the "selected"... Not only by their God but also by a mad German Nazi general: Adolf Hitler, who decided to eliminate and exterminate that impure, in his opinion, race from the Earth.

We are going to Auschwitz, maybe the most known concentration camp of the Second World War.

I'm very excited even because my grandfather, during that war, was prisoner of the Germans in Yugoslavia and so far, fifty years later, when he hears talking about war his eyes become red and his expression changes.

So many times, crying, he has told me about their fights to be selected to work 15 or 16 hours a day in the fields and just to be able to rob a carrott or a little potato...

My grandad was in a horrible camp even if it wasn't one of those which became famous for their unheard-of cruelty, moreover: my grandad was not Jewish.

I don't want to imagine the others... He has been lucky because he can tell about these things unlike thousands and thousands who never came back from there (two brothers of his as well).

Auschwitz. Just the name scares me. But the fear, over there, is the lightest feelng you can live.

At the entrance there is a huge door with an inscription: "Arbeit macht frei" (Work makes you free), but, as the guide said: "This was only a sad irony. Everything in the camp was at the death service, not for the freedom", or as a German General used to warn: "Here there is just a way out: ash!"

When the deported from all Europe arrived here, they found Hans Stilo who soon decided their fate with a finger, according to their age, their physical condition, that finger showed the way to the work or to the crematory furnace.

The entrance of this camp has been crossed, in these sad years, by one million and half Jews, only four hundreds thousands survived.

A Jew, after crossing the main entrance, was completely undressed. In the "blocks", now used as museums, are kept all their personal belongings, from glasses to combs, from basins to bags, from the shoes to the prothesis, from long women hair (very impressive) to brushes etc.

They used to take three small photos, at the beginning to register them, but this "iter" was soon abandoned because all of them, after few days, completely changed, so they started tattooing the registration number on the forearm or on the chest (for men and women) and on the legs (for the children), because the number were too long and didn't fit on the small child's arm.

There was a hall dedicated to the crazy German doctor: Mengele who used to do genetic experiments on women and children to prove the supremacy of the German Aryan race...

Punishments and tortures hall. At the beginning there was a huge yard with a high hall at the bottom. It's the place where they were shot.

Then there were the tortures halls: lashings, they made the water flow in the noses, they put iron splinters or dots under the nails. There were some cells built in underground tunnels, with no air and where some deported were locked and died for asphyxiation.

The trees. Those shrubs planted by the Jews and that rise up in the sky as symbol of the dignity and the proud of that unlucky population, staring at them I wondered: "If these trees could talk ... how many different but all with the same ending stories they would tell...!"

Our "tour" ends at the terminal: showers and the crematory furnaces.

The showers. People were made undressed in an anteroom, women at first, then the children. Then they were all converged in a big hall with the ceiling with many holes, they were flooded by a very poisoned gas that killed them all, very easily, the bodies, then, regrouped and cremate to eliminate all the tracks of those people.

The rest is silence.

At Oświęcim railway station we say good bye to our dear Portuguese friends who go to Copenhagen while we decide to keep inbound Prague.

12 august Prague (CZECH REP.)

Here we are in the magic Prague. It has been hard to get here!

In the heart of the night the controllers make us get off the train because that one would have direct to Vienna. Noooo: Vienna, no! Many people get off, we are all inter railers, but no track of our train. There are almost fifty guys in a train station lost between Poland and Czech Republic.

It's one o'clock a.m. and it's so cold here, some of them take a big stereo from a back pack and, with loud music, we all start dancing as if we were at a rave party!

In the end our train arrives and, early in the morning, we are in the Czech capital.

Prague is a picturesque, characteristic, ancient, tidy and clean city. We walk a lot along all those lanes and we have lunch near the Moldava River. Takx is taking a nap and I'm thinking that during an inter rail, when your budget is so small: you have to run it in the best way you can because a wrong purchase could reduce your holiday trip; you are forced to take important decisions everyday in order to keep on your journey without problems, even because there are thousands of problems you were not expecting.

[Bruno Melo from Porto, Portugal]: "E' optimo encontrar alguēm com um sonho comun, dar a volta ao mundo. It's great to find someone with your same dream: to travel around all the world".

13 august Budapest (HUNGARY)

Budapest. One week ago I swore that for a while I wouldn't have come here. Instead here I am again in Hungary, but just for a touch and go, our destination is Balaton Lake.

Just the one we saw a few days ago from our train windows while we were going to the capital.

We have one problem: we don't know where to go, so we decide to get off in the first city that, from the train, looks more full of life and entertainment.

We get to Siòfok. At the tourist information no-one can tell us about a camping site or a cheap place to sleep, very disappointed, we have a walk around when I hear, in another tourist information office, someone who searching a place to sleep and trying to make himself understand by the assistant.

He ias Italian. I approach him and we introduce ourselves. He's Gino, he is a traffic policeman and he is doing a trip with his friend Manuel around Eastern Europe, by their black Opel Corsa.

We go, all together, by car, searching a place to spend the night and we find a nice camping site. It's very cheap and very well organized.

We are going to stay here. A few minutes later we are all in the water enjoying so much!

In the evening we go to dance in some disco bars, they is even a karaoke on. We are in the right mood so we decide to sing a real Italian anthem: "Vita spericolata" by Vasco Rossi. We find out that there are many Italians there too and they all join us. It's a hit.

Later we move to another disco, Takx suddenly disappears. After long time I see him coming and very quickly asks me: "Brawler, how do you say: "I love you" in Hungarian?". "Szeretlek". He disappears again and we see him talking to two girls.

In the end they go away and he, a bit disappointed, comes back to us. They were from Prague and couldn't speak English... Takx, deep in thought, suddenly: "Brawl, how do you say it in Czech?" "Miluji te". He runs to them, but it's too late, they are gone.

A bit drunk, very tired, in the end we end falling asleep, all together, in our tent. So tired that we neither have the strength to undress...

14 august Siòfok (HUNGARY)

In the morning, after breaking our tent and doing some shopping in the center, we go to the railway station waiting for one of our last trains: we go back to Italy.

These days have gone so fastly. It's like yesterday when we were three of us, chatting in a compartment with two nice Greek guys who were spending their last day of inter rail...

How many things have happened meanwhile...

I want to underline that our idea of inter rail is different from the classical one that is: train station, hostel, visit of the city and departure.

Ours is a real adventure, an experience always unpredictable that brings you to do things thought always at the last minute. Inter rail, for us, is taking the first train useful for our destination, visit the city, meeting new people, sleeping wherever it happens and if it happens and leave again towards new adventures after assimilating all that we could.

Inter rail is travelling, travelling is growing up, growing up is living. I'm sure that all of us will keep a great memory of this journey and it will help us to put another huge bag in the storing of our life.

"The world is a book and the ones who don't travel, read just one page."

- Saint Augustine -


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