By Lawrence Ellis-Gray, Saint Aidan's High School
During October half term, I was lucky enough to visit Berlin with my school. It was a packed four-day trip full of different activities. We met at school on the first day at 3am, which, I can assure you, for a group of 35 teenagers was definitely an early start!
But we all fought through our fatigue and made it safely to Berlin.
Once we had landed, a tour guide was ready and waiting for us. Her job was to take us around the main tourist attractions of the German capital to give us all a brief idea of what life was like there, as well as the topics we would be learning about during our visit. After an extremely long but interesting day, we walked back to the hostel we were staying at to prepare for a quiet night in, that was until all the boys realised Manchester United were playing Liverpool that night!
During the second day we visited the infamous ‘Checkpoint Charlie’ museum. This is a museum entirely based on the deep and emotive history of the Berlin wall. After this we took a lengthy walk to the ‘East Side Gallery’ which is where we got the opportunity to observe some of the immense artwork that people have created throughout the years. For our evening activity, we visited the TV Tower which stands at a whopping 368 metres high.
During day two, I discovered I had completed a total of 28,734 steps (my personal record) with 21.46 Km walked!
Moving onto day three, and another culture filled day as we visited the DDR Museum in the morning, which was mainly about what life was like in East Berlin.
In the afternoon the teachers gave us students a short break and the opportunity for a little freedom as we were allowed to roam free in a German shopping mall.
Once we had spent our precious money on souvenirs for friends and family back home, we decided to head back to the hostel and prepare for a big night out at the Reichstag (otherwise known as the German Houses of Parliament).
After a huge walk we arrived at the Reichstag, only to find ourselves completely overawed, for the views you could see from the roof were simply incredible.
Our final fourth day was just as eventful as every other, except we had the luxury of taking the U-Bahn to the Berlin Wall Memorial Museum and here we were able to fully observe the structure of the Berlin wall and understand more about it.
After this, we had the opportunity to taste some German delicacies, including bratwurst sausages and some ‘Berlin boulettes’. In the afternoon we had a tour around the ‘Topography of Terror’, which is mainly about the Holocaust, which we all found profoundly interesting, as well as educational.
All in all, this was a fantastic trip to Berlin, and I for one can’t wait to go back and see more of this amazing city.