My third and last day in Saint Petersburg was absolutely interesting and included one of the craziest, funniest experiences of my life.
I had been told by some Russian friends, and I also read on my guide, that if you were a vintage and antiques lover- you can not miss the Udelnaya market, the most famous and the oldest Saint Petersburg markets!
I the decided to brave the snow and the cold weather and head to the Petrograd area to see what it was all about: the first sensation that I had was the sometimes uncomfortable feeling of being the only stranger in a place. It was almost impossible to speak to anyone (as nobody spoke in English), but people were very nice and tried to help even if in their language! The first part of the market is like other markets in the world: some second hand, a lot of cheap clothes and shoes (the most interesting to watch were often the funny people selling stuff!). But after the first rows of stalls a new world opened upon my eyes: an immense area of stalls full of antiques pre-revolution, soviet memorabilia, bric-à-brac, second world war pieces and every kind of lost treasure. Sometimes the stalls were just on the ground, where people brought what they found in their trunks or their attics.
I must say that if the weather were better, I would have spent many hours there because it was really worth the traverse! I loved the small soviet army pins. And since, on my last trip to Warsaw, I started collecting to put pieces on a soviet cap I bought in Poland, I picked a few up. There were also some vintage stalls, but I couldn’t buy anything as they were kinda pricey… only because I was a tourist and I couldn’t negotiate! Also I loved the leather camera holders from the ’50s, but again- it was really too cold to try my hand at Russian negotiations! I only took a few pictures because my hands were frozen!
The only thing that I bought is the lovely animal print Russian faux-fur hat (in the first picture) which I had to use there before offering it as a present when I got back!
This was another amazing, unforgettable experience (like the ballet of the day before), and a beautiful cherry on top of the sundae I call Saint Pete. Now, let’s catch a flight a little later tonight for more crazy adventures in Moscow! …Stay tuned!