Jennifer (12BRT) reports:
In the early hours of the morning on 31 March, 45 sleepy History students met at Farnborough Hill for their trip to Berlin. The trip consisted of five very busy days of museums, exhibitions and shopping.
Shortly after we arrived we were treated to a walking tour of some of Berlin’s most historical sites, including the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag and the Holocaust Memorial.
Day two was a very interesting day as we got an insight into the horrors which the prisoners of concentration camps had to endure during our visit to Sachsenhausen. That afternoon, we saw the other side of the story at the Haus der Wannsee-Konferenz, where the Final Solution was finalised. We learned about the men who were there and what happened to them after the war was over.
On Sunday, we visited the Topography of Terror Museum and were treated to a very interesting tour of the museum, which stands right next to a section of the Berlin Wall. After lunch, we made our way to Hohenschönhausen, the former Stasi prison. The tour was very informative but also saddening; seeing the isolated way that the prisoners lived really touched a lot of us and we all certainly took a lot away from the visit. After a meal in a very traditional German restaurant, complete with waiters in Lederhosen, we got to see Berlin from above in the TV Tower, which gave us an incredible view.
We spent Monday morning underground in a makeshift air raid shelter from the Second World War. The shelter lies between the street and the metro and protected thousands of people from the bombs during the war. We continued our experience of life in Germany through the 20th century at the Story of Berlin, a museum which lets you see how the Germans really lived through life-like and art exhibitions. We then went back underground for a tour of a nuclear bunker which was built during the Cold War but was never actually used. We were very interested to learn that the bunker was kept secret and supplies were restocked up until 2012. Dinner at the Hard Rock Café followed by shopping on one of Berlin’s many commercial streets was a fabulous way to end our last full day in Berlin.
On Tuesday morning, we had a guided tour of the Jewish Museum, before returning to the airport to board our flight. After getting on the plane we were delayed for two hours, but, according to a fellow passenger who left us a very kind note, we behaved very well and seemed well informed about everything we had learnt on the trip.
We all had a fantastic, educational time on this trip thanks to Miss Pengelley and all the staff who accompanied us.
View a selection of photos