1st August 2012

Berlin Inspection Trip - Written by Adaptable Travel Educational Travel Consultant Ricky Behan On Saturday 14th July

I had the good fortune to travel to Berlin as part of an inspection visit to explore this very dynamic and historic city. Flying from London Gatwick I arrived in Berlin Schoenefeld Airport early Saturday morning and travelled via public transport to Friedrichshain located on the east side of Berlin to my hostel called A&O.

Getting off at Ostkreuz train station, the hostel was very easy to find and was only a short walk from the train station. Friedrichshain is a popular student district and has its own distinct character which is vibrant and very colourful. This makes it a perfect location for student groups to stay in as students are able to get a real sense of what the east side of Berlin is like.

On checking in, I was greeted by a very friendly German receptionist who showed me to my room which was clean, comfortable and modern. She was very helpful and showed me the different locations of interesting landmarks and museums in Berlin and what was the best way to get to them. I must say after talking to the receptionist I was very pleased as although Berlin is a big city it is very well connected and a lot of the traditional landmarks and museums are located within close proximity of each other making travelling in the city easy and fairly straightforward.

On my first day I decided with my friend to rent out bicycles and explore the city by bike taking in the different scenery as Berlin is very much a city that has two distinct characters due to it being split by the Berlin Wall after World War II. This makes for a very interesting bike ride as you can see the two different approaches to architecture and style that the opposing powers used when rebuilding Berlin after the war. The East side of Berlin displays a lot of character and originality whilst the West appears a lot more modern and prosperous in style. I found this difference in style fascinating as it gives Berlin a real unique edge in relation to other European cities.

On my second day in Berlin we once again rode out into Berlin exploring the centre of Berlin taking in the famous TV tower which stands above the whole of Berlin, the historic Brandenburg Gate, the hustle and bustle of Alexanderplatz and the very poignant Jewish Memorial. From this central point we were then able to explore the prestigious Reichstag and take a rest in the picturesque green surroundings of Tiergarten Park.

After some further general sightseeing we returned to the east side of Berlin for dinner at an Ethiopian restaurant which I recommend highly as a new culinary experience. Another major plus point of Berlin which I experienced is the variety and quality of food the city has to offer with numerous restaurants, bakeries, markets and street vendors selling a plethora of foods from all round the world. Personally, I had the good pleasure of tasting Berlin’s speciality dish Currywurst which is a pork sausage covered in warm curry ketchup. This was very nice and I recommend the dish to anyone visiting Berlin.

On my third day we took a very relaxed approach to sightseeing and decided to visit Kreuzberg a famous district of East Berlin to enjoy an ice cream and take a leisurely bike ride up the riverbanks of the River Spree. With the sun shining, we stopped off along the way to enjoy the café culture Berlin has to offer ordering another famous German/Austrian delicacy an Apple Strudel. After devouring the Strudel and with some further cycling along the river, it was time to return to home and fly back to the UK with the memories of what was a very pleasant and enjoyable weekend in Berlin.

With minimal effort, Berlin is a city infused with character, rich in culture and heritage that assimilates a number of different cultures into its daily life. Communities and cultures interact with minimal confrontation making the city a safe and easy place to walk around with a character unlike no other. With an impressive range of museums, historical monuments and landmarks Berlin is an ideal school trip for any student looking to gain an insight into the origins of World War II and the legacy it left in Berlin and Germany as a whole.

I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Berlin and recommend it highly as a city for anyone to visit. If you are interested in visiting Berlin please contact us today for more information on school trips to Berlin.

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