Day 12 Salzburg

 

Guten Tag from Salzburg,

An adventurous day today. After beginning with the classic buffet breakfast at our hostel, we set off to visit the Von-Trapps with the help of our guide Helga.

The first stop was to the lake where many scenes from the “Sound of Music” took place. This came with an amazing view of the castle and courtyard that housed the Von-Trapp family in the movie.

After this we hopped back on the bus and moved on to one of the most anticipated places of the day, the Gazebo. Here we sang and reenacted the song ‘I am 16 going on 17’ in celebration of Sophie Goodall’s 17th birthday. We learned of the history of the castle, where this gazebo is now kept, as well as interesting facts about the King who last lived there. For example, his little game he liked to play with his guests where for would surprise sleeping friends with water shooting out of their chair, this is now a popular spot for Salzburger children to play in the summer.

We then traveled on the bus to the old part of Salzburg. Here we continued our tour on foot visiting places like the Meribell garden (with another famous “Sound of Music” icon, the beautiful fountain where Maria and the children danced) and learnt the history of Salzburg’s most famous landmark, the Festung Hohensalzburg, which is a huge fortress that overlooks the city.

After wandering through the small lanes of the town, we finished our tour with a visit to Mozart’s birth place, a small apartment above the city centre. We took a quick look through the museum that is dedicated to his life and music, where saw his violin, piano, and listened to some of his most famous pieces.

We were then given seven hours of free time to look around the city as we please. Some girls chose to go up to the fortress and take in the panoramic views of Salzburg, shop their way down the Main Street, or have a picnic on the river.

Today was definitely a highlight of the trip so far.

In the words of Maria and the Von-Trapp family,

So long, farewell, Auf wiedersehen, adieu
Eliza and Nadia

Day 11 Regensburg

Hello to everybody back home,

Well today was quite a long day. After waking up and having a buffet breakfast at the hostel we packed our bags and loaded the bus to start the 3 hour drive to Regensburg.

On arrival we dropped our bags at the hotel before meeting our guides to start the walking tour of the quaint medieval town of Regensburg. On this tour we admired the architecture of the St Peter’s Cathedral with beautiful stained glass windows, towers as high as 105 meters tall, and an altar made of silver. We then continued our exploration to the courtyard of a pope 200 years ago, with twisted vine and flower archways. Continuing on we walked down the narrow medieval cobblestone and saw houses 800 years old before coming across the house in which Oskar Schindler first lived with his wife for 5 years (from Schindler’s List). We learnt about how the people of wealth built towers not to live in, but purely for show! When the tour concluded we had two and a half hours of free time and as it was a Sunday, the shops were closed which left not much to do except eat ice cream and explore the quaint surroundings.

And then came dinner! It was a feast to say the least!

We were served a traditional German meal which consisted of three courses. The first course was a green salad with mushroom sauté which was as tall as the highest peak on the Cathedral! Then came the main course of chicken schnitzel with potato bake before dessert came out which was a delicious chocolate mousse.

After heading back to the hotel we checked into our rooms before having an early night which was the perfect end after a busy day.

Until next time,
Danke (thanks)

Darcy and Tash

Day 10 Dresden

image image image

We woke up in Dresden looking at the picturesque view. After a quick breakfast in the hostel buffet we walked to the town centre to meet our guides Stefan and Caroline. To start the tour, we learnt about the history of the town centre and how most of the buildings had to be rebuilt after the war. We then walked to the river and saw the view of the ‘New Town’. Then Stefan showed us some more interesting historical architecture and buildings like the Royal Palace (where the State Art Collection and Treasury are) were we viewed old pieces that were owned by the royals.

We then split into smaller groups to get lunch, view the historic town and do a bit of shopping. Four of us climbed up the inside of the ‘Kreuzkirche’, an old church near the town centre. The view from the top was amazing and we could see a panorama of the whole town.

Then everyone met at the Martin Luther statue in the town centre and walked to the river to board a boat for a short river cruise. Along the way we saw more historic buildings and the serene landscape of the Dresden river side.

Tschüss,
Jackie and Charlie

Day 9 Berlin -Meissen – Dresden

 

Day 9 was quite an adventure for the fabulous forty, which started with a two and a half hour bus drive. Unfortunately, we had to depart from beautiful Berlin, only to arrive at an even more picturesque place: Meissen. Although only a day trip, this quaint town was filled with antique buildings, horse-pulled carriages and cafès. Our wonderful tour guides, Stefan and Caroline, showed us the market square, town hall, porcelain museum and Clothius gate. We even experienced the gothic style castle that is Albrechtsburg, which involved a bit of a hike to reach. #healthy With two hours of free time, we then browsed the stores and treated ourselves to pizza and ice cream. After our goodbyes to Meissen, we left for Dresden and was welcomed into our new hostel. What followed was makeover madness, as we all transformed ourselves for the opera. Believe it or not, we made it to the Semperoper Theatre on time and took our seats (which had an excellent view- thanks Frau!) Despite being in Italian, everyone thoroughly enjoyed the performance of L’elisir d’amore- a romantic comedy that left us all in awe (except for the slightly sleepy Mr Barry). In a nutshell, day 9 was a ripper of a time.

Catch ya on the flip side,
Sophia
xxx

Day 8 Berlin

 

In the morning we visited the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe. At first glance, the memorial resembled a sea of concrete blocks, differing in size and angle. However, after walking through, we realised it was so much more than that. As we descended deeper into the memorial, the blocks surrounding us became taller and natural sunlight was lost, leading to a feeling of confinement and claustrophobia. Next we went to the Holocaust Museum beneath the memorial. Inside we were able to read the stories of Jewish families across Eastern Europe and listen to two-minute biographies of individuals killed. It would take six years, seven months, and twenty-seven days to listen to the six million biographies of all the murdered Jews. Afterwards we visited the Checkpoint Charlie Museum which focused on the Cold War Period but encompassed modern history across the globe. Every room was filled with information and primary sources that we found intriguing.

After a brief stop for food, we were filled with delight when we realised it was time to visit the Ritter Sport chocolate store. We were able to create two chocolate bars of our own, and could choose from a variety of ingredients which included, amongst other things, marshmallows, gummi bears, and cornflakes. Following some shopping at the Galeries Lafayette, we boarded the bus and drove through Berlin on a guided tour. Throughout the tour we learnt more about the former division of East and West Berlin, and saw remnants of the Berlin Wall. Driving through the streets, a clear contrast between the architecture in the East and West sections of Berlin was evident, as well as between pre-war buildings and modern structures.

To finish the day, we went to a restaurant and sat at tables overlooking the street whilst we ate our meal and drank raspberry lemonade.

Until next time!
Georgia and Imogen 🇩🇪

Day 7 Ypres – Berlin

 

Udo bus
Frau makeup
Hard Rock Cafe

Day 7 . After being picked up by our fantastic bus driver Udo and his wife, Sabine, we set off for Berlin at 730am. Within the first four hours of our trip, we had left Belgium, passed through the Netherlands, and entered Germany. To pass the time, we watched a film, saw cars on the autobahn surpass 200km/hr and played 20 questions with Mr Barry and Ms Feeney. While a traffic jam slowed our pace, Frau and the year 12 students made the most of the extra time, by giving each other makeovers to prepare ourselves for a late dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe. We are excited for our time in Berlin and cannot wait to continue our European adventure.
Catch ya later,

Josie and Carla

Day 6 Ypres

 

Ypres(eep)! What a day! After the most comfortable sleep on the trip thus far, we dragged ourselves out of bed to a brisk 13°C morning. We piled onto the coach and made our way to our first destination, Passchendaele Memorial Museum. Here, we got to experience what it was like to be a soldier in World War One by walking through simulations of the bunkers and the trenches. This visit was a somber experience, however was an excellent tribute to the soldiers in World War One. Following this, we jumped back on the coach and headed to Weihnachtsfrieden – Christmas Truce memorial. Along with the overpopulation of bees amongst the field of poppies, this place demonstrated a different side of warfare, where the troops from both sides came together to celebrate Christmas. We then had our packed lunch at Hill 60, where we looked at the crater left by a mine planted by the allied troops. After this, we took a quick detour to the border between France and Belgium, where we fulfilled our duties as tourists: took some pictures and had some laughs. As the day continued, we visited several more memorial cemeteries, which was a poignant experience that provided us with a tangible representation of the magnitude of the lives lost in the war. Following this we proceeded to the Essex Farm memorial where John McCrae composed his famous poem In Flanders Field. We then ended our day with some free time in the town centre of Ypres, where we all splurged on the delicacy that is Belgian chocolate.

Until next time!
Room 33 – soph, loz, anz and iz xx