On Wednesday 25th November, Miss Mitchell, Mr Chapple and Miss Meredith took 28 Year 11 and Cowley Sixth Form College A-level German students for a 3-night stay in Berlin.
From Miss Mitchel:
I cannot tell you how fantastic the trip was!!! It really was great for all involved.
We arrived late Wednesday evening and got our rooms. The hostel was bright and young person orientated and super close to the underground stations. The pupils were amazed by the Pizza baking machine outside our hostel which really did produce great pizzas for 10 euros.
Thursday morning cycle ride was just amazing. The guide took us out for 3 hours to the most prominent landmarks around Berlin. The history behind the city is immense and the guides were so informative. After a kebap and currywurst lunch break we headed off to the Bernauerstrasse exhibition. Here is an open air museum dedicated to the former Berlin wall. There is also an exhibition showing many pictures of the time when Berlin was divided and accounts form people who lived on both sides of the wall.
In the evening after a quick stop at the hostel we headed off to Alexanderplatz and an evening at the cinema. the film ‘A haunting in Venice’ was appropriate with it being near to Halloween and it was also shown in its original version – English.
On Friday we headed to the Brandenburg Gate and on to the Topography of Terror – a series of images form the time of the Nazis and the full history of the time when Hitler was in power. A quick stop to grab a currywurst and then off to Checkpoint Charlie – a former crossing point between the East and West of Berlin at the time after the war and the allies were in control.
In the afternoon we headed out to Hohenschonhausen Prison – a former Stasi (secret police) prison for those to be interrogated by the communist/socialist ruling east of Berlin leaders. It was just fascinating to listen to how they were treated and how psychology and not brutality was used on the prisoners to get information out of them. In fact we were extremely lucky as former inmates were the guides around the prison and could speak from first hand experience or second hand if their parents had been in the prison.
Friday evening – another highlight was a trip to the Mercedes–Benz museum to watch the ice hockey – pretty big in Germany. The Berlin Eisbaeren (Polar Bears) defeated their rivals from the south of the country. The kids all bought souvenir hats and scarfs and absolutely loved it. The walk back to the the hostel took us past the East Side Gallery – an open air exhibition of the Berlin wall and paintings/graffiti all over it.