"No milk? No sugar?"
"No, just black please."
"Oh, isn't she continental."
I handed over the last of my pound coins in exchange for a simple black coffee and went back to my book while Gatwick receded into the afternoon sky and the white cliffs of somewhere slid into view. I hoped Berlin wouldn't be as bad as this. It couldn't be.
I was lucky enough to stay with one of my best friends in Kreuzberg. Heather is a dab hand at every bit of cooking. By 11am on our first morning we'd flirted our way to free watermelon slices at the greengrocer (I say flirted, all Heather really had to do was ask some prices in German) and stocked the fridge full of berries, radishes and ripening avocados.
Berlin has its own chain of vegan supermarkets called Veganz (great name guys) which I heard on a Radio 4 programme is reportedly expanding into London soon. As with Barcelona, from the small section of the city I got to see, everything felt pretty geared up for vegans or anyone with a dairy-free diet- most cafes will offer soy milk with coffee or tea, and the restaurants will try their best to accommodate you if you're patient. Not expecting this to be the case, I got to try an amazing vegan burger at White Trash, where instead of just offering one vegan or vegetarian option for a burger, lets you add the vegan burger, which is made of nuts, beans, tofu, vegetables, herbs and spices, to one of the eight burger options. LONDON TAKE NOTE!
My trip happened to coincide with a crazy heatwave in which the numbers 33 and 35 degrees Celsius got flung about way too much and in the end it got too hot in the daytime to do much more than drink iced coffee and eat more slices of melon. But in the early morning and late at night we ate toasted seeded bread just with olive oil, pepper and salt, couscous and rocket salad with yoghurt for Heather and her flatmate Petra, blueberries, raspberries, and fresh mint in hot water.