Student reporter Georgia Wallace writes about her experiences in Berlin/Krakow
I leapt at the opportunity to go on this fantastic trip when it was first offered to us students, as it would aid me with my GCSE and would be a new place for me to visit. Moreover, from reading the itinerary I could instantly tell it was going to be memorable. I was right.
The highlights of Berlin for me would definitely be the picturesque scenes and landscapes, that any keen photographer would adore and the culture and history of the place. I really enjoyed Checkpoint Charlie, as I learnt some key information there. This was followed by the TV tower, the cruise up the river Spree and the Topography Terror museum. To be honest I loved it all, and I share many great memories with my closest friends.
Next was Krakow and even though we were only there for a couple of days we still managed to fit a lot in. The tours of Auschwitz camps one and two were very moving and interesting; we couldn’t have asked for a better tour guide. It was a once in a lifetime experience. We then went a hundred and thirty feet underground in the salt mines, but the highlight of our time in Poland was seeing the local town centre light up at night.
I most would most certainly recommend this trip to anyone who is interested in History, as I learnt a lot of useful information and gathered many memories that will stay with me forever. All the teachers involved in the trip deserve a huge thank you for making this one of the best experiences of my life. Thank you!
Berlin and Krakow 2012
This year the History department took a group of 29 year 10 and 11 students to the cities of Berlin in Germany and Krakow in Poland. We only had a short time but made the most of every available moment.
One the first day we travelled to Bristol and flew to Berlin. In the evening we went bowling. Berlin was hosting a city of lights festival, so the TV tower was illuminated with some very creative lighting effects.
One the second day we visited Stasi Prison. This place was used to imprison and interrogate people suspected of political crimes in East Germany following World War II. The students took a tour of the cells and interrogation rooms and learnt a great deal about post-war Germany.
This was followed by a boat trip along the River Spree where students could see some of the major buildings in Berlin. Shortly afterwards we visited the TV tower and despite some very cloudy weather, still had a great view of the city!
Day three commenced with a tour around the Checkpoint Charlie museum, where our students examined exhibits relating to the daring methods of escape used when fleeing from East Germany. We then walked to the Topography of Terror Museum where we had a guided tour of the exhibit which detailed the methods of control and persecution used by the Gestapo. The building echoed the design of the Jewish memorial, which was our next port of call along with the Brandenburg Gate.
That evening we crossed the border into Poland and started the next phase of our adventure. We arrived at the hotel bleary eyed and ready for bed at 2.30am! However we were all prepared in the morning to go to our next destination, Auschwitz-Birkenau. This was perhaps the most interesting and emotional part of our visit. We had four hours at the site which was divided into Auschwitz One and Birkenau. We saw barracks, cells and the infamous gates and train tracks of Birkenau. I cannot describe this to you as I believe to really understand what it was like you have to go there yourself. This was followed by a tour of the famous 13th Century Salt mines which contained amazing salt statues and carvings and even a church. This was not what the group was expecting!
That evening we had dinner and some of the group, who still had some energy, went to Krakow’s Medieval market square. The next day we all visited the square which contained some lovely shops and eateries. The behaviour of the group was fantastic and I for one cannot wait for the next History visit.
Miss H Rickatson - History Teacher