Thursday, April 23, 2015

Alles hat ein Ende...All good things come to an end

We spent the last day in Germany exploring the zoo in Berlin and doing last minute souvenir shopping. When we said good bye to our hosts at the airport on Wednesday morning, we finally realised that our time on the other side of the world had come to an end. We are now on our way to Auckland after a tour of Hong Kong which included Aberdeen Village, Stanley Market and the Peak. Everyone is excited to see their families when we arrive in Auckland on Friday at 12.05pm...Bis dann.

Monday, April 20, 2015

School day and Farewell Party...time to say good bye

How fast time passes by... Just a blink of an eye and 3 1/2 weeks are over.
Not long ago did we meet you for the first time. Honestly spoken, for me personally it wasn't the first meeting, as I know at least two members of your group, without who your travel wouldn't have been possible at all. And one of them is my very best friend on earth :-)
I was soooooo happy to see you again, Mrs. Z. and Mrs. D.
Well, tonight we had our farewell party. See? A blink of an eye.
Our lives have changed within the last weeks. We were able to get to know another culture, other customs and, which is the best, wonderful people. And this is exactly what the students of the Ernst-Haeckel-Gymnasium and of Lynfield College expressed in their speeches where they said thank you to their host families and teachers for the overwhelming experience.
Fortunately, this is not the end, but a new beginning of the exchange.
Enjoy your flight back to New Zealand, say hello to your families from us and, please, always remember the bright moments of your trip around the world :-) (by Mrs. H.)

Friday, April 17, 2015

Reichstag und Holocaust Memorial

We started off our last Friday in Germany by catching the train to the Berlin Hauptbahnhof. First we visited the Reichstag which is Germany's government building. The Reichstag is very spectacular on the outside and inside. It has a very interesting history as it was built in 1894 and used untill 1933 when it fell into disrepair due to a fire. It was then renovated in the 90s by an architect named Norman Foster. Throughout the Reichstag on some of the walls remain the names of Soviet soldiers. These soldiers helped to capture the building so they scrawled their names and hometowns all over the walls. The main parliament building has a massive glass dome over the top to make the building look more modern and to let as much light in as possible. We walked right to the top of this to get an impressive view of Berlin. Afterwards we went to the Holocaust memorial where we had a guide explain about it in lots of detail. She told us that the artist did not have a specific meaning for the memorial but left it up to you to decide. I found it interesting when she told us different people's perspectives on the memorial. For example she said it could represent the graves of the Jews or a concentration camp . We went to the exhibition below the memorial which was very sad for all of us. It showed infomation on Jewish families that were murdered and letters written before they were killed. It was another interesting day in Berlin. We now have one last weekend to spend with our host families.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Treuenbrietzen und Feldheim

Today we had the pleasure of visiting Frau Zimmer's home in Treuenbrietzen. Instead of going to our host-partners first lesson, we left Werder on an enormous bus straight away. It was a little under an hour to Treuenbrietzen. The moment I saw Frau Zimmer's home, I could see how beautiful it was. We took a group photo just on the front steps and then left for Treuenbrietzen. We went on a tour through the stunning little town, which included entering the town church, and stopped for lunch before moving on to Feldheim, the only energy self-sustaining village in Germany. We went on a small tour with a very friendly tour guide. She taught us about how the electricity is made by solar panels, wind turbines and bio-gas in Treuenbrietzen. We were also given sausages on bread at the end. This was the end of our day and so began our journey back to Ernst-Haeckel Gymnasium. In the late afternoon, Saloni, Jade, Maddy, Fleur and I went with our host partners to an Eis (ice cream) place on the island of Werder. The Eis was absolutely amazing!! Sehr, sehr lecker. For Abendessen I got to try Döner Kebabs for the first time. Today was extremely interesting and we all learnt a lot, while still having plenty of fun. I'm sure we are all looking forward to tomorrow when we visit the Reichstag. (Danni)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Olympic Stadium und Schokowelt

Today we went to the Olympiastadium and did a guided tour through and around the building which was built for the 1936 Summer Olympics. We went through to where the players and olympians warm up and sit in their locker-room and we saw where they go after their games. After this we went up to the vip seating and sat where Angela Merkel sits for important soccer games. In the afternoon we went to a chocolate shop and could create our own chocolates. A lot of Rittersport was purchased for our families in New Zealand and everyone went home happily after another amazing day in Berlin. (Jamie)


On Saturday my host family and I went to the Berlin Dungeons. The Berlin Dungeons is like Spookers except it goes through Berlin's history, as far back as 700 years. You learn about the serial killer Carl Grossmann, the Black Death, various torture devices and the legend of the White Lady. It was all in German and spoken very fast so it was quite hard to understand but I got the main idea. Afterwards we went to the Sony Center but unfortunately we didn't have enough time to go in the film museum. On Sunday we went to an XXL restaurant, where they serve massive portions of food. Fleur and I ordered a hamburger to share which had a 25cm diameter and a 600g patty. Together we ate just over half of it. (Holly)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

East Side Gallery and Berliner Dom

Today was another good day for all of us. We started off the day with our exchange partners, where we went to their class for 45 minutes (half the time of a full period in Germany) and participated in the lessons. We then walked from the school to the train station where we caught the train to Berlin Ostbahnhof to visit the East Side Gallery. It was covered in Grafiti which we were all very inspired by as it was used after the second world war to separate East Berlin from West Berlin. After taking lots of photos we grabbed some lunch and we had a guided tour of the Berliner Dom which had an interestingly short history but was "sehr schön". Fast Fact: After a bomb raid in Berlin from allies during WW2 the Berliner Dom's roof concaved inwards and fell crumbling to the floor resulting in the crushing of a sarcophagace which was a level below the ground floor of the Berliner Dom. After the tour we all then caught the train back to Werder from Berlin Friedrichstaße where we were picked up by our host families. (Mitchell)