Category Archives: Trips & Travels

Second Hand Store PS22

second hand helsinki PS22

Last week I went to Helsinki to see my friend and he told me about one second hand store I’ve never been in to. Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to look through everything in there but I spotted tons of good stuff. And got chatty with the owner. Of course :D

She sells pretty much everything you can think of. There’s clothing, jewellery, books, fabrics, knick-knacks, and whatnot. I ended up buying a Quality Street tin for my collection. I still haven’t found any of the rectangular ones but I think I have nearly all pre-1980 round ones. Or at least I’d like to think so.

helsinki second hand ps22

flamenco dress, second hand PS22

The place was packed, literally up to the rafters. There was also one rather fetching latex “garment” I suggested my friend should buy. He wasn’t amused. But I was plenty :D

photographic almanac 1955, second hand helsinki

She has books on sale right now. I eyed this one but decided to leave it as I don’t really have a use for it. Would look pretty in a bookshelf though. If you’d like to visit this second hand store, you can find it in the corner of Ruusulankatu and Sibeliuksenkatu in Helsinki. HERE‘s the Google streetview for the more directionally challenged :D The store accepts cash only.

-Thrifty Finn-

P.S. I visited Jäähallin Kirpputori last weekend again after couple of years break. The prices seemed to have come down slightly, so it’s good for bargain hunting!

 

 

 

A Year Ago in Oulu…

Oulu, Finland

Pretty much a year ago, I decided to travel up north for Christmas by bus. Easy peasy. Just 8 hours of sitting. Hey. No judging. It was cheap and there was a free wi-fi in the bus.

Anyhoo. Since the bus didn’t go all the way to Lapland back then (now it does, check it out at onnibus.com), I called my cousin, who lives in Oulu, that would she be willing to host me for a night and then possibly share a ride to our Christmas destination. Of course she said yes, and I ended up having lots of fun with her.

Beware, all my images are blurry.

Oulu, Finland

The old wooden harbour magazines look lovely in the winter. I kept ooh’ing and aah’ing and acting like a total tourist. It looked so Christmassy! I mean look:

Oulu9 Oulu8 Oulu, Finland

In this building was this incredibly cute home decor shop (which name I forgot) and they had the cutest and chicest stuff:

Oulu, Finland

Oulu, Finland

I’m pretty sure I touched every single item in there. Me and my cousin both wanted the stylish, gold-dipped tailor scissors, and I now bitterly regret not buying them as they weren’t that expensive.

a tea shop, Oulu, Finland

We also visited this tea shop. The combination of these metal canisters against the dark stained wood shelves were very satisfying to look at.

fox pelts, fur trade, Oulu, Finland

I’m not going to comment on this. I’ll just leave the image here. Fur trade is big in Finland.

kauppahalli, Oulu, Finland, Oulun kauppahalli

There’s actually an indoor market hall in Oulu. We didn’t buy anything but did some culinary window shopping.

Oulun kauppahalli, Oulu, Finland

Oulu has tons of old buildings. Although for a quite a few years there were a series of mysterious fires after an old building got a protected status. Corruption a la mob Finland. But like I said, I kept ooh’ing and aah’ing and taking tons of pictures. Sometimes I wonder if Rovaniemi, would have looked as pretty, if the Germans hadn’t burned it in 1945.

Oulu16 Oulu15 Oulu14 Oulu, Finland, architecture

Yup. Oulu is a nice city to visit. Here’s another picture from this year by my cousin. It gets very blue after the sun sets up there…

Oulu, Finland, sininen hetki, blue moment, Arctic

-Thrifty Finn-

Reminiscing Prague

 

praha, prague, czech republic

Wall art at a local restaurant

Few weeks ago I visited the wonderful city of Prague for the first time. Let me tell you…It was love at first sight. I spent an entire week over there and it is not enough. I didn’t have time to do half the things I had planned to do. It’s sufficient to say, I got distracted by the bohemian atmosphere over there and just lived in the moment. I’m going to repeat myself over here, but it was simply wonderful.

Madonna, Rebelheart tour, praha, prague, czech republic

Waiting for Madonna

The reason I booked flight there, was because my eternal idol Madonna was going to perform there exactly on my birthday. So I had to, you know, treat myself. It was amazing. There were tons of people, who had travelled there to just to see Madonna. A couple on my left had come from Hungary and the guy on my right had actually flown in all the way from Sao Paolo in Brazil! That’s commitment right there my friends. I got chatting with him and I found out he owns a copy of the Sex-book and actually saw The Girlie Tour way back in the day. Madonna jealousy!

praha, prague, czech republic

Trams

One of my favourite things over there is the public transport. SO CHEAP! So FUCKIN’ CHEAP! A 30 minute ticket 24 korunas, which is under 1 euro. 90 minute ticket is 34 korunas, which is like 1,30€. And if you live there, a monthly travel card is 550 korunas, which is just a little over 20 euros. The 100 euros we have to pay over here for a shitty service just makes me cry. CRY!

praha, prague, czech republic, karlüv most, charles bridge

Few other tourists at Charles Bridge.

It wasn’t all about Madonna, bohemian things and wine, I did do some tourist things too. The Charles Bridge is filled with other tourists, but it’s a must see. The views are beautiful, the atmosphere is great and it’s a fun place to do some people watching. I went there three times. Twice for a date though ;)

praha, prague, czech republic

The castle hill.

When you get past the bridge and the millions of tourists disperse around the castle hill area, you do get some peace and quiet. But the castle hill is bitch to walk. By the time you get to the castle, you are panting. Or at least I was. Or maybe I’m just really, really unfit. No, it must be because the hill was a bitch to walk. Also…a friendly tip…The Starbucks over there has a loo but there are about a gazillion stairs you have to walk back down to get to it. So pretty much choose any other café around the area for your more pressing needs.

praha, prague, czech republic

The Slavic santa

I love souvenir shops. I could browse through them for hours. Even in Paris, where I’ve been several times, I never get tired of looking at the knick-knacks. These Santa’s weren’t priced like knick-knacks though. Prague is cheap but these aren’t. But they sure are beautiful.

praha, prague, czech republic

A snapshot from a flea market.

Prague is really good for thrifting and second hand shopping. The prices are really, really good and there are tons of flea markets and second hand stores, pretty much everywhere in the city.   This particular one had an entrance fee of 1 euro. You put the coin in a machine and walk through one of those helicopter type of gates. How exotic! By the time I got there, some of the sellers had already packed and left, but I found quite a few bargains there.

praha, prague, czech republic, Palladium

Palladium shopping centre

Not all my shopping was cheap. I accidentally found this beautiful pink building, which was a gigantic shopping mall. I wish I had known Sephora had stores in Prague, because I totally would have budgeted for Christmas shopping in there. I always buy those Sephora bubble bath  things for my friend, when I’m in Paris, and it would have been so great to continue that tradition. I was especially keen to give him the glittery Christmas one :D Anyhoo…The big difference with this mall and the malls in Finland is that there are tons of different sized retail spaces. Meaning, there were both international chains and independent retailers. In Finland Citycon owns most of the malls, and they don’t really offer opportunities to other than huge chains. There’s a chance, when I next time go over there, I shall shop till I drop as they had bunch of chains, I’d last seen in Paris and I’m a huge fan of.

praha, prague, czech republic, karlüv most, charles bridge

Charles Bridge and river Vltava.

My hard drive is filled with images of Prague. The river Vltava is so beautiful. It’s just a one photo-op after another. I did one of those boat tours and this is one of the pics I took, while on it. Like Her Madgesty said, Prague is magical, but that magic multiplies around sunset. There’s so much excitement and romance in the air around that time, that you can’t help but feel excited yourself. I recommend taking that boat tour. It’s worth it.

praha, prague, czech republic, airport

Prague Airport

All good things must come to an end. I was gutted I had to go but I’ll be going back soon. I met so many wonderful people, who made me believe, that anything is still possible. It was one of the reasons, why it has taken so long for me to share this trip with you. I wanted to have those memories for me only.

I’ll be posting about Prague flea markets and other handy tips for you at later time. Prague is a very budget friendly city. You can go there with a very limited budget and still have a time of your life. I booked my flights with Norwegian and stayed at a Couchsurfing-place.

Till later…

-Thrifty Finn-

 

 

Konepajan Bruno

konepaja bruno, helsinki, flea market

Few weeks ago I heard about an indoor flea market in Helsinki, set up in an old machine workshop. It opened this summer, so it’s pretty new in the thrift shopping scene. I have never ever gone shopping there, but last Sunday I decided to have a go at selling.

This is my story. *du-duh*

konepaja bruno, tram stop, pysäkki

This is the tramstop Sturenkatu. The previous one (Kotkankatu) is the closest. You have to walk back a little bit. See that building site in the middle back? The access gate to Bruno is behind it.

konepaja bruno, opas, aleksis kiven katu, helsinki

Walk straight down (up?) the Aleksis Kiven katu until you see this sign. Turn right and you see this gate, and that’s your entrance:

konepaja bruno, helsinki, portti

Ta-dah. There’s a guard, who opens the gate for you. Well, for me he opened the door as I came by public transport. Then you walk a little bit and you should soon see this:

konepaja bruno, entrance, helsinki

See those guys in yellow, bright vests? That’s where you go in and you will see this:

konepaja bruno

Impressive space much? On the right is a café and you can meet the owner (who is not half bad to look at) there:

konepraja bruno omistaja, owner

Anyhoo…I have finally perfected my face-to-face selling and have managed to fit my  merchandise in ONE SUITCASE! No more hauling about a gazillion Ikea-bags in the public transport. Because of that, it didn’t take too long to set up my table and I had time to have a look around and see, what other people were selling.

konepaja brunon pöydät

There are two kinds of tables. Others have a frame and they have a built-in rack above the table, the others are like these (and I had one of them), where the rack hangs freely above the table. Also the latter ones are bigger. This system is slightly problematic because if you have a lot of hanger items, the customers can’t see you behind them. My advice is to take max.10 hanger items and put the rest on the table. But selling just hanger items can be done. You just have to be active yourself in making sure, that the customer knows, where you are. There was a table across me, that hadn’t been booked, so I sat on it and whenever a customer came over to browse, I went and introduced myself.

Now to the business part…Did I sell? My sales were terrible. However, had I been there also to buy, I’d have made some major scores. It really is a buyers market. I’m sure as more people will find it, the sales will improve too. But if you are on a hunt for good bargains, now is the time to go and find them. I did buy few things, one of them being this plastic wall thingy for displaying miniatures and when I came home and did some research, it turned out to be a Finnish design classic. And I was thinking about spray painting and decoupaging it. Talk about butchering classics. Committing crimes against design.

Anyways…My best sellers were in the 5 euro mark. The price for Sunday was 29 euros, so I recommend booking a table together with your friend. And DON’T stop selling until it’s closing time. I made most of my sales after 15 o’clock. It’s also very inconsiderate to leave a market really early. It creates a sad atmosphere, which is unfair to other sellers. Who YOU also depend on to bring in the crowds.

Personally I wish Bruno to succeed. The surroundings are lovely and as a seller, I appreciate that you can book the table and then pay it up after two hours of selling. There are much more impressive pics on Bruno’s website and you can also book the tables there. Here is yet another handy map by yours truly to help you find Bruno:

kartta konepaja Brunoon, map to Konepaja Bruno

I don’t mind, if you share this map. The more people the merrier.

Those little blue dots are tram stops for the tram line 9, which you can hop on at both Rautatieasema as well as Pasilan asema. If you are a seller, you can bring your stuff there by car BUT there is no parking there, so you have to find a parking spot somewhere close by.

So this how I spent my Sunday. Have you been thrifting/selling lately?

-Thrifty Finn-

Autumn Moments

My friend dragged me out on a walk today. It wasn’t too terrible. Fresh air, crispy weather and beautiful nature. What more could you want on an October weekend? The best part were the colours though…

The reds and yellows…

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The browns and greens…

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And the greys and blues…

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I am feeling very inspired. How about you?

-Thrifty Finn-