Review: Sixth Form Trip to Berlin

Category: Trips

They say there is no better way to learn a language than to immerse yourself in its culture and we definitely achieved that in half term in Berlin. As well as challenging but rewarding lessons in the morning we had tours of this fascinating city – all in German! 

We were very lucky to have such a lovely hotel room that we could rest in after an exhausting day of learning. It wasn’t all working though, in the evenings we went out to see the real Berlin and sample the famous beer and currywurst! One evening we went to The One Show, the best cabaret in Berlin and it certainly didn’t let us down with great music, dancing and breathtaking gymnastics.

A few highlights that really sum up this trip were a day at Frederick the great’s impressive baroque Potsdam, our tour of the backstage of Brecht’s Theatre (although the play in German was still a bit challenging) and of Hohenschönhausen prison. Our guide was a former prisoner and one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. He reminded us of something we all have but take for granted, freedom. It was incredibly sobering meeting someone who knew what it was like to have that taken away. 

Overall this was such a rewarding trip with great people and so much fun, on top of all that my German has significantly improved. Berlin is now my favourite city as around every corner there is another piece of history to uncover with scars from the 20th century covering the landscape. A remarkable example is the ‘Stolpersteine’ or stumble stones outside previous Jewish homes when they occupants were killed in the holocaust. We were astonished by modern and sometimes hidden art, like the graffiti’s of Schwarzenbeck house and the art project of the East Side Gallery, where artists from around the world took the new “canvas” of the Berlin wall to tell their view of the fall of the wall. Through these little and big monuments and everything else in the city we were able to find out so much about the people whose language and culture we spend hours learning everyday.

To make a great trip you need great teachers. It was a small group but excellently managed by Frau Rainer and Mr. Hamilton. A brilliant pair to pack tours full of information from different perspectives and I hope they enjoyed our company as much we did theirs.

Violet Mackintosh (MO L6)

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