Berlin Trip 2011

trips_berlin_students“On Sunday 20 February a group of 49 Year 11 students and six staff met at Market Street for our first trip to Berlin. This new trip was a joint venture between the History and MFL departments. Mrs McCann and I eagerly prepared the itinerary and with the help of our travel provider, a lively four days was organised. We left Bury for Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The check-in and flight were smooth and we arrived at our accommodation late on Sunday night. Finding our rooms was the first logistical challenge and once we realised which lift to take this was quickly resolved!

After a brief night’s sleep the group started our intensive and rewarding programme of visits. Monday morning was particularly chilly and this provided the background for a walking tour of the major Cold War sites, including the Brandenburg Gate, Holocaust Memorial, Berlin Wall remains and Checkpoint Charlie. One of the guides was particularly teenage friendly and kept us going with humour and patience in spite of the wind chill. Later in the day we visited the Jewish Museum and Topography of Terror where the students were split into three groups and experienced different perspectives on the exhibitions. A meal at the Hard Rock Café and two hours of bowling concluded a rather busy day.

trips_berlin_testimonial1The highlight of day two was the visit to Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp. Our guides toured us round the site, and particular highlights included the Prisoner Barracks and the remains of the laboratory and crematorium. Year 11 student’s testimonial about the tripThis was a moving and thought provoking afternoon and this unique visit allowed the students to experience the reality of Nazi terror. Later in the evening we walked to the cinema and found out that a premiere was going on! Few of our group recognised the ‘stars’ although the atmosphere was a little added bonus.The final day saw our group let loose on the ‘U Bahn’, Berlin underground. We visited the TV Tower and took in the wonderful landscape of the once divided city. This was followed by free time in one of the new shopping centres near the ‘Alexanderplatz’. This gave ample time for our German students to practise their language skills!

trips_berlin_testimonial2Our return journey to Bury was fine and one of the aeroplane staff complimented our students for their manners and friendly attitude. Upon arrival at Market Street at around 11.30pm, 55 tired staff and students bade farewell and reflected on what had been a wonderful four days. The students were wonderful company and a real credit to their families and school. I would like to thank the whole staff team -Mrs McCann, Miss Aston, Miss Brothers, Mr Grady, and Miss Roberts. We are already planning the return visit in February 2012!”
Mr R. Kanter