It seemed too soon, but somehow I had already arrived at my final port of call: my favourite city in the world, Berlin. I love to visit new places, but inexplicably I frequently find myself back here, exploring new places and discovering previously unearthed delights. As elegant as Copenhagen was, and as rebellious and vibrant as Hamburg was, in my heart I already knew they couldn’t hold a candle to this place. Ich bin eine Berliner!
Carlymau at the East Side Gallery
I arrived on a Sunday afternoon, and had no intentions of overdoing the sightseeing until the next day. I decided just to go for a short walk around my new neighbourhoods (Mitte and Prenzlauer Berg) and get accustomed to my surroundings. Little did I know that I would be walking straight into Craft Heaven!
Flowmarkt (Flea Market) is held every Sunday at Mauer Park. More than just a glorified car boot sale, Flowmarkt houses stalls from jewellery designers, artists, and crafters of all varieties. You can also feast on delicious foods, and enjoy fantastic live music. It was more akin to a festival than a flea market!
There were literally hundreds of stalls, offering all manner of vintage clothing, furniture and accessories. My initial plan was to have a good scout round before buying anything, but I quickly came unstuck with this strategy, as I didn’t succeed in finding the same stall twice all afternoon.
The hand made items on sale were wonderfully unique and well-made, and my only regret is that I didn’t buy a gorgeous painted wooden necklace from one of the stalls. I meant to find the designer again later in the afternoon, but try as I did, I couldn’t spot her :(
Also on sale were fabrics by the yard and stalls offering every imaginable kind of button, ribbon, trim and fixing. Crafting and bargain-hunting bliss! If you’re in Berlin, Flowmarkt takes place at Mauer Park (Nearest stations are Bernauer Strasse on the U8 or Eberswalder Strasse on the U2) every Sunday from 8am until 6pm.
To me, it appears as though everything is that little bit cooler in Berlin. Clubs with outdoor cinemas and rock climbing; seemingly abandoned buildings with thriving nightlife and art galleries; even the charity shop windows are works of art!
Window display at Humana, (U5 Frankfurter Tor) and the abandoned Spreewald amusement park in Treptower Park (S Bahn to Planterwald)
If you need any more evidence of how achingly cool this city is, a simple walk back from the East Side Gallery to Warschauer Strasse U Bahn station turned into something special when an English-South African artist called Alice Phoebe Lou started busking – 3 songs in and there was a crowd of over 100 people! She was fantastically talented!
But anyhoo, back to the crafting. It was almost as though I planned it deliberately – there was an amazing craft store just feet away from my hostel. The shop was called Babie Lato and it sold beautiful fabrics, buttons, trims, and even had some hand made garments. From a rough Google search, I think ‘Babie Lato’ means ‘Indian Summer’ in Polish. That is a fact for you, right there!
The woman who ran the store was utterly lovely. After I had asked her if I could take some photos of her store for my blog, she refused to charge me for a half metre of beautiful floral, light-weight material I was buying. I think it’s the first time anyone has ever paid attention to me, skulking around with my camera, blogging about stuff! What a lovely lady! I’m sure she vastly overestimated the value of my blog to promote her store! Having said that, I feel that I am duty bound to ask you to visit Babie Lato if you are ever in the vicinity….and say hello from me!
So, alas, I am at the end of my adventure across Denmark and Germany! It flew by far too quickly. However, we are enjoying a positively glorious Summer here in the UK, so that is certainly a reason to be cheerful. Plus, I am off to Rekjavik in September with my good friend Louisa, so is also a dedicated crafter, so I guess I’m looking forward to that trip! Thanks to anyone who gave me tips of places to see, things to do and craft emporia to spend at on my trip – again recommendations are welcomed for Rekjavik in September!