Thursday, July 14

Berlin | 02: palaces and pizzas

It's been almost a year since this Berlin trip, but it was so good that I'm going to continue writing about it anyway.

So. Day three in Berlin. It begins with a cortado served from a little red van parked inside a florists. We get a free biscuit too. It's warm and sunny again, the streets full of the soft golden feel to the air that signals an impending September. Everything - the clean modernist facades of the East Berlin Plattenbauten, the wide concrete pavements, the trees - feels as if its been washed in shimmering honeyed water and put out to dry.

On bicycles once more we nose our way to the Spree and cycle alongside it all the way to Charlottenburg. The river path is nice, reminds me of the Thames towpath, and affords us a good view of the changing architecture as we head west. If Neukölln and Kreuzberg are the equivalent to London's hip east quarters, then Charlottenburg is Chelsea and Kensington. It's affluent, grand. We eat a picnic under a willow tree in the gardens of the Schloss Charlottenburg; a palace I'd love to return to and explore.

In the afternoon we cycle back toward the city centre to check out Friedrichshain, a more gentrified version of Neukölln. A criss-cross of cobbled streets is home to independent boutiques and bookstores, coffee shops and the photobooths the neighbourhood is famous for. We drink cold brew at Silo coffee and hunt down a photobooth for a strip of black and white photos to take home.

Later, beer and vegan pizza at Sfizy Veg. I've always been a little suspicious of fake cheese, and I tend to believe that once you've been to Franco Manca all other pizza pales in comparison, but this is good. We sit outside. The food doesn't last long.

places mentioned:
cortados from The Coffee Ape at Blumen Weyer | Sonnenallee 51
Schloss Charlottenburg | Spandauer Damm 20-24
cold brew from Silo Coffee | Gabriel-Max-straße 4
vegan pizza from Sfizy Veg | Treptowerstraße 95

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