Having got the bug back for city breaks from our trip to Amsterdam at the end of 2018, a long weekend in Kraków seemed like the perfect location for a post-Christmas chilled-out trip.
I took the opportunity to test-drive one of my "new" film cameras on the trip - my Canon EOS 300. I was keen to get out to shoot with this little beauty. I'd picked it up in a Cash Converters over Christmas for just £12, and it was compatible with all my existing Canon lenses and had the benefit of autofocus and programme modes. I took it loaded with a roll of Fuji Superia 400, and had a couple of rolls of Ilford HP5.
As soon as we arrived in Kraków, it was clear that there was so much more to this city than it's reputation suggested - a vibrant mix of colourful gothic architecture and cultural hotspots, it felt like we'd only just started to scratch the surface of Poland's second city when it was time to leave.
We couldn't visit Kraków without paying a visit - and our respects - at Auschwitz, the largest German Concentration camp of WWII, where over a million lives were taken.
It just so happened that we were visiting Auschwitz the day before the celebrations for the 75th anniversary of the liberation, which meant there was heightened activity across the two main sites. This included witnessing an survivor paying her visit to the gas chambers for the first time since the liberation, which was incredibly emotional.
This was a sobering day, with the sheer magnitude of the tragedy becoming so much more real. I won't dwell on it, but I'd encourage anyone thinking of visiting Poland to make time to visit. We have a duty to ensure nothing like that ever happens again. We must learn.
It also happened that we were in Kraków the weekend before the United Kingdom was due to leave the European Union. Again, I won't dwell on this too much, but when our weekend came to an end it felt like we were leaving more than Poland. Politics aside, I'll always be a proud European, I'll always be a proud Yorkshireman. A proud Brit? Less so.