Fresh and rested, ready to tackle our last day in Berlin, we make our way by the S train to the Brandenburg Gate and Reichstag building (German Parliament building), stopping at Alexanderplatz on the way, but the weather is still horrible and we can barely stand being outside. We finally find a cute vegan Vietnamese restaurant (short walk away from the gate but Sarah cannot read a map on her phone either apparently…) where we wait in the warmth for a friend who lives in Berlin to join us. We have the best meal ever after which my friend takes us to the Jewish memorial, then the Museum Island, we walk around Mitte and sightsee in the much better weather by then. Attila who has been fascinated by the crosswalk signal on every traffic light pole has a ball when he finds out that someone made a brand out of these little guys and is actually selling hundreds of products with the green and red men on it. We then go inside Haus Schwarzenberg where not an inch of the several-story staircase is without graffiti and we take a moment to try and make out as many messages as possible. There are some very funny ones and even several “Go Vegan” ones that make us laugh. We walk around some more until the evening when my friend takes us to the East Side Gallery and a place closeby where what looks like abandoned warehouses are instead rehabilitated into restaurants, bars, clubs, a swimming pool, a bouldering and climbing place etc. All of them covered in graffiti if course.
We then go to a cool bar where we are surprised to see almost everyone smokes inside. My friend explains to us that apparently in Berlin, many bars and clubs have found a way around the smoking ban where after a certain hour, if no hot food if served and there are no minors present, people are allowed to smoke inside. After the drink, my friend makes his way home and Attila and I start walking back to the hostel. That’s when I see it: a sign outside a small place on the street saying “Vegan Waffles”, which I’ve been pestering the guys with all day at this point. It is a sign, we HAVE TO go in and try it. Attila, more than full himself is not really impressed and remains in the cold, smoking but I go in and ask the guy behind the counter if the place is still open. He answers that it is and in fact, he just started making a new batter for waffles, which just proves this was meant to be and we have to try the waffle! But the wonder doesn’t stop there: his specialty is the Thai ice cream, which we have all seen videos of when street vendors pour liquid milk on top of fruits on a very cold tray and start stirring and shaking the liquid which then becomes solid ice cream. I am mesmerized by the process as I watch him make us a vegan strawberry-Oreo ice cream. We get to talking and we find out his name and how he came up with the name for his place: Delabuu Ice Cream. Let’s just say that there is French homework and his best friend playing a football game on TV involved. You’ll have to ask him yourself for the full story if you want to know! 😊 We left the igloo mark on the chalk board so have a look for it if you go.
After the really good sweet treat, we finally make our way back for to the hostel. We checkout in the morning and make our way to the airport after getting delicious Vegan breakfast wraps and smoothies from a place at the station. We make our way to the gate and board the very crowded aircraft back to Nottingham where we get the Skylink Express bus back to the city center for even cheaper than before as the driver sells us two tickets for just £10.
After this 2 day trip, we can definitely recommend Berlin as the perfect destination to go for just a couple days or more if possible. It is very often super cheap from EMA and really quick and easy to go. Or the other way around! People from Berlin can come to Notts very easily from Schönefeld Airport and here’s a crazy thought: stay at one of our premises for the duration of their stay! Most of the staff has been to Berlin before so we’d definitely have experiences to share and tips to give each other 😊
The Vegans in Berlin, Attila and Sarah.