In the early morning (3am) of the first Saturday of the Easter holidays, when many Cranleighians were surely enjoying a well-earned rest, 20 Vth form historians and three teachers set off to the airport to fly to Berlin. Arriving in the city at lunchtime, we had a short walking tour around Berlin that included sights such as the Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, and the site of Hitler’s bunker. In the evening we were planned to have a tour of the Reichstag, the German Parliament, but unfortunately due to the weather the building remained closed throughout our stay. A very early night was needed by all.
The second day was particularly action-packed, starting with a trip out of the city centre to the Olympic Stadium, where the games of 1936 were held, and now the home of Hertha Berlin FC. We enjoyed a highly informative tour of the stadium. A quick lunch was followed by a journey across the city to the Stasi Museum, a museum dedicated to State Security in East Germany due to the Cold War, and particularly interesting for those with an interest in James Bond style espionage! The group then took the U-bahn to the East Side Gallery – a 1.3km stretch of the Berlin Wall, displaying paintings from over a hundred different artists. The evening allowed for some down-time, with a meal at the hostel providing good food and an opportunity to rest tired feet, followed by some fun time spent at a local bowling alley.
The final day began with a visit to Topography of Terror and Checkpoint Charlie Museum before the bus transfer back to the airport. By the time that the pupils landed back at Luton, they were very tired but had thoroughly enjoyed their visit to one of the most historically fascinating cities in Europe.
A huge thank you must go to JLC and SRP for their help with this trip, and their enthusiasm and good-humour at the end of a long term.