Early in the morning of the 27th of November 2023, a group of excited Eirias pupils got on a coach to begin a very magical week.
Arriving at Manchester airport at around 3 o’clock in the morning, we went through security and began the trip of a lifetime! We departed from Manchester at 7:13am and landed in Hamburg airport at 9:24 and made our way to A&O Hamburg Hauptbahnhof, the place we were staying at to drop off our luggage before we explored the city.
Firstly, we made our way around some beautiful Christmas markets and tried some German delicacies for lunch, including Flammkuchen Bratwurst! After an incredible first few hours, we got on a bus to go curling! This was such a fun activity (although Mr. Jones got very competitive) and we all had a good time. The rest of the evening was spent relaxing and playing games in the Hostel.
The next day we got up nice and early to have breakfast and make our way to Hamburg's Miniatur Wunderland! We spent a few hours walking around extremely lifelike miniature cities such as Hamburg itself, Venice, Los Angeles and Rio De Janeiro. It was fascinating to see such detailed replicas of amazing cities across the world, and one of the displays even allowed you to watch chocolate being packaged and then gave you a piece! At around midday we left the Miniatur Wunderland to make our way to another Christmas market for lunch, before going ice skating!
Just as we arrived at the ice rink, it began to snow. It was so magical and something that will never be forgotten. After a few hours and many, many falls, we got the hang of ice skating. It was so much fun, and everyone loved it so much and was quite sad when we had to leave for yet another exciting activity; the Speicherstadt evening river cruise! We got to practice our German skills as we took a boat around the city, listening to a tour guide telling us all about the city and the things we could see as we moved along the river. Everything was so pretty. To end a long day, we headed back to the hostel for our evening meal and a hilarious game of empires together.
On Wednesday, the teachers had a really great day planned for us. Firstly, we headed to Chocoversum, for a tour of the chocolate factory, along with making our very own chocolate. We had a lovely lady called Anna telling us all about the history of chocolate and how it was made, along with a chocolate tasting. Lots of chocolate. After this, although we were all stuffed from the gorgeous chocolate, we left to grab a quick lunch on the way to climb the tower of Michaeliskirche. On our way, it began to snow quite heavily, which was extremely exciting and overall just magical.
The entire group, teachers included, were having such a wonderful time we weren’t even phased about the fact it was around –3 degrees and we were about to walk up 453 steps to the top of a church tower! And after a lot of deep breathes we reached the top and the view was extraordinary. I have never seen something so beautiful as Hamburg from 82meters up and in the snow. After a quick look inside the church, it was time to make our way back to the hostel for an early dinner before we went to see the famous musical ‘Der König der Löwen’ (The Lion King). I was fizzing with excitement for this part of the trip. And it was even better than expected!
We took a boat from the harbour to a magnificent building dedicated to the musical, and rightfully so. It was brilliant. The music, dancing, singing and costumes were beyond incredible, and it was sad when it was over, but we were all so grateful that we got the opportunity to go. The rest of the night was equally as fun as the afternoon; we spent it eating pizza and having fun in the hostel before making our way to our rooms, prepared for another awesome day tomorrow.
Thursday was the last day we were spending in Hamburg, and we had to be out of our rooms for 10. But that was no problem because that gave us more time to make the last day count! We spent the morning walking around the final Christmas market and what seemed like the only one around we hadn’t visited. We saw such beautiful decorations and sights as we walked around the markets.
At around one o’clock we made our way to the airport before boarding our return flight at four. It was sad to leave, it had been such a joyful week and I never wanted to leave. We got back to Manchester at around half six and made our way back to school to meet our parents. Everything about the trip was absolutely amazing, and we are all so grateful for the teachers who made it happen. It will be remembered forever as such a magical few days and I am so honoured to have been given such a huge opportunity to go on the trip.
Thank you to frau Gordon for organising the trip and making it happen!