School Trip to Germany
On the morning of the 25th October, 36 girls were waiting anxiously for the bus to arrive at the Lookout. It was 12.45 in the morning and even though we were tired, you could feel the excitement in the atmosphere. For what seemed like years, even though it was only a few minutes, the bus rolled up beside us. We packed our suitcases in the bus, said goodbye to our families and hopped on the bus, looking forward to the adventure ahead.
After 2 ½ hours on the bus we arrived at Dublin airport. There wasn’t a soul around which was quite nice and peaceful. We checked in, went through security (which is always scary!) and waited around for our flight to be called. At 4 o’clock in the morning we were having breakfast, playing cards and shopping around in duty free, careful not to spend all our money. When our flight was called we raced towards the gate and jumped on the plane ready to go to Germany at long last.
At about 10.30 we landed on German soil. If you think Ireland is cold, then think again because Germany is absolutely freezing! I was glad that I had my warm fluffy coat or I would have caught a cold. We collected our suitcases and met our Scottish bus driver Ian. He was very friendly and very funny. Our first event of the day was a bus tour around Berlin. It was amazing to see so many different buildings and places. Our tour guide was very nice and talked us through all the tourist attractions in the city. There was a lot of graffiti on the walls which represented different parts of German history. The same day we got to see Checkpoint Charlie, the Berlin Wall and a museum. As a history student I found it all very interesting to see and it can improve my knowledge for my studies. We saw the museum of the wall, the history and incidents, the different escape routes that were taken and the struggle for human rights. History is one of my favourite subjects so I thoroughly enjoyed that part of the tour. That night we went ice-skating. We used the U-Bahn to get there. I was never on an underground train before so it was a good experience to have. The ice-skating was great fun. I didn’t fall once so that was my accomplishment.
The next morning we went to the Anne Frank Zentrum. It was really sad but at the same time it was inspirational. I got loads of pictures that I was able to show my family at home. The best thing about the museum was the Anne Frank diary. It was borrowed from the Amsterdam museum and it was my favourite display there. There was so much educational information about the Jewish people and I learned a lot. Afterwards we went to the Flea market at Mauerpark. I have never seen a place so crowded. Despite the crowds of people we had so much fun. There were a lot of bargains and it was a great place to buy presents for Christmas. We got food for lunch before we went to the Gruselkabinett Berlin.
When we arrived at the Gruselkabinett it was a big grey building and it looked really scary! The first floor was scary, with people jumping out of dark rooms with masks on. The second floor was good, it was just wax figures with medieval health services. The third floor had a gift shop which was really small but they had everything even ‘frisches Blut’. Our next stop was the Pergamon Museum. It was the biggest place I have ever been in. I learned so much about ancient Greek and ancient Roman history. We spent an hour strolling around in there and we took loads of pictures. We went back to the hostel to eat and relax for a while. At 9 o’clock we went to play minigolf. Yet again I hadn’t done anything like that before. I wasn’t great to start off with but by the end I was pretty good.
In my opinion, day 3 in Berlin was the best. We went to Tropical Islands. Instead of a normal swimming pool it was an indoor Caribbean beach. It was 26 degrees Celsius inside and we all had our shorts and t-shirts on. The water slides were unbelievable. We had great fun going down the slides for a good half an hour. When we went back to the hostel we went straight to sleep because we were so tired. I think our room was probably the quietest because we were fast asleep.
Day 4 started off with a 4 hour bus journey to Hamburg. On arrival we were given a tour. Our tour guide was called Sven and he was hilarious. He made the tour more enjoyable for us and he kept us entertained. Afterwards we went to the Hamburg Dungeons. That was my favourite part of the tour. Everything looked real and it was like you stepped right into that time frame. The actors were really good and their costumes and make-up were amazing. The people who worked there were even delighted when they found out we were Irish! That evening we visited the ‘miniatur Wunderland’. This was a model railway display. They even had little towns and villages built and they had airplanes and different beach parties around the world. I was really impressed with how well everything was created.
On Wednesday 29th we went to Heide Park. The roller coasters and water slides were the biggest I have ever seen. I even went on the biggest wooden roller coaster in Europe! The day was great but then it started to rain. But luckily enough we were leaving by that stage and we got out of the rain. It was like being back home again but the rain didn’t dampen our mood and we got on with the rest of the day. That evening we went to Bowling World Hamburg. I was really pleased with myself because somehow I managed to win in my group. I was happy that evening back at the hostel.
The last day finally arrived. The best way to end a trip was going to a chocolate factory. We got to try the chocolate from the different stages, starting with the cocoa bean and ending with a chocolate bar. We even got to make our own chocolate bar and it was ‘sehr lecker’! We all left the factory like little children with our sweets. On the way to the airport we were munching happily on our chocolate.
We got back to Dungarvan at around 10 o’clock Thursday night. I was so tired that I slept for most of the weekend, but it was worth it. It was one of the best trips I have been on and I would gladly go back to Germany again!