The journey of a thousand miles begins with...the perfect pair of shoes.

Monday, February 15, 2010

What a Metz!

ETA: I'm adding this to Nester's yard sale post in June 2011. Technically, this isn't a yard sale, but they don't really do those in Europe, so flea marketing it is!  There are a lot of photos of Metz before the flea market itself, but they're worth a look.

What a Metz!!!! Hahaha! I crack myself up. After the debacle of arriving in a timely fashion, I was so grateful to get to my hotel. I forgot to take a photo of the exterior, but it looked pretty much like any other building in a city in France. All smooshed together. I checked in and got Ulrika to her parking spot (you know, the one I had to go 12 blocks out of the way to get to, even though it could be seen from the hotel entrance) and hauled myself and my bags upstairs. This is a view up the old, winding, crooked stairwell. The banisters have been painted purple for some reason.

Here's a view down from my floor to the reception level. Reception was on the first floor, though the first floor in Europe is actually the second floor, or the first floor above the ground floor. Very confusing. My room was on the 2nd floor, which is really the 3rd floor, but whatever.

Oh, look, I'm in the Tanners room. Great, I hope it doesn't smell like leather and sweat. Just kidding. Each room is named for a historical event, place or person in Metz's history. Apparently tanning was a very important industry.

From the door.

Looking back at the door. I'm not sure why the second door with is there. The wall framing it doesn't go all the way to the ceiling.

Looking toward the bathroom.

I found this really interesting. It was an exposed beam. The lady at the desk told me the existing building dated from the late 1600's. How cool is that?

Oh, hey! Who's that?

The fireplace was marble and non-working.

The buildings across the street looks green because there is an optical shop with a green light up sign at street level.

The next morning I got up bright and early (far earlier than I intended thanks to the singing deliver guy), ate a quick breakfast, checked out and headed over to the Expo Hall. Oh, what wonders my eyes beheld! Row after row after ROW of sheer awesomeness!


I loved this little stove! He wanted 200 Euro for it.

An antique crib.

These old prams (or pram wheels as the case may be) really wanted to come home with me, but where would I have put them?

Look at that blue ceramic heater!

China and transfer ware galore!

There were a lot of old doors and windows, but they were way overpriced. I thought these were beautiful.

So many things to look at!!!!

I discovered at the end of the day (the flea market shut down at noon!) you could score some really, really, really great deals. A bird in the hand and all that jazz. Have a look at what I brought home with me!!!

The binoculars are from the late 1800's. I love old cameras and binoculars. I paid 10 Euro for the accordion camera, 10 for the binoculars and 7 for the other camera. Score!

Silver! REAL silver. Lots of it!

These spoons caught my eye. They were unique. I wished they'd had more of them.

This bowl is silver and super heavy! I got it and most of the silverware for 10 Euro (end of the day bargain!). I wish I knew more about silver because there is a silversmith mark on the bottom. I'd love to know more about it.

This mandolin caught my eye and since Mr. HH has decided he wanted to start collecting old instruments, I thought, why not? It cost me 10 Euro!

And here is the big score of the day (according to Mr. HH). They originally wanted 25 Euro, but I talked them down to 15. Haha! Yay for end of the day! It needs a lot of work to be playable, but Mr. HH says it's doable and he's up for the challenge. If it were up to me, I'd just take it down to Herr Jonas at the music shop where we bought Indy's violin and have him fix it.

What I really liked about it was the case. It's made of wood and looks like a little coffin.

Here's a close up of one of the latches. Isn't it beautiful?

There was so much more I wanted to buy while I was there, but I had to hold myself back. I saw a ton of antique linens, but couldn't find any grain sacks. One lady told me that she'd had several, but they were all snapped up within 30 minutes of opening.
I discovered how abysmal my French is and was so grateful that most of the vendors spoke German. I can barter in German! Funny little story about the violin. I even learned a valuable lesson. I bought the violin from a vendor and on my way out I stopped by another booth to look at something. I set the violin down between feet and browsed for a moment, picked it up and walked further down the table. I was just glancing, so I put the violin on the table in front of me, keeping my hand on it at all times. The vendor babbled something at me in French, which I told her I didn't understand, and she switched to German. She was trying to charge me for the violin. She thought it was from her booth. She wanted 40 Euro (I originally paid 15). I explained to her that I had purchased it from another vendor and she argued with me. WHAT? I had to go get the other vendor, who thankfully was only a few booths away, and get him to come down and tell her that I had indeed purchased it from him, and did not owe her any money. They argued in French (I love how the French argue!) and he finally convinced her (vehemently!) that she was crazy (at least I assume that's what he said to her) and told me (in a mixture of German and English) that I could go. I hauled out of there before a) a fight broke out, b) I had to pay again for a violin I'd already purchased and/or c) the French police showed and I ended up thrown in jail for stealing a violin. So, the lesson from this? Never, ever, EVER put your purchases on another vendors table because they have so much junk stuff on their tables they don't know what's theirs and what's not.

I hope you enjoyed taking this little trip with me!


Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Oh, MIHH, I LOVED this post!!! European flea market stuff is sooooo much better than American flea market (crap) stuff. Wow!!! The antique crib was so neat. :)

Anne said...

Next time you are planning another trip like that, you'll have to let me know, I would have loved to go with you! LOL! we went to Nancy instead!

family of 4 on the move! said...

Ohh I love the violin and you got stellar deals on everything!! Fabulous trip and love the pics!! I soo wanted to see some of that furniture in the background! I am such a sucker for good deals and antiques!!

RainSplats said...

Sounds like tons of fun! Thanks for the pictures and the story - funny about the violin.

M said...

Ok I am totally living vicariously on that trip! I would have dragged that stove home on bleeding feet over cobblestone if I was there.
Great buys!!

Formerly known as Frau said...

Wow great finds! I would love to go there...

Lora said...

stopping by from SITS and positively drooling over here. Gorgeous finds, as well as lodging!

Kita said...

Wow! There would go my paycheck for a month! Hopped over here from the SITS blog. Love the site - and the tag line under the title. :)

Anonymous said...

Stopping in from SITS.

Wow. I would so have to explain to Mr. S why our Indians were without lunch money for the next month.

It's a good thing those lovlies are far far far away.

Great post!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Wow! It looks like you guys found a ton of great stuff!

Screaming Meme said...

You are so lucky! :) This is my first visit here...:) I love the name of your blog! ;)

Hi, My name is Meme from Screaming Meme...I'd love to invite you to my blog...It is about decorating and my life...:) Hope to see you there!

I also have a new blog called This Family's Gone Crackers...It is about a "normal" family going insanely GLUTEN FREE! Hilarious! It gives ideas and suggestions on all things GF...

I hope to see you there...Meme

satakieli said...

That looks like a lot of fun! I haven't been to a flea market like that in a long long time!

I think the camera with the brown casing that you got is the same as one I have! Love the accordian camera, I've had my eye out for one of those but haven't found one at a reasonable price yet.

satakieli said...

Oh and P.S. I totally would have pushed Mikey around in one of those prams when he was little.

Flory said...

oh my that was a feast...what a great deal!!! silverware, cameras...(envy=D)
I'm now following=)

follow me: Living Creatively with Flory

Hoosier Vagabonds said...

I am ready to go!

Hoosier Vagabonds said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Susie from Bienvenue said...

Thank you for taking me along! Wow!!!! I dont think I couold have gone because I would have wanted to never leave. I have been to France once before but I was in the 8th grade and it was so different then. This time I think I would have been a bit of a shopping nut! I love all the goodies you have found. Enjoy and thanks for sharing~ Susie

Joyfulness said...

I love the instruments! Great finds!

Fargerike Dagny said...

Wow, that looked like an AMAZING market!! :)

Anonymous said...

Loved the write up on the Metz flea market. We were stationed at Ramstein, mid 70s, when Metz market was in a grassy field! On my first and most memorable trip, I bought a wooden coffee grinder, a gorgeous hand turned mahogany floor lamp, and a little white faience vase that has been on our breakfast table ever since. Things I still love, along with the memories!

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