In my second year at Nelson and Colne College I was lucky to gain a place on the History trip to Berlin, alongside some of my friends from college. Only 20 of us went on the trip altogether, making it a friendly and rememberable holiday.
As the trip was only for four days/three nights, the itinerary was packed full of sight seeing attractions as well as some down time to explore the city by ourselves.
Day 1 was spent travelling and arriving at our hotel in downtown Berlin. The rest of the day was spent exploring the city at night, such as walking to the Brandenburg Gate.
Day 2 we went to the Bergen-Belsen Concentration Camp.
The majority of the place was shut (such as the museum and certain sheds) due to out of season tourist times.
Yet the atmosphere was spine-chilling, especially walking around the empty grounds remembering the terrible things that went on here and how packed it was when it was in full use by the Nazis.
Afterwards, we visited the Hertha BCS Stadium built for the 1936 Summer Olympics which were opened by Adolf Hitler. It linked in well to this mornings visit to the camp, showing just how quickly things can get out of hand (to put it plainly!) when people like Hitler are given a platform to voice their extreme views and police them.
I have found an interesting article about the 1936 Olympic Games if any of you fancy reading further into it. (https://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005680)
By the time we had finished walking around the stadium, it was evening and we all went back to the hotel to rest and recharge our phones before heading off to find the nearest corner shop to purchase some alcohol for the room party we had been planning.
Day 3 was our final chance to explore the city in the daytime. First we visited the site of the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie. This made my GCSE history exam all worth while, especially getting a photograph with a saluting guard soldier!
I also visited the Asisi Panorama Berlin: an modern exhibition featuring a panorama of the daily routine on both sides of the Berlin Wall on an autumn day in the 1980s, by an artist who witnessed the stories first hand.
We then walked to the Reichstag Parliament Building to tour the Glass Dome and learn about the rich past of the capital.
As it was the final night, we all went to Hofbrau Wirtshaus, a traditional German beerhall. It was jam packed with customers, staff were in lederhosen and live traditional music was playing.
It was a great experience!
Day 4 was home time. We got back to England mid afternoon.
Looking back, I would love to go back to Berlin and do it all again! It was such a great trip, full of great memories and experiences and I urge everyone to go and visit the beautiful and varied city for themselves!!!
Until next time, Berlin!