0460 In France for a Third Time (France 060—new)

Lille Travel Blog

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From Brussels it’s a short trip to Lille, France, a triple border city, with Belgium to the north and train to the UK in the West.  But I really have no idea what I’ll discover here…

 

The bus arrives at the very modern international train station in the middle of a new high rise/commercial area.  I head towards the main train station and what looks like the heart of the city…

 

Lille has a contradictory feel to it.  The buildings are quite classy and beautiful, but the atmosphere on the street is very grimy and hobo-esque… it seems that this is a sort of transit city where moneyless travellers seem to get stranded…

 

I find the Eurolines bus station, but it looks like it’s closed since it’s a Sunday… so it looks like I’m going to be stuck here for the night.

  I figure I’ll just camp somewhere, but when I see a sign pointing to the H.I. hostel, I have a change of heart…

 

I get myself a bed, and set out to explore the town. 

Lille has the tallest Mairie towers of them all, and an unusual gateway/monument/building in the front… makes for a good video clip…

 

I continue on, discovering more Lille hidden treasures around every turn.  There’s a plaza with a very stately theatre in front… of course, your lively pedestrian street area, with even more interesting beggars… One pair of panhandlers are trying a new approach--  they have about 9 dogs with them--  and are begging for money to feed their dogs!

 

From there I head on north to huge county fair that’s going on--  with roller coasters, ferris wheel, and no fewer than 5 haunted house rides!  I wander around for a while just enjoying the cheerful family oriented atmosphere.

  Lille seems to be a bit more alive than most of the French towns and cities I’ve visited…

 

To the north, the map says that there’s a castle--  but it turns out to be a military based

 and not much to see from the outside.  But it’s a popular place for a Sunday afternoon stroll around on a path between the wall and the moat…

 

On the other side, I find myself in the suburb of Lambersart… so that’ll be another entry…

 

Later that Day…

 

I thought that I had already explored the Heart of Lille, but on my way back in the evening I happen upon “Vieux Lille”--  a neighbourhood even more beautiful and rich in history than what I’d already seen!

 

The stone alleys have all the charm of a medieval city… The buildings around the fountain plaza are simply magnificent… I’ll have to come back here in the morning to take some pictures in daylight….

 

Lille has shot it’s way to the top as one of my favourite cities… It’s the wonderful advantage of visiting a city with no expectations…

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photo by: lamadude