I’ve been trying to get this post finished for a week now, but have been so busy I haven’t had a chance. Why is is that either everything is happening at once, or absolutely nothing is? I shouldn’t complain, because most of the things have been good, like working on my internship, or the gallery where I volunteer, but writing this post is also a welcome break from essay-writing.
Last week Cameron and I took a short trip to visit a friend of ours who’s been living in Lille for this past year teaching English at an elementary school. She goes back to the states soon and so I was dying to see her while a weekend trip was still relatively easy. We decided to spend a day exploring Paris as well, since it isn’t too far, and Cameron had never been.
We were away for just about two days, but with everything we managed to pack into them it felt like at least three. We took the bus because I waited too long to book, but the trip itself was fairly easy and I managed to get some work done and have a nap.
Before we left I read a bit about Lille and learned that it was originally a Flemish city, and visiting it was definitely clear in the architecture. In the older part of the city, Vieux Lille and the area around the Grand Place, actually looked quite a bit like some of the narrow streets around The Hague. We wandered around, and stopped into a really beautiful chocolate shop, Meert, which is the oldest in Lille, and then to a wine bar to relax and catch up with our friend. Finding dinner was a bit of a challenge as I’m vegetarian, and practically vegan as I don’t eat any dairy, but we found one restaurant, Happy F’eat (yes, that’s really the name), that had a small menu, but had a vegan option that was really delicious. After dinner we went back to our friend’s house and chatted with her housemates before heading to bed much too late.
On Friday morning our bus to Paris didn’t leave until 10:00, so we got to take our time in the morning, and stopped at a bakery (Maison Doucet), which is known for it’s amazing baguettes, which our friend had gotten for us when we arrived, and picked up breakfast to takeaway, and a coffee from down the street.
It was originally supposed to rain all day while we were in Paris, but luckily it held off, and we had an absolutely gorgeous day. Rather than try to fit in different activities and sightseeing, we decided just to wander, and followed our friend’s favourite walking route from when she studied in Paris during college. We started in the Marais, grabbed lunch, and walked to Notre-Dame, then crossed the river to go the Shakespeare & Company, which we’d each been wanting to visit. After spending far too long browsing the shelves, picking up a few books, and then grabbing a coffee at the neighbouring cafe, we headed toward the Louvre, and then through the Jardin des Tuileries, crossing the river at the end at the Place de la Concorde. Walking back we stopped for a drink, and then got an early-ish dinner at one of our friend’s favourite creperies (Crêperie Saint-Germain), grabbed a macaron and a croissant for Cameron, and headed back to Lille.
The next morning I realised I’d gotten our departure time wrong, and we had an extra two hours to do some more exploring. The extra time flew by, but we managed to pick up a few chocolates from Meert, and make another stop at Maison Doucet before saying adieu to our friend and heading back to London to finish up our end-of-term essays.
It was definitely a whildwind of a weekend, but it was lots of fun, and has me very excited for our next adventure!