When Steve and I came back from New Zealand I slowly realised that other people tire about tales of being away a lot sooner than I do.
However I’ve decided not to learn from that lesson and I’m continuing to talk about Berlin!
So last Sunday I took in four flea markets.
The first was Mauerpark. I had read that this was very touristy, busy and by all accounts over priced. Nevertheless, it was hearing about the wonders of Mauerpark that drew me to Berlin in the first place so on I went.
I arrived shortly after opening and I was glad I did. Stalls were still setting up, all was calm and some traders offered me “morning prices”.
Mum asked how the flea markets are different from car boot sales. I would say first of all it’s on solid ground, not a blade of grass in sight.
Secondly, their stalls have rain cover.
Thirdly, everything is categorized and displayed together, enamel with enamel, coat hooks with coat hooks
…phones with phones, cameras with cameras!
This might seem like a small thing but it’s big when you are coming from car boot sales where everything is everywhere, sellers are trying to keep their things dry under a plastic sheet on the ground and cardboard boxes disintegrate.
Don’t get me wrong I love a car boot sale as much as the next thrifter but I did love an insight into how organised things can be.
Of course it’s easier to categorize things when you have huge quantities of items. Berlin has a population of 3.5 million and judging from the rate money was exchanging hands I’d guess a thriving thrift economy.
Fourthly I’d say flea markets are more expensive. They all were free entry but they definitely charge more than your average car boot trader.
As I left Mauerpark I was greeted by waves and waves of people coming towards the market and I was relieved I had done my shopping early.
Without a google map for this market I managed to ask three Germans who didn’t speak English for directions. But they were all kind enough to engage with me in hand gestures, I found it. It’s very very close to Mauerpark as long as you head in the right direction!
This flea market was my favourite. It was the smallest I went to but it had a lovely atmosphere. It’s held in a park square and there’s a playground to the side so there were lots of families but also some serious hagglers. I had no idea what they were saying but they looked very happy with their purchases while the sellers looked on bemused!
As I arrived people were unpacking, this opens two hours later than Mauerpark. Parents were bickering with their children about who would get the next load from the van, women were telling their husbands to hang things higher and take things down, people were settling in on the couches they had brought with them with their thermos and coffee.
If I had a van this writing desk would have come with me and I would have picked up one of those industrial size E’s in the background too, but as good as my suitcase was a writing desk was beyond it’s limits.
It was a nice relaxed market with plenty of retro finds, car boot sale type feeling about it.
This market felt more geared towards antiques. A ceramic biscuit tin caught my eye and I asked the seller how much it was she said €160. I was informed as she took it from my hands that it was for collectors and is from the 1920’s. It was lovely but I was out of my depth.
In saying that it was here that I the enamel rack
I love so much, so for that reason alone I would say it’s worth a trip!
Last but not least was Nowoelln Flowmarkt,
which is a nice market lining the river. By the time I got here (about 4 o’clock) many people were closing up . After three flea markets, and trips over and back across East Berlin my main reason for picking this marker was the foodstalls. I had read that if you love street food you should go here. Luckily some of the food stalls were still open and so I ate my way through this market. I’m afraid I was too concentrated on getting some food to take any photographs but I snapped this tree on my walk back by the river.
It one last flick through say goodbye to my thrifting adventure:)
I’m delighted that I went, thrilled with my Berlin finds and chuffed to be at home with my two men again!