Place Stanislas - Fontaine de Neptune, Nancy France

Place Stanislas - Fontaine de Neptune, Nancy France

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29 May 2017

France Field Report 10 – Day 10 / Lille

When we were on vacation, after 3 days I was no longer able to include pictures in my blog posts. After 4 days I was no longer able to upload anything at all, but I still composed my posts to update later when I got home. After 8 days I got fed up of bothering to write up things I was not uploading so I gave up. Now that all the technical issue have been resolved, it’s time to go back in time and finish these diary entries.

Steps today: 20 394 / 13½km

Today we went to Lille, but it was a long time before we got going (for us anyway!)

Gare du Nord (4)

Gare du Nord (3)

We got to the Gare du Nord train station a little after 8AM and went to the kiosk to buy our tickets hoping to leave on the next train… turns out, the 9:45 train was about FIFTY Euros less than the next two trains departing for Lille. That’s a LOT of money – enough to convince us to leave later than planned!

So how to kill time? Easy: FOOD! We went to a café across the street where I indulged in a Camembert Sandwich for breakfast. SO DELICIOUS!

10. Breakfast on Thursday at Café du Nord (3)

We arrived in Lille a little before 11AM, ready to explore. I fell in love with the architecture right away! I also got a little vacation bubble burst. See the restaurant on the far left of this picture: “Les 3 Brasseurs” it’s a chain restaurant here in Quebec and I had no idea there were any this far from home… I did see one in Ontario once called “3 Brewers”, but never in Europe!!

You can bet we did NOT have lunch there!!

Place de la Gare (2)

The Old Town of Lille is just beautiful!! Sadly however there was a lot of construction in the main square, Place Charles de Gaulle, and area around the base of the Colonne de la Déesse was completely boarded up.  It was a little disappointing, but that’s life on vacation! We just had to be a little creative with our picture taking.

Place Charles de Gaulle (3)

Place Charles de Gaulle (1)

The Vielle Bourse building was impressive:

Vieille Bourse (5)

Vieille Bourse (1)

Vieille Bourse (4)

And the Place du Théâtre nearby was in great shape!

Place du Théâtre - Opera & Chamber of Commerce Tower

Place du Théâtre (2)

We made a mental note to come back to the area for lunch, and then set off to wander the back streets.

IMG_1934

We made it to the Citadelle, but frankly it was a let down so we turned back and headed to the main square for lunch.  This is as good a picture I was able to get while blocking out the construction ugliness!

Lunch at La Houblonnière (1)

Lunch at La Houblonnière (3)

After lunch, more exploring. I was impressed by this super-modern church (Notre Dame de la Treille) and the alabaster façade!

Notre Dame de la Treille (8)      Notre Dame de la Treille (2)

We wanted to sit down for a drink, but it was FREEZING in shade and the clouds were large enough to block the sun out for long periods.

Notre Dame de la Treille (9)

Back to walking, we discovered the charming Place aux Oignons but still too cold to sit outside.

Place aux Oignons (2) 20170413_144331

Around 3PM we found a sheltered place to relax

IMG_1940

Drinks at Au Point Central (2)

Drinks at Au Point Central (3)

Drinks at Au Point Central (4)

After our break, it was back to hitting the pavement (or rather, the cobble stones) and continued crossing sights off our list. Again, there was a lot of construction all over the city so here are just some of the unobstructed highlights.

Palais Rihour

Place Richebé - Général Faidherbe (2)

20170413_160853

Porte de Paris (2)

Frank was particularly impressed with the Beffroi of the Hôtel de Ville


Beffroi de Lille (2)

Beffroi de Lille (1)

Église Saint-Maurice (4)

We decided to start heading back to Paris around 5PM, and could have gotten yet another cheaper ticket like this morning had we waited around until 7PM and we did consider sticking around to have supper – but eventually decided to take the next train out.

Train Station - Lille Flanders (2)

This turned into the best idea because it meant we could go to the pizzeria near our hotel for supper. My mom and I discovered it last fall and I LOVED it! The pizza was so good! Mind-blowing good and we even broke the no-resto-repeat rule and went twice. I knew Frank would love it and the location just around the corner from home base was terrific; we were able to go back to the room, freshen up, empty our pockets and have a relaxing meal to end the day.

(The car would not get out of the way of this shot! GRRR)

11. Supper on Thursday at Café d'Italie (1)

11. Supper on Thursday at Café d'Italie (2)

11. Supper on Thursday at Café d'Italie (3)

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