Day 8: Neuchâtel-Swiss Thrift Shop

Couldn’t sleep last night.  Finally got to sleep around 4:30am and slept to 9am.  By then Jen’s kids were off to school and Brian off to work.  I didn’t have a lot of time to do much as around here, things close at noon and all the kids walk home to have lunch and rest (how civilized). Plus, around here many shops are closed on Monday mornings and don’t open until the afternoon.  I’m a big fan of thrift stores and flea markets so Jen suggested we check out a crazy shop called Ali Babas.  I guess it’s an antique/junk type shop where you can dig through drawers and such for treasures. Thrifting is not Havana’s thing so she stayed behind and Ben and I went with Jen.

Oh my God was I in awe when I saw this place.  It was like Hoarders meets, Storage Wars, meets American Pickers.  This place was packed and there were hundreds of unopened boxes.  Things were stashed in drawers and closets, in old luggage and in random boxes and dishes.  There was 6 floors of this stuff!  I did he best I could through the first floor and then up on the 3rd, I had to crawl over bags and boxes to get over to the record albums.  In the back was a ton of antique furniture.  There were no lights.  Jen said that she and Brian and to go back there with headlamps.  Each large piece of vintage furniture sold for less than $200.  It was crazy.  Jen tells me that the Swiss aren’t really into old things so all of Grandma’s treasures end up in a place like this when she does.   Amazing.

Ben was in pickers heaven. We found a huge drawer of pre-Euro coins and he went through every one of them. He even found several American coins from the 50’s and one coin from 1918.  I only had an hour before they closed for lunch so i moved fast.  Obviously I’m traveling so I can’t carry a lot.  I was looking for little trinkets that would remind me of this trip. In the end I found a small painting, two horn handle knives stamped “PARIS,”old keys including a hotel room key, plastic toys, coins, a sign, the inside of a Swiss watch that still has it’s rubies a saphire jem (and it still works) and other bits and pieces.  Total cost, $30.  Really, $30?  Yup.  Had I bought this stuff at the Alameda Fair the keys alone would be $5 each. I’m not entirely sure how I’m going to get it all home.  I think I’m going to have to ship some stuff to the office before we move on to Amsterdam (Daniel! Watch for packages from Switzerland!) God I hope this place is still here on my return visit.  Next time I’m coming with a half empty bag.

Afterwards we stopped at a boulangerie to pick up desserts for dinner tonight.  I adore little places like this.   That was about it for the morning besides a bit of a snack and a nap.  Later we just went down to the mall for a walk and a coffee.

Enjoy the picture show.

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