With bags crammed full of documents and an agenda as heavy as our eyelids, we crawled into the 4am taxi to East Midlands Airport. Thankfully, we were treated to a very smooth flight and a superb landing into Berlin Schonefeld, where bright and easy to follow signs led us straight to the busy S-bahn station and quickly on to the city centre. Then, with no time to waste, we headed to the first hostel on our list and were greeted by a friendly face and a strong cup of coffee giving us the boost we needed to carry out a comprehensive health & safety audit.
We visited ten hostels in all and completed full reports for each one. As Halsbury firmly believes in personally carrying out inspections of all accommodation centres, we can always offer our school groups those we consider most suitable for their needs.
After an extremely long day of auditing and trekking over the German capital, we managed a short stroll from our hostel to the ever-fascinating Kudamm and the Hard Rock Cafe, which is always popular with school groups (it's easy to see why, as it offers a cosmopolitan and student-friendly atmosphere, as well as a varied menu and good value for money).
The city of Berlin, with its wealth of history and eclectic mix of characters, cultures and architecture, is bursting with must-see places. Although our health and safety inspections were the main emphasis of this trip and we were pushed for time, we managed to squeeze in a visit to the famous Alexanderplatz, with its enormous TV tower, as well as the Holocaust Memorial and the Brandenburg Gate, which was a fitting place to say Auf Wiedersehen to a truly mind-boggling city. No matter where your interests lie, you're bound to have a thought-provoking and unforgettable experience in Berlin.