St Mark’s students have breath taken away in trip to Berlin

Education: Secondary / Mon 31st Oct 2022 at 10:34am

DREI, zwei, eins – los geht’s! Half term saw more than 40 St Mark’s pupils visit Berlin, taking to almost 100 the number who have experienced Germany’s vibrant capital this year alone. (they did the same trip in March as Covid restrictions eased.)

Having arrived in Berlin after a tiring 17-hour coach journey, pupils immediately immersed themselves in the city’s iconic sights, including the Brandenburg Gate and the granite blocks of the Holocaust memorial, ending the first day with a late-night walk up the Reichstag dome.

Other highlights of the six-day trip included a stroll through the palaces built by Frederick the Great; a boat trip down the Spree river in the warm autumn sun; insight into life in the former East Germany at the DDR Museum; a sobering look at the photos of those who died trying to cross the Berlin Wall at the main Wall memorial; a 40-second, stomach churning lift up Germany’s highest structure — the Berlin TV Tower; a dozing capybara family in the West Berlin zoo; and the ubiquitous Currywurst, a sausage soused in sweet tomato sauce and sprinkled with curry powder.

The most popular attraction was the Berlin Olympic Stadium, a structure that embodies modern Germany and the country’s attempt to come to terms with the Nazi past.

Pupils perched on the same seat graced by Lionel Messi in the changing room for the 2015 Champions League final and were shown how a swastika mosaic had been reconfigured to remove this symbol of oppression.

German is a very popular GCSE option at St Mark’s, an integral part of our broad curriculum. The Berlin trip has long been an annual fixture that gives pupils the opportunity to reinforce their language skills and experience the culture of a historically rich European capital.

We look forward to returning in 2023 – wir lieben Berlin!

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