Ever since I first visited Berlin, I’ve wanted to go back and make it my permanent residence. There are lots of places I’ve been and tell myself ‘I could live here’, but I’ve never been truer to those words than when I talk of Berlin. There is so much I could write about this city brimming with culture, but for now, I’ll stick to a place that summed up my whole Berlin experience, the Mauerpark Flea Market.
The sun was heavenly blazing above us on a June Sunday as we slowly walked towards the market. I remember turning a corner onto the main street, Bernauer Straße, where the market sits, and seeing a surge of people heading in the same direction. It must be this way. The sheer amount of people was like a torrent of diversity; tourists and natives alike, all heading for some casual Sunday afternoon scavenging. Of course the market was more than that. As soon as you enter the park, it’s as if you’ve found the epicentre of Berlin. This is where you’ll find history, art and music. This is where you’ll find love.
We browsed a mixture of antiques, clothes and handmade goods for hours, before the smell of food overtook us. We made a stop at one of the food stalls and immediately fell for the currywurst. It had to be done.
Soon the heat had started to tire us out, so we took a walk around the actual park next door to the market, and it was as if the hustle and bustle of the market vanished instantly. We spent the next hour or so sat in the park people-watching. The atmosphere was incredible. Every 15 feet or so were musicians performing for small crowds, relaxed and bathing in the sun, just being there. No phones glued to their faces. No internet. Just them and the park, being serenaded by several people at once, most only an echo in the distance. This was peace.
I think my favourite thing about the Mauerpark Flea Market was just how natural it all felt. Not once did I feel like a tourist surrounded by other tourists. This was normal life. And I wanted it to be mine.