When I first moved to Hannover, I discovered Hannover's Altstadt (Old Town) flea market since I lived in the historic Leibnizhaus. Each Saturday a flood of antique seekers searched the booths quaintly dispersed throughout Hannover's Old Town. Slowly making way to each booth, many took a "kaffe pause" at one of the many Old Town cafes and Flohmarkt crepe and wurst stand. It is by far a unique and relaxing atmosphere.
At first, I thought it was cool, but didn't really pay much attention. Rusted keys, old cups and vintage signs - how neat, but not something I could spend my money on while living in Germany for 15 months.
During this time, I met a fellow German girl who was also a photography enthusiast. She told me that I should use vintage dish ware to photograph my cookbook. I began searching the flea market and my god, the market had some of the most amazing and historic treasures for CHEAP!
Enchanted, Hannover's flea market is a place to get lost throughout Europe's historic past.
Once I became addicted to Hannover's flea market, many of the vendors recognized my face first perusing each and every table at 9:00 a.m. Although some people overcharged, there certainly was no shortage of finding something similar at another table. My favorite vendor I called the "jedes teller" men. Two older burly German men had boxes of amazing stuff all for one euro. Across the medieval wall you can hear them scream, "Jedes teller ein euro!" I rummaged through their boxes and found a collection of antique tapestries and table clothes that set many scenes for my food photography. The kind men would often squeeze their price letting me keep 15 pieces for 12-euros.
In Bucharest, I found a unique pair of antique spectacles, the old circular kind that men with top hats once wore. The lady would not budge lower than 50-euros. It's funny because some local friends believe the Hannover flohmarkt is pricier especially compared to Linden's Sunday Faust-Mephisto flea market.
Why is Hannover so affordable? I can only guess because it is this big-small city where locals shop. Even in antique shops in Krakow (when converting to the Polish zloty) somethings were quoted five times the price of what I would've spent in Hannover. I can only guess is that there is some sort of tourist-trap at other places. So my point is that Hannover is worth it.
So, after sometime spent at the markets,I realized it's more than just collecting some cool old stuff.
The flohmarkt is a sign of Germany and Europe's past - something so significant and cultural that their goods will be recycled into something new. Most people fail to realize that immigrant countries like America don't really have a strong cultural bond compared to deep-rooted European countries where life has existed for thousands of years.
Since we are a melting pot, we have many cultures but not really one identity per say. The modernization of American consumerism has overran most of the last remaining roots connected to European (or other) cultures.
It's a magical playground filled with culture, history and some really old stuff.
Do you love the Hannover flohmarkt as much as I do?