On Sunday morning, finding the shops to be closed (aaarrggggh!!), we went in search of the flea market at the Tiergarten. This bloke, in the marvellous felted pixie-hat, was on the pavement just in front of the market. He also had a perky little dog who ran in and out of the small crowd watching.
I could have watched for hours, no idea why. MrH wandered away a little, his attention caught by something, and was looking the other way. A very large bubble was floating his way and just before it popped all over him a lady stuck out her hand and dealt with it. Everyone was laughing and he had no clue why.
It wasn't a particularly big market but the stalls were very well stocked and it was heaving with people, mostly locals. The end of the 'tourist season' is the 31st October, all the museums close after then... and Sunday was the 31st so there weren't many tourists. The Christmas markets start in the middle of November, and then some department stores also open so people can do their Christmas shopping.
There were some vintage decorations available, but they looked too delicate to ram into our one tiny suitcase. Especially as we bought another item at the market. It's cast iron and you'll have to wait to see what it is. My hand luggage was already full of chocolate teddies and advent calendars. I love Christmas souvenirs! Prices weren't extortionate.
Further along there was a designer/artist market. There was a lot of leather work, knitting and felting. Again it all seemed to be local and of really good quality.
I you don't want to walk or take a Trabi safari you can always hire an open horse-drawn carriage. The horses were lovely and had the most amazing studded shoes.
Or there's always the Beer Bike (top left). Punters pedal power the vehicle while the barman steers and pulls pints of beer. You could hear it coming form miles away. Rowdy! They should have had more pretzels to soak up the beer. I love pretzels, the salty ones, and bought some back for the girls who loved them as well.
As we'd waited until Sunday to go shopping, we didn't come back with much. I never thought to check something like that as most big cities are open pretty much seven days a week these days. We just had a more leisurely day and visited a couple more cafes. (Einstein cafe on Unter den Linden is particularly good. Breakfast was amazing.)
Rachel left a comment yesterday about her Mother having been stationed in Berlin right after the war (she didn't say why, but I'm thinking espionage or border guard??). I can't imagine how it must have been but I think she'd approve of it now. It has a good atmosphere.