Saturday, May 18, 2013

Berlin - paradise for vegans

Both of us got a warm feeling knowing we would be soon in Berlin – a sense of belonging, some sort of home. I had my first visit to Berlin when I was 14yrs old, and Skippy and me have visited Berlin several times. So we knew the place a little bit, which shops are where, what to expect, where to go and especially the fact that there are many vegan restaurants and vegan shops.

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Having a break on the way to Poland


During the past days, my to-do list for Berlin was just getting bigger and bigger. I had severe problems with my gadgets and applications on my Mac and we needed a proper internet connection to do some major uploads. One of the major issues was my GPS. For some reason, I did not get maps of Berlin installed and I was forced to navigate based on major streets, tall buildings and the position of the sun.
I did have the vague recollection the connection was working at home when I installed my maps on the Mac. I spend about many days – searching internet, now in Berlin I was able to visit Touratech, Globetrotter and Saturn in figuring out why my Mac does not find my GPS.

Thanks to all of you technical guys, who tried to help me. Even though we eliminated many options what it was not, none of the proposed solutions really helped me.

The closest we got was to install Windows on my Mac, and then use basecamp to connect to my GPS. The remaining problem was that all my maps were installed on the Mac side. In the end, the real hint what to do came from forum. The USB of my old Garmin GPS (USB2.) and my new Mac (USB3.0) do not like each other, and by using a USB-hub (USB2.0) in between, all my troubles vanished. No problem to connect to the GPS.

What a relief!!!

Our hotel was another "dog-unfriendly" hotel. With 5EUR/dog/night - it became quite expensive and IMO a rip-off. The argumentation that "we MUST clean everyday", even though we did not want this service was anyway complete BS. They cleaned only once during our stay and then after we left (I assume). The staff was friendly with expectation of the boss - a female dragon. Anyway, we got room # 14.

Room 14 - reminded me a bit on "Harry Potter - closet under the stairs"
OK - after a while, we found our room ... well the door was slightly bigger and I hit my head only a few times.

We eliminated some luggage and thus, we could buy some more luxury items for the trip and now we got us lovely chairs :D This will upgrade our camping life at least manifold.

The new camping chairs :)
Besides the chairs, we had no room for a pot to wash dishes or clothes. We decided to go with Ortlieb's 10l foldable bowl and found instant use for it :D

Skippy ask me later why I bought "alkoholfrei" (alcohol-free) beer and I said, that I did not and she showed me the label. OMG - a clear indication how exhausted I was and how troubled my mind had been with all the issues we had so far.


We also visited my aunt, did some other shopping as planned and enjoyed the rich vegan food options in Berlin. Vegan restaurants and vegan shops – what a pleasure! One can just go and order (or buy) without having the usual conversation of ordering a cheese salad without the cheese, or going to an indian place. We ate delicious food and I liked the burger at Vego Foodworld so much, that we went there even twice.
Vego Foodworld
Delicious vegan burger
We also tested another vegan restaurant "Le Orchid V Noir" in Joachimsthalerstr. (Passagen). The food was mostly vegan, however you need to be extremely clear in the beginning. The owner seemed to only see the business opportunity of the vegan niche market, and does not always take it "110% serious". So better be careful with this one. This menu really looked like duck and tasted like duck. Only when you start to dig and examine the "meat" one sees that the structure is based on veggies.

Vegan duck (looks like duck, tastes like duck - is no duck)
We wanted to do something for Skippy's sore butt and tested the air-hawk cushion, which did not work out, because it made her feel unsafe on the bike – too wobbly. Maybe it's better to change the seat and make it a little softer.

Since our dogs are not used to being free in city, they simple do not know how to behave there with all the other dogs, bicycles and cars. They would do all sorts of non-sense from running away to hunting the ducks and swans. In our last evening, we went to Spinnerbrücke – a place to see and be seen – had a snack and went to Wannsee so that girls could finally be free a little bit and play.

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Our bikes at Spinnerbrücke

Our country-side dog Lyra was barking almost all the time and we were wondering what now. Now she is free and could play on the beach fetching stick, and no – barking barking barking. What a dog!

As it was getting dark, we went back to the bikes and got ready to go. Now also Hertta was barking towards the bushes and Skippy had a glimpse. On first sight she thought there was people (many cars were still at the parking lot) and they were “busy” and then – Shock ... I think the picture says it all :D

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What the heck is there in the bush?
It's a wild hog eating
... and this toy fence ends a few meters away from us, where one goes to the beach!

∼ Wolfi

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