words and images by Becca Allen
After 3 months of living in Innsbruck apart from the mountain walks I had yet to experience any of the localities, so last weekend I set out on my bike to explore what Innsbruck had to offer.
On Saturday morning we cycled to a near-by Floh Markt (flea market). It was only a 10 minute ride to a car park on the west side and we got there just as people started to pack up. I was trying to rush around like a crazy women looking at every stand because every stand was filled with vintage goods galore! It turned out there was a bigger better flee market on the Sunday at the next village along so I cycled there too just like the hoarding rummager I am.
I went to a lot of car boot sales in the UK when I lived there and most of the time it was hit or miss whether I would leave with a bag full of gems. However, in Innsbruck you can guarantee you will spend all your money and fill your bags, this is because if you are anything like me and like a vintage find, a piece of art deco kitchenware, antique silver, leather goods and records as far as the eye can see then Innsbruck is where it's at.
The reason there are so so many gems to be had at these flee markets for literally pennies is because after a while chatting with the locals I discovered that "vintage", "old" & "retro" is definitely not cool here, it's junk and needs to be thrown out to make way for new shiny sports gear of the highest technicality or a new sleek white unit from Ikea!
Put these markets in London and you can times your price by 10! We managed to cycle home last weekend with a 100 year old canvas ruck sack, three pairs of boots, one pair of leather suede golf shoes, a knitted skirt, a brown leather suede coat, a new KTM bike and two Creedence Clearwater Revival records all for €60!
When I got home and showed Aline what I had she pulled the funniest face of grossed-out-ness and said "That's the sort of bag my mum would chuck out as rubbish" and then after she had seen my new boots followed with "My nan always used to say 'the sickness is in the shoes" and explained how wearing some stranger's shoes and jacket is not the done thing in Austria which suits me fine if I am to continue with my hoarding.
So drop me a line when you're flying to Innsbruck to do some retail therapy and I will tag along ;)