Tuesday, June 30, 2015
Last time we were in Berlin I bought a sporty, vegan red/white rain-proof shoulderbag which I've had good use of ever since. I've always thought I should have bought it in a larger size so the computer and camera etc would fit should I bring them.
Three years later I've also learnt that the Kånken backpack I got for work purposes doesn't really work for my back when it's full of stuff. The idea of a backpack is appealing and it obviously work for many, for me it doesn't. Both back and shoulders ache after carrying that heavy thing around.
Of course a really heavy messenger bag isn't ideal either, but it usits me and my back so much better. So, say hi to my new, vegan extra large Vaude messenger bag with room for computer and lots of work things.
It has all sorts nifty features, like special straps if you ride a bike and such - not that I would ever ride a bike with my computer... - it's versatile and easy to clean. I enjoy the orange colour very much and I'm sure we'll have many good times together.
Yes it has been throughly inspected. Of course.
Paw approved. Check.
Prosit approved. Check.
I found my Vaude messenger bag at BagAge in Kreuzberg.
Monday, June 29, 2015
After last year's debacle my love for the innocent brand may not be as passionate as it once was alas. But I still love their smoothies and juices and this pink drink has been on my radar for quite some time now, though not available in Sweden.
I found it in Berlin. And it was lovely. A delightful blend of beetroot, apple and pear. I even brought one bottle home, to thoroughly enjoy before due date.
Overall I think the world need more pink drinks. Happiness is pink.
Sunday, June 28, 2015
This was my office view for the week in Berlin that was. Life could be worse.
Because I'm on a long-term project and have to accomplish a certain amount of work every week I can't have a 100% holiday. Perhaps not ideal, but doable. And with wi-fi quality work is possible pretty much everywhere these days. We're rather spoilt, we who can work like this.
So I set aside some hours every day to do work and the rest of the time enjoyed myself and the fantasic city of Berlin. New sights, old sights and an overall lovely time.
But it may have been a lovely trip, it was also a hectic one, relaxing not so much at all. By the end of the week I had a sore throat, which of course turned in to a full blown cold. I'm grateful it didn't show its ugly face until the end of the trip.
I'm thinking it would be really really nice being able to go away like this more often, have a temporary office in a new city for a few days. Change of scenery, get inspired. Maybe one day.
Saturday, June 27, 2015
Such lovely looking and neat idea for a garden diy
Not only did we use the Happy Cow-guide for recommended vegan and vegetarian places in Berlin this time, Yelp is there to help now too. And this is a place that got great reviews on Yelp, the Lotus Lounge. It's apparently part of a Tibetan buddist centre and it was for that reason a bit tricky to find from the street. But finally we did and happily so.
It was a perfect day to sit in the peaceful and colourful outdoors seating in the garden. As so often found in Berlin, a peaceful haven just a stone's throw from a highly trafficed (in this case 6 laned) road. A little fountain trinkling, birds chirping, children's laughters from a nearby daycare.
Beautiful food, wouldn't you agree?
M chose a spicy vegan curry, lots of flavour and a pretty salad. While I chose a fresh beetroots and fried polenta dish with an equally pretty and tasty salad. For dessert (one of sadly few desserts in Berlin actually, the food was too filling to give room for desserts alas) we shared a nice brownie.
The all vegetarian menu (with vegan options) was quite extensive and their cakes looked delicious. The staff was friendly and the place had a really nice ambiance. Highly recommend a visit if you happen to be in Berlin.
Friday, June 26, 2015
Ever since I was last in Berlin (2011) I've wanted to visit Spreepark, the abandoned amusement park by the river Spree. A popular park for east-Germans since 1969 until the Berlin wall fell. What happened after that is a long and awfully interesting story which you can read about here. And this is interesting with lots of pictures that really waters your interest...
The eerie and magical place has been the set for movies such as Hanna and
The fence is sturdy and high and the guards we saw didn't seem the least bit friendly. Oh I had high hopes for seeing the swan boats, the ferris wheel, the fallen dinosours and everything. Instead we ended up with a long, brisk walk around the leafy fenced in area with very very few glimpses of what was inside...
There were also groups of people inside setting up for some sort of open cultural festival there in July. Had we come a week later we could at least have seen it from such a visit... Now it was a just a huge anticlimactic visit, albeit a nice woodland walk.
Thursday, June 25, 2015
So, very unlike me, I took a pair of power walking shoes in the non-El Naturalista shape with me to Berlin. Since people keep insisting they're so very comfortable to walk and walk and walk in. No sore feet, no blisters. Yada yada yada.
Well, you know what, from having spent a very long first or second day walking up and down the streets of Berlin I have never ever had such sore feet. With a blister from hell. Plus for the next few days such swollen ankles that you would not believe it.
My feet were made for walking yes, but apparently not in these type of shoes. They are simply not supportive enough. And given this experience I have to say I'm a m a z e d at how popular they are with people...
When I'd managed to un-swollen my ankles I wore a couple of more days with less extensive walking and also on woodland paths. Comfortable yes, very light yes and for shorter walks they work well. But if you put them to the hard, long day on city street-test they fail miserably. Plus, whatever people say, they can give you blisters too.
I had my heart set on a racy pink pair (but from another brand), because I really thought they'd be über-comfortable. Now I don't know if it's even worth concidering trying a pair on.
Wednesday, June 24, 2015
On top of the German Reichstag (parliament building) in Berlin there's a cupola - which is a symbol for democracy, transparency and also an environmental project that is a great way to lessen the building's carbon footprint.
And beside that cupola on the roof is a restaurant opened for breakfast (lunch and dinner). If you book your breakfast you don't have to stand in line with the tourists and groups that want to visit the cupola. Still have to go through the same security check as at an airport though, but if your there early its a swift process.
So we had breakfast there at 9 am. And it was admittedly frightfully early for me to get up. And it turned out to be surprisingly difficult to find a nearby parking spot, because there were so many inclosures for unknown reason.
In the end we had to park quite far away, having to walk back in the rain and cold winds. Up on the roof the view over Berlin was spectacular. And being there so early in the morning meant there were much less people around of course. It was a nice experience, but way too early for some. If not others.
The restaurant itself was really nice, open and light - although honestly the toilets smelled quite a bit, they should do something about the plumbing... - and with grand views. Too bad it was such a rainy, cold day otherwise the glass walls would have been open to the terrace.
And what about the breakfast? Well, we accidently ordered three of them for two persons so we didn't exactly leave hungry or with completely empty plates. But tastewise, nothing exciting or supertasty, just nice and forgettable. There are so many better places in Berlin to have breakfast. But the food AND the panoramic view, that's a different story.
The Reichstag is a beautiful, old building (first idea in 1871, but the buidling didn't begin until 1884 and was finished in 1894) and the cupola is a fine, young part of it (built 1995-99). It's a building with a fascinating story, a factual and practical symbol of so much that has affected the rest of the world.
I think it's a nice thing that the place is opened to the public and the symbolism of the dome, the transparency of democracy and that, in the right light, you can look down at the speaker's chamber below where politicans work.
It was an overall good experience, I wish I hadn't been so tired though, But as it happened, by the end of the week I got a nasty cold - which I haven't had for 1,5 year now - so I guess it was all way for my body to show exhaustion.
Also on our way from the visit suddenly there were a gazillion police cars out and about, new inclosures, the traffic lights not working. Suddenly we were abruptly stopped by police, cars, cyclist and pedestrians alike. Far away in the road I noticed lots of bluelights and even more police cars. Clearly there were some sort of police escort. People started cheering and we had no idea who was coming. So I snapped away and when they passed us close by and waved right at us in the car I realised it was queen Elizabeth and prince Philip visiting.
Needless to say really, despite this unexpected Berlin experience, which granted was a bit fun, I'm still very much a republican. In the European sense of the word of course.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
The office guard dog keeping a close eye on the street while his human was working inside
Just because your on holiday doesn't mean you'd miss an opportunity to do a bit of dog spotting - it's always nice to see how dogs are treated and behave in other civilized countries. Thus I give you a tiny bit of dogs on the town but now in Berlin.
Generally there were so many more dogs strolling around not on a leash there than you'd ever find in Sweden. Myself I'd be terribly worried that they'd run out in the traffic chasing something, but the owners and dogs seemed very relaxed about it.
Possibly K9-dogs, not sure if their harnesses were just a ploy. No matter what they were gorgeous and very well behaved at a busy flee market.
Monday, June 22, 2015
So my intention was to blog a little something live from Berlin every day. That didn't happen because the app refused to upload by first post for several days. And when it finally did upload I was just to overwhelmed by impressions, swollen feet - power walking shoes are apparently not my things for really long walks... - etc etc. Back home now and I will backdate the posts to come, so there will be more than a little something for some days to come, okey?
This soy latte in Berlin was perfection. And I'm so happy because it's only my third place where they've been able to make a perfect soy such. The name of the place is Father Carpenter Coffee Brewers and they have lovely sandwiches, salads (vegan and vegetarian too) and a very pleasant staff that even speaks a tad Swedish if you're lucky (and Swedish).
I yelped it here. And if you happen to visit Berlin you really should go there for a really sweet coffee experience.
Sunday, June 21, 2015
when you're a small sized woolly seeing a very green summer germany for the first time you can get super excited and swoon.