We enjoyed Krakow so much that we spent a week in and around the city. It's been a Polish city for centuries and has a huge medieval square (apparently the largest in Europe) and impressive cloth hall. It was surrounded by cafes with lots of street entertainment and wonderful architecture from across the ages. A trumpeter still sounds the 'hejnal' (a short tune) on the hour from one of St Mary's basilica towers (with the last note cut short in memory of the trumpeter who was killed by a Tatar arrow when playing that note over a millennium ago). There was a great free music festival, plus medieval fair, on one of the days with a fantastic firework and multimedia sound and vision display over the Vistula River.
Our visit to Auschwitz was thought-provoking and sombre - and made more so by a large group of Jewish visitors praying/chanting in front of the collapsed gas chambers at the Birkenau camp. The sheer numbers of shoes, bags and prosthetic limbs left undestroyed when the Russians liberated the camp was horrifying evidence of the scale of the deaths. We also went to the site of Oscar Schindler's factory which now houses a really good WWII museum; and the highlight of our visit to the salt mine was a church carved out of the rock 100 metres below ground.
From Krakow we drove west to Wroclaw (which until the end of the 2nd World War was part of Germany and known as Breslau). It was a very pretty place despite being 70% destroyed in the war (once you got into the centre past the communist concrete blocks of flats). We had a great guided cycle tour while we were there which significantly helped our understanding of recent Polish history. The 100+ gnomes which can be found all over the city centre have a serious message linked to Solidarity and opposition to communist rule.
We didn't have a lot of Polish food as we mainly cooked up on our camp stove, but Polish dumplings are really tasty - they are a bit like Cornish pasties. In one café we had a buffet where we paid for our meal by weight!
From Wroclaw we had a 4 hour drive to Berlin where we barbecued and caught up with our friends Heiko, Agnes & Auguste.