The Year 9 German trip to Aachen was really fun! We left Tiffin School at 1:45 am and began a 2 hour coach journey to Dover, to catch the ferry to Calais. It was quite tiring, especially with some quite excitable people in the back of the coach meaning we couldn’t really sleep. As we were driving, we hoped we could make the 4:40 ferry, but when we arrived at passport control at 4:15 am and it took 30 minutes, we knew we weren’t going to make it, and that meant we would have to wait until 7:40 for the next ferry. We all left the coach to stretch our legs, but then the teachers delivered us with some brilliant news. We could get the 6:00 ferry, but this would mean we would go to Dunkirk. A slight change of schedule, but it saved us from 2 hours in Dover.
We arrived on the ferry and headed straight for the food. All of us were starving and the breakfast of bacon, eggs, baked beans, toast and juice was delicious. On the ferry, there was an arcade, and a cafe. We played some cricket, with a tennis ball and water bottle, and hand tennis, which passed the time and kept us awake. At around 9 am local time, we arrived in Dunkirk, and were on our way to Aachen.
We stopped at a Belgian service station for lunch, and then we were back on our way. On our journey, we went to 5 countries: England, France, Belgium, Netherlands and Germany. A few hours after leaving the service station, we arrived in Aachen. Our hostel was nice, and we spent the next 30 minutes deciding who would be in what room, and familiarising ourselves with the hostel. At around 16:30 local time, we had a guided tour of the city, with a very knowledgeable tour guide who was informative and entertaining. We saw the hot spring and the ruins of the roman baths that were situated here. Then the tour guide showed us the cathedral that Charlemagne built in the 13th century. We would get the opportunity to go inside the cathedral later.
The tour guide managed to get us some free samples of some biscuits that were delicious, some of them were covered in some chocolate. We kept on walking through the old town and saw many Christmas lights and decorations. We then saw the town hall, where Henry VIII could have been crowned King of Germany, but he wasn’t voted in. Back in those days there were a few very senior officials who would vote the next King in, and at one point Henry VIII was a candidate.
The tour guide then took us into a museum that showed us how the town of Aachen was built up, from a small town in the 1200’s to a bustling city in 2023. He then let us go and we were free to roam the beautiful christmas market. The food was delicious and there were many souvenirs. The market was huge, spreading over 3 squares. My group got slightly lost, and we might still have been in Germany if Mr Hoadley hadn’t come to find us!
We arrived back at the hostel and had free time, until 22:00. We played 8 ball pool against another school that was also at the hostel, and funnily enough that school was on the same ferry that we arrived on. We beat them at pool and that was really good fun. At 22:00 we went upstairs and went to bed.
We woke up at 7:30 for breakfast at 8. We packed our bags, and went downstairs for breakfast, which was delicious. There were many options including pancakes, cereal, and bread rolls with ham and cheese. At around 9:30 we checked out of the hostel and drove to the Lindt chocolate factory. We had an hour in the most amazing chocolate shop I have ever seen. There was sooo much chocolate, and it was so delicious. There were so many different types of chocolate that I have never seen before, and it was definitely worth the detour.
At about 11:00 we left the chocolate shop and we began our journey home. We went back through Germany and the Netherlands, and stopped at another service station in Belgium. We had lunch, and kept driving, until we arrived at Calais. The border control took a very long time, but we got the ferry we were aiming for, and that meant that we were going to be on schedule. We were very lucky because there was no traffic on the M25 and that meant that we were 50 mins ahead of schedule. I found the trip really fun and interesting and I know that all my friends and the other people on the trip found it equally as fun.
A big thank you to Mr Atkinson for organising the trip, and to Miss Mitchell, Mr Baker and Mr Hoadley for supervising us on the trip. A big thank you also to our coach drivers too, because without them we wouldn’t have been able to get to Germany.