We ended up having what was the first of our daily homemade German breakfasts. Turns out my love of faux meats and cheeses made me a bit of a pro at these. Our first was a simple fried sausage, fried schnitzel with cheeze on top alongside corn cakes, a creamy cucumber dill spread and some slices of vegan 'ham'. Looking back, this breakfast was a little tame compared to what I was putting on our plates on our last few days.
Before hitting the museums we decided to check our the local Lidl to get some more breakfast supplies. The German Lidl's are so much better than what we have here in the UK. We picked up some frozen pastries and some juice. There was a fair bit of accidentally vegan chocolate and biscuits but I decided before arriving in Berlin where I really wanted to spend my money when it came to sweet stuff so I skipped on these.
After our brief Lidl distraction we headed straight over towards Checkpoint Charlie. It was weirdly touristy considering there wasn't all that much there and weird how in just a short walk from our apartment the atmosphere was completely different. The Asisi Panorama is located just by the Mauer Museum, next to a square full of takeaway vans and a souvenir shop. The best part was this section of the Berlin wall with a cow on it. I name this photograph 'Die Frau, die Kuh und die blassen Beine' (The woman, the cow and the pale legs - my German isn't great so don't quote me on the title)
Because Tourist information sites can explain this better than me, this is what the Panorama is about
"THE BERLIN WALL – The asisi Panorama on a divided Berlin by the artist Yadegar Asisi at Checkpoint Charlie at the corner of Friedrichstraße and Zimmerstraße consists of a cylindrical steel rotunda that displays a panorama of the daily routine on both sides of the Berlin Wall on an autumn day in the 1980s.
Asisi, who actually lived in Kreuzberg in the 1980s, has bundled his memories in the panorama and goes into great detail in his narration of stories, which would not have happened that way at the same time"
As you enter the building you find yourself in a room with a wall covered in photos, video clips and text, showing stories of peoples experiences of the wall. You can then walk through to see the painted wall. Obviously it's not completely accurate, certain buildings haven't been painted in as they obstructed the view and scenes painting along the wall come from Asisi's memories and others detailed stories, which would not have happened at the same time. There are steps up onto a platform, so it feels like you're looking out over the wall and there are audio clips of speeches that play out as you take it all in. It's all pretty realistic and a good experience in all.
I was expecting a little more, but it was just those two rooms. At €10 each I probably wouldn't visit again but I'm still glad I did. The artwork and stories were incredible and I really did feel like I'd travelled back in time.
We browsed some souvenirs and then headed back over to Lindenstrasse to check out the Judisches Museum
This museum was fantastic but a few words of warning if you plan to visit. You need a lot of time for this, there are security checks on the way in and you'll need either a passport or a driving licence as a deposit if you want an audio guide.
The Judisches Museum is one of Europes largest Jewish Museums. The museum consists of two buildings, one of which is a new addition, built specificially for the museum by architect Daniel Libeskind. It's really hard to explain how incredible the journey through the museum is. You enter a traditional building before heading down into tunnels that lead you to a modern zig zag that stands next to the original building. The building itself is so amazing that you could spend hours just walking around admiring it, on top of all the exhibits and extra info you could easily spend an entire day at this museum.
I won't go into detail about everything but will share some of my photos so I can at least try to show you how awesome this was.
This was one of the few voided spaces, Fallen Leaves. There are 10 000 faces punched out of steel in this space and visitors are encouraged to walk along the space. Menashe Kadishman dedicated this work not just to all the Jewish victims but to all victims of violence. I walked along this stretch of space and it was haunting hearing the clanging sound of metal echoing around the room.
The view from the top of the stairs, which we reached after walking through all of the tunnels:
The additional building of this museum. Shame I couldn't capture how it zig zags around but a quick google will show you what it looks like:
Amazing tunnel that led to the gardens:
After a long day of museums my urge to find more great vegan food was too strong to ignore, especially after I bumped into this dude.
During our breakfast I'd managed to get a small food plan written up so we could take out a few places in one glorious hit. We headed back over to Friedrichshain to visit Cupcake, Berliner Eis and Zeus Pide Pizza. We visited in this order because Cupcake was due to close at 8pm and because I decided one can eat dessert before mains when in Berlin.
We only briefly popped into Cupcake to grab some cake to go. The shop itself was really cute, the way you'd hope a cupcake shop to look. It was a real shame that we couldn't sit about, but ice cream was calling for us.
I only intended us to leave with one baked item each but considering the only vegan cake option was vanilla and there were also peanut butter chocolate brownies, I figured we'd have to get two of each. The staff were really friendly and helpful at pointing out what was and wasn't vegan. Our cupcakes ended up a bit squashed on the journey home so I haven't photographed them, but they were traditionally pretty piped American style cupcakes. I do have a photo of our beautifully packaged brownies though!
My verdict: Brownies great, Cupcakes bad!
I was really sad about the cake, the flavour was pretty good and I liked the buttercream. However, the sponge was so dry! I genuinely struggled to get it down my throat. It's a shame because the brownie was perfect. It was beautifully gooey and moist inside but had that perfect thin crust on the outside.
Definitely worth a visit in the area but if you have the choice, go for the brownie.
Another non vegan place with lots of vegan options. Thanks to the helpful staff I learnt that all the sorbets were vegan friendly, as were the waffle cones. Awesome! I'm pretty sure it was no more than €3 for 2 scoops. I had strawberry and chocolate and it was delicious. The weather was still really good so it was lovely to sit outside on the comfy seating and enjoy our ice creams in the sun. I even took what is probably my first selfie.
Zeus Pide Pizza
We finished our trio of non vegan but vegan friendly eateries by heading to Zeus. I'd heard about this place from a friend from work who had visited Berlin a week before we went. They have an entire separate vegan menu and there was so much choice. I ordered the Zeus, which iirc was 'ham' 'salami' chilli, mushrooms, cheeze and tomato sauce on the base, my partner in crime ordered a classic Hawaii.
These were probably the best pizzas I've ever eaten. The base was perfectly thin and crispy. The vegan cheese was melted beautifully and evenly spread on the pizza. The toppings were ridiculously realistic but staff confirmed that my pizza was indeed completely vegan. We decided after our first bite that we would definitely return before our trip was up.
The pizza put me in a food coma, I can't remember how we got home but we managed it somehow.
Next installment coming soon! Tschuss!