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German Trip to Berlin June 2013

Wednesday 5th June was the day 25 of us left for Germany. We were petrified, yet excited. We were about to stay with a family that we’d never met before for an entire week and on top of that, they spoke another language. We had to meet at school by 5:15 so we could depart for Gatwick at 5:30. After some free time we waved goodbye to England. We had a flight that took around 1:45 minutes. When we arrived in Germany we met our exchange partners and then traveled to their school by bus; their buses were yellow! We then tucked into a brunch that they had prepared for us. After our brunch we went back to our partners homes for the evening. 98% of us were pleasantly surprised with how our families were and how they treated us.


On Thursday morning we met at our exchange students’ school and then went off for the day. Philharmonic Hall, Checkpoint Charlie and the DDR Museum in Berlin were our three places of the day. We found out lots of interesting things about how they built the hall, how Checkpoint Charlie worked and about East and West Germany and the differences between them. In the afternoon, we went to an area called Hackesche Höfe and completed a quiz in and around the area. We were in groups of four or more without a teacher, so you can imagine lots of twelve, thirteen and fourteen years olds trying out their German on other Germans asking questions and running from place to place thinking they’d found answers to certain questions. We’d lots of new places like Hedwig Hospital and Monbijou Park. We were also allowed free time to look around and buy things afterwards. We then made our way back to their school where our exchange students collected us.


Meals were simply carbohydrates with a few other little bits and pieces like cheese of tomato they put out buffets for us on the table and then called us, incase we didnt like anything we didnt have to eat it as we didn’t cose to have it on our plates. We all enjoyed what we were served and often our families took us to different places in Berlin that weren’t part of our trip.


On Friday morning we went to the Jewish Museum and found out lots about how the Jews were treated at what they did and ate during the war and what life was like for Jewish women. We put a wish on a wishing tree, for everyone to see what our wish for the world would be in the future. In the afternoon we went to the Turkish Market and had free time to go, look and buy things and walk along the canal. We then went to Templehof Airport where we met our exchanges and had a BBQ and LOTS of fun! Templehof Airport is an old airport which closed down a few years ago, and has now turned into a park for the public to come and jog, play, hang out and there is a special area for people to have BBQs!

On Monday and Tuesday we were beginning to realised that our trip was slowly coming to an end. Though we were missing home slightly, we still had a fantastic time. However on Monday we travelled past a number of different places including The Brandenburger Tor where we were allowed free time. For the entire trip the weather was beautiful and was continuously 28 degrees! So that added to the amount that we enjoyed Brandenburger, it was a massive public courtyard with shops and water fountains the actual gate was numerous amounts of pillars. We then went to a graffiti workshop and sprayed our very own piece after being shown and given information about some art in Berlin. Tuesday we went to several beautiful places before we walked to Wannsee. It was a massive forest with a massive lake and we all walked through the forest chatting and we all enjoyed it.


Wednesday 12th June was our last day. We met at the school as usual and took our luggage with us. The German exchange partners joined us at Schloss Charlotten where we did a quiz around the grounds and had a picnic lunch. We then went back to the school to collect our luggage whilst saying goodbye and left for the airport. When we got to the airport we had some free time like on the way to Germany. We then had a flight of around 1:30 mins to 1:45. When we got back to Gatwick we had a 45 minuet journey back to school where we got to see our parents again. We then went home and started to tell our families about our wonderful time in Germany and gave them any presents we had brought back for them. As much as we were glad to be home, we then started to take in the fact that we actually missed Berlin and we began to realise how incredible the trip was.

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