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Home > News and Events > Berlin Trip 2018

Berlin Trip 2018

23 Apr 18

On our first day in Berlin, we had a guided walking tour around the city.  We saw many fascinating places including the Brandenburg Gate – originally the entrance to the city and the Memorial for the murdered Jews of Europe, 2,711 grey blocks arranged precisely to allow for long, straight and narrow alleys between them.  The installation is also a living experiment of the juxtaposition of image. After the tour we had some time to explore the area around the Berlinerdom and then we had supper at Andy’s Diner & Bar, an American themed restaurant, followed by an early night after our very early start.

On our second day, we took a short coach journey to Sachsenhausen, a Nazi concentration camp which opened in 1936, where we discovered some of the horrendous conditions that the prisoners endured.  We learnt about how the Nazis organised the camp, including how prisoners were tortured and murdered.  The camp was shocking to experience; we left feeling very subdued having learnt how people suffered before and during the Nazi regime.

In the afternoon, we visited the Olympic Park which we enjoyed in the sunshine. This was where the 1936 Olympic Games took place, which as an important propaganda exercise for the Nazis, including hoisting Nazi flags where the flags of the competing nations should have been. The stadium is now the home of Hertha Berlin Football Club. We enjoyed a delicious meal at the Ristorante Al Dente, where the pizzas were tremendous.

On day 3, we visited Hohenschönhausen Memorial Centre and experienced an interesting guided tour of the Cold War prison and cells followed by a captivating tour of an atomic shelter which could be used today for an emergency, although hopefully it will never be required.  In the same Centre, we looked round the Story of Berlin Museum which featured artefacts from the golden age of Berlin in the 1920s and parts of the Berlin Wall. It also housed a great juke box from the 70s which played British and American hits from the era.

In the afternoon, we toured a second Cold War Atomic shelter, which was disguised as an Underground station and is still in use today.  Our evening meal was at Maredo Restaurant followed by a visit to the spectacular Berlin TV tower in a thunderstorm.  This gave us panoramic views of the city at night and detailed information of the sights.

On Saturday morning, which was sadly our last day, we visited Checkpoint Charlie, the crossing between what used to be the American and Russian parts of Berlin when the city and country was divided during the Cold War.  Then we visited a 360 degree experience of what Berlin was like when the Wall was in place and the city was split into East and West Berlin, complete with a classic Volkswagen Beetle of the era.  We then visited the Reichstag, where we were taken up to the glass dome and listened to an audio tour on the building and the landmarks that we could see from the dome. It was incredible to think that this was burned down in 1933! Following this we visited Kaufhaus des Western, which is like a German Harrods which was filled with fantastic displays.  I particularly liked the Lindt chocolate rabbits and we had time for a small but expensive Oreo fairy cake.  After lunch, we had some free time at a local German shopping area.

After a phenomenal few days experiencing the history and culture of a fascinating city, we were all very sad to leave and would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Shanahan for organising a fantastic trip and for Mr Richardson’s German expertise.

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