I went once, might that have been 2004? It was after a Unesco conference in Warsaw and from a hotel room in Krakow. I have the recollection that Auschwitz had a terrible stench, though I doubt if it actually did. Each journey that we take has a single place and experience at its emotional center, and no trek with a stop in Auschwitz can have any emotional center other than Auschwitz itself. The rest of that trip is more or less forgotten.
The place was full of Germans walking the halls, confused and wailing. The Jews were more somber.