Vorsprung Durch Technik, You Know

By Stephen Ewashkiw | September 5, 2013

6447 km so far.

These days we are hanging out in Berlin, visiting friends, organising our plans for the next leg of our adventure. This is a preamble to warn you that our blog posts over the next couple of weeks might not be as adventure-filled as they have been of late.

Today we met up with Dominic, one of our friends from London.

The Dominic, in his Mickey vs Joy Division T.

The Dominic, in his Mickey vs Joy Division T.

He is currently living in Frankfurt, and came up to visit us. We met at a Blur concert in Bath 15 years ago, and since Blur play tomorrow it seemed most appropriate that he should come visit us, and we could all get our Blur on together.

Jane and I were both desperate to get hair cuts, as we hadn’t done this since we were in Kraków back in June. Hairlounge in Kreuzberg did a great job for both of us.

short haircut berlin

Ich liebe my new short hair.

Freshly shorn, we met Dominic. Gluck To Go is a vegan burger joint in Kreuzburg. I had read good things about it and so we decided to check it out. The burgers are made in-house and were excellent. Great toppings, with chutney, vegan cheese, and vegan mayo options.

vegan burger germany

The tasty Orient Express burger from Glück to go.

Also, I was impressed that Dominic would come to a vegan restaurant with us. Thanks D.

So Many People

Jane, Dominic, and I walked around Mitte, which was busy with people, and busier with cars. Jesse had warned us it would be bustling, but the lululemon athletica is in Mitte and I wanted to stop in and meet the staff.

We wandered for a while, looking in windows, hoping to catch a glimpse of tasty (read: not Pils) beer, and get a sense of ‘cool Berlin’. There were people wandering everywhere, but Berliners seem to do most of their hanging out at night, so people were out, but there weren’t a bunch if cool spaces to go hang out in. Hopefully, we’re just missing something and over the next week we will figure it out.

building for squatters berlin

One of Mitte’s squatter buildings.

Jane left us to it, and so I dragged Dominic to lululemon with me. He was quite patient, despite the incessant yoga talk that must have been incredibly boring for him. I got to meet some Berlin teachers while at the shop, check out some new shirts, and talk yoga. Again, thanks D for your patience.

Get Some Exercise

Dominic and I then spent a lot of time walking around trying to find an open bar. I marked four bars in my map that were all supposed to stock craft ale. However, there is a trend (see above) in Berlin for bars to not open until 6pm. I guess I should have figured this out yesterday when Jesse, at 4:30pm, said, “My favourite bar is just down the road there, but it’s not open yet.” The first two bars we went to were closed, and we were repeating the axiom “three strikes and we’re out” as we approached Offside.

Third time’s a charm was actually the cliché we were looking for. They were just opening and were happy to serve us. We had chosen Offside as they stock Beer4Wedding‘s IPA which they cleverly call Wedding Pale Ale.

The beer was delicious, hoppy, a little bit sweet. Walking several kilometres to find one open pub (this sure ain’t London), we had worked up quite a thirst. We had several WPAs.

Brewer’s Droop

After a few pints, it was time to go meet Jane and Jesse at a vegan restaurant Jesse had very kindly researched and found for us. It is called Viasko and due to my beer consumption it was a fiasco getting there. I made us walk 3 km out of our way to end up at a different vegan cafe nearby, making us rather tardy for our scheduled meeting time. Damned internal compass not playing well with booze.

Jane’s note: Jesse and I didn’t really mind. We were happy having cocktails and conversation while we waited for the boys. But Dominic wasn’t too thrilled at having had to walk very far in the wrong direction. I feel your pain, Dominic.

Any menu that has tempeh, seitan, tofu, vegan cheese, as choices on the menu gets me pretty excited. These are menu items I became accustomed to in Los Angeles but have proved difficult to find, unsurprisingly, as we rode through the Eastern European countryside. As much as, so far, Berlin seems to be a smaller cousin of London, I am very happy to be in a city with countless yoga studios and multiple vegan options. I could put up with a lot for those two things.

Good food, good beer, good friends. Good night.  

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