On 30 May 2016, a group of Year 10 History students travelled to Berlin. The students had to arrive at the Academy by 4.30am. The sky was black and the air was cold. Perfect weather for travelling!
We all clambered onto the coach and said goodbye to our parents and then drove off into the sunrise. Berlin here we come! 45 minutes later we were at London Stansted Airport, searching for our Tour Guide, Andy. However, there was no missing him as he was so tall. We grabbed some breakfast and waited for our flight to arrive. Eventually, it arrived and we all climbed on-board. Some of us had never flown before so it was quite scary however, we all made it through safe and sound.
Once we arrived in Berlin, we transferred to a coach where we than travelled to our hotel. On the way, we couldn’t help but notice the beautiful architecture of the town and how pretty everything looked. We also drove past some monuments such as the Victory Column. Even though we were in a bus, we could all feel the importance of it.
We later arrived at our hotel and dropped off our bags. Next, we started our walking tour of ‘The Rise of the Nazi Party’. Our first stop, The Reichstag. As we walked up the Reichstag everyone stopped for a moment to admire the view—a gigantic Palace which seemed out of place as it was not modern like the rest of the city was. Next, we went to the Brandenberg Gate and a few memorials such as the memorial to the murdered Jews of Europe. We also went to a parking lot which seemed strange at first. We then learned that this was where Hitler’s bunker used to be which was quite amazing. Later than night we headed to a restaurant to eat where the food was great.
Slowly we headed back to our hotel, however, on the way back we encountered a storm. Quickly we ran under some cover and admired the storm. Lightning flashed across the sky. The thunder roared aggressively and the rain fell down. After around ten minutes, the rain settled down and we finally headed home to our hotel to sleep.
Early the next morning we awoke and got ready for the emotional day ahead. We got on the coach and first headed towards Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. The first thing we noticed was the sign on the front of the gates ‘Arbeit Macht Frei’. We entered and saw all of the buildings which still were in good condition. The whole experience was very saddening yet insightful and we all learned a lot from the experience.
Next we went to the Olympic Stadium which was a lot happier. However, there still was a lot of history to be learned. A meal and a nice sleep was to follow. Next morning, we packed our bags and left them in the hotel reception before leaving to go to the Stasi Prison. This was also a very large eye opener as we were able to realise what really happened at the time. We then went to a Soviet Memorial which, in my opinion, was the best part of the entire trip. The immensity and history behind it was amazing. The main statute at the memorial was huge which added to the importance of the whole thing. And finally, we walked the length of some of the Berlin Wall. It was incredible, all of the different drawings with their own stories.
Unfortunately, it was now time to leave to go back to England. We got on the coach to the airport, boarded the plane then flew home to England. Overall, the experience was unforgettable and was a real eye opener.
Rebecca Dennis, 10MMP