When arriving in Helsinki, I hadn’t had time to check anything about which areas and places to go/see. So when I walked out of the hotel yesterday, and met this sight after a few hundred metres, I couldn’t believe my luck! This community project appears to be of Australian origin, and allows all of Helsinki’s inhabitants to sell or give away things they no longer need or use, in any public place all over town.
I’d love to see Oslo copy this concept!
The entire Vanha kirkkopuisto (park) that I coincidentally found, was covered and crowded with stands and people of all sorts and ages. I spoke to a few of the sellers, and discovered that this specific Saturday was one out of two each year (the other one during spring) where the locals clean out their closets and bring all they can carry with them to the nearest public park or street.
Some made a picnic out of it, bringing wine and lunch, while others even brought their own hammocks. Cheerful people – great atmosphere! An entire “festival” dedicated to a very environmentally friendly mindset, and so much more fun than the regular departement store shoppingI grew up spending more than a few weekends at flea markets. Looong before it was ever considered trendy. The reason was simple; my father was a collector of old merch, toys++ and as we were 4 kids at home, he had to bring some of us along in order to enjoy his hobby without getting in serious trouble with the wifey…
You might think this would have cured me from visiting markets and bargaining prices for the rest of my life, but it actually had the opposite effect. Lots of good childhood memories, and I absolutely love to visit street markets for treasure hunting. (I also have the odd habit of trying to bargain discounts at regular stores, to some sellers’ frustration, but thats a different story…)
As I arrived after lunch, some sellers where already on their way home – which equals treasures at bargain prices! Here’s a sneak-peak into some of the stuff I found, needless to say it was a bit difficult to close my suitcase (hand luggage traveller…) this morning! The beige knitted sweater was mine for 1€, while the 60’s rings came at 5€ each. 6 old sheep bells from Tibet/India a.o robbed me of 2€. Silk scarf and open silk shirt from Zara 4€/piece. But there was also a massive amount of designer brands and high-end products, for really reasonable prices.
So to those of you sharing the passion for recycling and treasure hunting; make sure to google “clean-out Helsinki” and coordinate the dates if you get the chance to visit this beautiful city. Highly reccomended!
Now on my way back – and can’t wait to get home to my little rascals. Enjoy your Sunday!
Some views from the weekend: