Trip to Berlin Review

After a few weeks of excitedly packing and planning our trip to Berlin, students from Years 10-12 along with Mrs Thomas, Mrs Lim and Ms Karim left the school at 3 in the morning to head to the airport! Although it was incredibly early, we were all so enthusiastic about the trip and couldn’t wait to get to Berlin. As we flew over Europe, it was hard to miss the amazing views of the German countryside, Austrian mountains and in the end the bustling city of Berlin. We met our friendly guide Tatiana who showed us to the coach that would take us to the hotel. The weather was unexpectedly hot for 8 in the morning and the rest of the day was very hot, but that didn’t dampen our excitement to explore Berlin.

Our hotel was in a primal spot, located next to the Hauptbahnhof station which was amazingly filled with shops. We had a great view of the Reichstaggebaude but that wasn’t the only great sight we would see. Tatiana took us on a 4-hour walking tour, and although our feet were on the brink of falling off, that pain wore off each time we were amazed by a sight. We visited the Brandenburg Gate, the Reichstag Building, the Berlin Cathedral, and the different quarters within the city that historically remain after the division of Germany. After a long walk throughout the city, Tatiana took us to the Hackescher market where we would be able to look around the diverse stalls and buy some dinner. The day tired us out, and so we crashed at the hotel for an early sleep before waking up for the next day in Berlin.

On the second day, the air was much cooler, and we were much more comfortable before we arranged our way to the Berlin Wall Memorial in West Berlin after breakfast. Luckily, me and the rest of the year 12s were able to navigate the Berlin public transport apps to find out which tram, train, or bus we needed to get. When we got to the Berlin Wall Memorial, we met our guide who showed us parts of the wall that remained and helped us understand what life was like in both West and East Berlin. After this, we got the train to the DDR Museum, to provide further detail of what life was like in East Berlin. At the museum there was a Trabant car, which was a car produced by the German Democratic Republic as a “companion” for East German citizens. In the museum we were transported to East Berlin with examples of houses, clothes and even cinemas. Our trip continued when we went to the Reichstag building, to visit the “Kuppel” (dome) of the Reichstag. This dome is made of glass and has an open-air roof to show the new age of Germany after WW2, to represent transparency of the Germans from then on. The dome had wonderful views of Berlin where we could see our next stop – the TV Tower. We got the train to the TV Tower where we would be able to see Berlin from the highest point in the city. We saw the whole city, and I was amazed by the views! Our spot before dinner was Alexanderplatz where we were able to get a feel for the Berlin culture even more with shops and parks. Then we went to Der Alte Fritz for dinner where we had authentic German food which was delicious to immerse ourselves in the culture! Our final spot of the busy day was the bowling alley to enjoy the evening before we all went to bed ready for the next day.

Our day started off with a train journey to see Checkpoint Charlie and visit the Checkpoint Charlie Museum. For me, it was incredible to see Checkpoint Charlie after learning about it in my GCSE History lessons. In the museum there was so much information for those who hadn’t heard about the checkpoint, and a great gift shop where we all found some souvenirs. Then, we went to the East Side Gallery; this is the longest stretch of the Berlin Wall left in Berlin (1.30 kilometres). The wall is covered in so many different types of art, which all follow a theme of acceptance and remembrance. After this, we went to the Topography of Terror, a museum about the Nazi police forces. I was amazed to find out that the museum had parts of the original police force building and was reconstructed to form a museum to educate people about the horrors conducted by the police force. Once we were all able to walk around and read the information, we walked to the “Deutsche Kinemathek” (German Film Museum) where there were different examples of interesting German films and props. We were given the opportunity to shop in the Mall of Berlin which was full of so many shops where we could buy souvenirs and food. The final spot of the day was dinner at Amrit, an Indian restaurant in Potsdamer Platz. We enjoyed the Indian food a lot and were ready to walk back along the river Spree to our hotel before getting ready for our last day in Berlin.

We were all sad about leaving Berlin, but the trip wasn’t done yet as we walked early in the morning to our river cruise along the river Spree. The boat ride took us along the river to see the sights in a new perspective, hear the city in a different way and get a good view of the Tiergarten; this is the biggest park in Berlin full of trees. After the boat trip, we walked back along the river to our final stop in the city – the Futurium Museum. This museum focused on futuristic ideas and how technology will evolve to better the city. We were amazed by the intricacy of the museum and the amount of advanced technology there was – robots came and took our lunch plates! Once we were all ready, we made our way to the airport where the trip concluded after landing back in London.

The trip was an amazing experience that opened all our eyes to the rich culture within Berlin. The historical context of Berlin was particularly interesting to me as it was amazing to see the things I had learnt from a textbook in front of me. The city has successfully intertwined the past and the future which was something wonderful to see. We would like to thank Mrs Thomas for organising this fantastic trip for us and urge people to go to Berlin to see everything for themselves!

By Amnah R

Sutton High Prep School

86 Grove Road, Sutton,
Surrey, SM1 2AL
T. 020 8225 3072

Sutton High Senior School

55 Cheam Road, Sutton,
Surrey, SM1 2AX
T. 020 8642 0594