Can't go to a new city without visiting the cathedral
In keeping with our usual practice, we decided the first thing to do was figure out where we would be leaving from the next day. The metro dropped us at Gare Nord and we were leaving from Gare Midi so we hiked right across the old city enjoying what we saw but intent on getting to Gare Midi. The Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries were beautiful. They rivaled the Galleria in Milan for looks and prices. I won’t be shopping there any time soon. Well, window shopping maybe. Outside the Gare-Midi (train station) we found an enormous outdoor market. It took forever just to walk through it.
Once we figured out the train station we decided to stop for lunch. While waiting for our food, we poured over the map of the old city to decide on a strategy to get back to Gard-Nord to get back to Bob and Rita's. When the server arrived with the food, he was astonished to hear we had walked between the stations. He grabbed a paper placemat, turned it over and drew a map showing us the quickest way to get back to Gare Nord. We didn't have the heart to tell him
The town has many parks and all have statues. This one was interesting.
we were trying to see as much as we could on the way back. A nice gesture on his part though.
There is no shortage of churches to investigate or gardens to walk through. If you have had a tough day, taking a book into one of these and just relaxing takes away a lot of stress (not that I had any on this trip). Lille
We had a fairly early train on Monday morning and Bob suggested rather than driving into the station, we take the metro as it won’t get stopped in traffic delays. We had seen the volume of traffic on the ring road around Brussels and thought this to be good advice. Rita drove the three of us to the metro line and Bob dropped us at the train station on his way to an appointment. A very pleasant visit.
The train journey to Lille is only 36 minutes.
After the usual debate about which way to start walking to find our hotel, we found it with little trouble. Too early to check in, we just left our bags. We (read I) hadn’t made any advance plans about the excursion to
We found the number of really narrow buildings quite interesting. Would have enjoyed seeing how the floor plans handled staircases.
Vimy and it seemed like it was going to be a real pain. We could take a train to Arras and cab from there…. or we could just forget it and visit Lille which is a charming city in its own right. We opted for the latter.
Great walking around in Lille. They haven’t pulled down all their gates like some cities have. There is a great citadel there surrounded by a moat. The only problemi that it is still an active military area and you can only look at it from the outside.
There were many school groups in both Brussels and Lille. While we were examining one of the gates, a group of four boys (around 13 years old) stopped us and asked if we knew who Matisse was. Dianne explained that he was an artist. One of the boys asked if he could use his phone to record his buddy asking the question (in French) so they would have “proof” for their teacher.
I was sorry we didn’t get to Vimy but we did enjoy a restful day in Lille. Paris
The next morning we were back at the train
Royal Saint-Hubert Galleries
Beautiful place with beautiful, but expensive, items on sale
station ready for our first visit to Paris, the City of Lights… ToBeContinued
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