Having just exited Belgium with its lack of road side amenities, we were both in desperate bathroom need. We figured there might be a café or bakery open, so we thought we might eat too.
I have been to France a number of times before and driven most of the main highway routes, so it was a bit surprising to me to find such a ‘treasure’ in Lille.
I don’t say that often, but honestly, it was spectacular. Ornate and ostentatious, Lille is deserving of much grander fanfare than it generally receives.
No one has ever suggested I visit, I have never heard a rave review or even seen it highlighted in a travel log, until my recent research.
The streets of Lille warrant a good walk, so even though we needed to pee and had missed a nights sleep, (Brussels the previous day, Ghent overnight and Lille in the morning with only a 3 hour nap!) walk we did.
I gasped at every turn – such grandiose architecture! Clean cobblestone streets and cute shops (‘The Workshop of the Green Witch’ – love it!).
Of course, being there at 5am, none of them were open, but the roads were blissfully empty which makes for great photo taking and lots of goofy ‘running through the streets’ type behaviour.
Or maybe that was as a result of being over tired – either way, the streets of Lille were ran, the fountains jumped through and the alleys fouled with our urine (yes, we did).
Sorry Lille, we loved you, but we really, really, really had to pee. We tried to find a respectful spot, if that helps – and I promise we searched until the second before I pee’d my pants for a public (or even private) toilet!
(Don’t ask me why I have to make my embarrassing confessions publicly – perhaps this is the only way I can apologize to the decent citizens of Lille for unintentionally disrespecting their beautiful city!)
She towers over everything else in the medieval sky line, making for a great photo with the early morning sky as a backdrop.
I put Lille in my book as a place worthy of a second visit. While researching recently, I discovered that Lille is full of fantastic celebrations, carnivals and festivals – my favourite is a yearly night that museums stay open free of charge until 1am!
How fantastic is that? I think we could use a similar injection of ‘free culture’ around here.
Our next mission – to head out and find a place for a long nap!
Many additional photos in the slideshow.