We had found an article the night before about things that people recommended you do in Tallinn. One of them was to check out this flea market across the train tracks that was supposed to be a pretty cool place to check out. I think it was supposed to have a lot of thrifted items which for us, we thought it meant that it would be similar to our farmers markets and flea markets in Seattle. The ones in Seattle are full of fun furniture and cool thrifty items that are usually typical of a Pinterest board.
We started making our way across the train tracks over toward the flea market. And the closer we got to the market, the more I felt like we were willingly putting ourselves in a very unsafe situation. I guess the idea of having to cross train tracks to the more abandoned side of town should have been enough for us to turn around but we continued. We started walking along a path that went along an abandoned set of train tracks and then eventually found signs for the market which led us through a gravel parking lot to some warehouse buildings. There were cars everywhere but most seemed to belong to construction workers working on the train station and there didn’t seem to be many people around. Eventually, we got to the flea market and realized that this was not what we thought it was going to be. The “stands” were covered by tarps and the items for sale seemed sparse and definitely more on the clothing/household items side rather than something we would have seen at the flea markets in Seattle.
It was a bit uncomfortable to walk through there because we got some strange looks and it was obvious that we did not belong so we decided to back away and check out a store that was right around the corner. This was a bad idea. As we walked into this building with dirt covered windows, there were signs all over the front of the store that said “no pictures” or “no photography” and various other things like that. At first I thought it was because they didn’t want people to mimic what they have in there but as we walked in and started looking around, I realized very quickly why they didn’t want any photos.
On the wall of this thrift store had a flag with a swastika hanging next to what looked like an old Nazi uniform. As soon as I saw that, I discreetly pointed it out Kristina and we walked out of there as quickly as possible and back to Old Town. It was definitely an interesting experience that I hope never to experience again. The looks that we got at the flea market and the thrift store were some of the most uncomfortable looks I have experienced and it was obvious we didn’t below.
We wandered back to Old Town, grabbed some coffee and hung out for a bit before we made our way to the other side of Estonia and then checked out some of the newer architecture around Estonia before finally making our way back to the ferry.
Once we landed back in Helsinki, we made our way back to the hotel and repacked all of our belongings because the next day, we were heading up to the arctic circle.