This afternoon we wandered off to the nearby town of Bruchhausen-Vilsen to take in the Schäfermarkt (Shepherd’s Market) which, as we discovered, is a sort of flea market with a few other stands for local goods and plenty of stands with freshly cooked food, ready beer. It was small, as is the town itself, and came nothing close to the sensation of the Broksermarkt, which I wrote about earlier.
I don’t know whether I mentioned it, if I did you can skip this paragraph, but Bruchhausen-Vilsen is two villages which joined together a few decades ago to make one larger town, but kept all the rivalry between the original villages which, it seems, are passed from one generation to the next. The Broksermarkt is in Bruchhausen, the Schäfermarkt in Vilsen.
For a simple afternoon out, in glorious sunshine, it was enjoyable. We got to see plenty of people, plenty of cars for sale – I think they must have four or five different dealerships there – and we also got to hurry past a cheese stand which made me feel, from the smell alone, quite ill. As far as I could see, and I really did go back quickly in both directions, there was only one sort of cheese on offer, which the seller was baking on thick slices of bread and then offering for sale. I don’t want to tell you what it smelled of, but the sheep pens nearby were a welcome change!
There was plenty to see, although the market was relatively small, and the streets – aside from where the car dealerships had set out their vehicles – were full with people simply wandering around, eating drinking, chatting. Everyone seems to know one another here, which shouldn’t come as that much of a surprise, and so most of the flea market stands were surrounded by people chatting rather than buying. The ice cream parlor had a long queue, the bars and coffee shops had full tables and there were plenty of people I wish I’d had the nerve to photograph; and by this I mean some really beautiful women I’d love to share with you. Perhaps when I can afford a different lens for my camera, one which allows me to stand further away and not be immediately obvious to everyone that I take pictures of, I’ll be able to share some of the delights I experience.
The highlight of the market was supposed to be the sheep shearer, which is where it gets its name from. This was a single man with about fifteen sheep about halfway along the market street. It wasn’t quite as exciting as I had hoped: I was thinking of several different sheep shearers working in competition to one another to see who could finish first, but it attracted the children and even I managed to stop long enough to see him drag a sheep out by the hind legs, set it on the wooden platform and begin his work. I’m sure many of my Australian friends can relate far more interesting experiences!
Even so, we enjoyed ourselves. A glass of (reasonably) local wine, a pot of local honey and an hour or two of distractions from the normal day made it all worthwhile.
Love & Kisses, Viki.