After four weeks of spending my weekends with friends in various cities, the solo travelling is back. This time, the destination was the city of Lille (pronounced LEEL), situated in northern France, right at the France-Belgium border.
I was seriously contemplating cancelling the trip for many reasons. Work in the lab last week totally put me out of the mood of doing anything other than sleeping for “five more minutes” in the morning, so waking up even earlier than usual to catch the train to Brussels at 8:30 in the morning wasn’t exactly a motivating thought. However, I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t go, so with swift kick of the blanket, I bounced out of bed and 20 minutes later jumped onto the familiar train to Brussels-Midi.
From Brussels I would take a connecting train to Tournai, and finally another which would bring me to Lille Flandres station. Of course, I slept very well on the train while at the same time being aware of the stations so as to not miss my stops. Usually I like to gaze out of the window during long train trips, but sleep seemed like the better option this time.
Lille reminded me very much of Bordeaux. However, I didn’t get a lot of picture-taking done in Lille. Not that it wasn’t a photogenic city, but there was something about Lille that kept me walking from place to place without stopping to take many pictures. Perhaps it was the intricate layout of directional signs. Unlike the very clearly labelled signs in Brussels, the ones in Lille confused me more than they led me to the right places. In fact, sometimes one would point me in one direction and I would walk on and on without finding the destination NOR any other sign telling me to keep going straight or turn somewhere. It got slightly frustrating after a few times, to be honest. I don’t know if it’s just a thing in Lille, or a France thing. I’ve never had the problem in Bordeaux because I didn’t need to read signs there, and Paris…relying on the metro was enough to find the way. Therefore, I can’t make the judgment.
Without further ado, here are some of the photos taken during the short 5 hours in Lille. As usual, more can be found on Facebook.
Porte de Paris on the left and Lille city hall on the right. The city hall tower doesn’t look so grand in the picture but in reality it is quite tall and impressive. It would have to be my favourite building in Lille. There was some sort of activity going on outside the city hall that day. I would guess that it was a demonstration or a strike or something similar. Not surprising, it is France, after all.