To continue our gray daytrips, my friend and I visited Lille a week after visiting Strasbourg. Well, of course we didn’t plan for it to be rainy and gloomy, but we didn’t let it stop us, either.

Lille is in the North of France, part of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region. Direct trains from Paris take only about an hour.

Their Christmas market welcomed us in French, English, and German.


A bunch of little Santas were out and about.


How can you not like things converted into other things? This museum in Roubaix, a city that neighbors Lille and is accessible by metro, is fittingly called La Piscine, as it is a former swimming pool.


Back in Lille, I snapped this photo whose colors and shapes now remind me of Van Gogh’s “Starry Night.” For as long as I can remember, I have loved the combination of blue and gold, stars and moon.


This outdoor scene resembled a party: the colorful square recessed lights, the decked out display windows and escalator, and the adorable little snack truck. It was actually just the entrance to a shopping center.


We were mesmerized by this striking tunnel in the middle of the road and walked around it to appreciate it from all angles. The structure encompassed you. It stood alone and yet dialogued with its surroundings. Cars passed under it and pedestrians strolled alongside. It is always special to see the handiwork of someone’s creativity.


Speaking of creativity, this Christmas tree plopped on a merry-go-round amused me as it rotated beneath the strings of lights.


We revisited the main plaza we had walked through earlier. Pas mal, wouldn’t you agree?


It was chilly outside, so after spending the whole day exploring the city center and its surroundings, we checked out the centre commerciale near the gare before taking the train back to Paris. Its holiday decor did not disappoint. And it had pink escalators!


These chairs, table, and place setting for giants attracted us. I succeeded in sitting at the table, but my poor petite friend and I ended up cracking up when she tried to climb onto a chair and struggled before slipping off.


The next time I went up to Lille was for a half-hour stopover halfway through a nine-hour bus ride to London, but that’s for another day.


7 thoughts on “Lille

  1. I wish I could have met up with you in Lille! And where was that tunnel thing? Either I didn’t notice it (very possible) or they set it up after I left for the holidays. Those giant chairs were from the Fantastic exhibit they did a few years back. Pretty nifty!

    • I should have mentioned as I did in my Strasbourg post that this trip is from a few years ago. This blog wasn’t yet born. I hadn’t talked about Lille yet, so I figured this story was seasonally appropriate. 🙂 Hope you had a good time!

  2. A friend of mine studied in Lille and I visited him when he first moved in. He was from Brittany, one of these… ahem, very patriotic “Breton” and to him going to Lille was pretty much a death sentence 😆

    We both loved it though, it was prettier and livelier than we though. He stayed there for a few years, I think.

    • Ha ha ha. I love getting involved in a discussion where people are passionate about their regions. I’m from a state that Americans make fun of– New Jersey– and I’m used to it, so I never take offense because I’m comfortable with where I come from.

      A friend just told me today that it is a tradition in Brittany to take a dip in the cold sea on New Year’s Eve.

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