October 28, 2013
A girl, her hubs and a suitcase…………..
19,702 steps (if you are keeping track) 7 miles!!!
Raindrops are such funny things.
They haven’t feet or haven’t wings.
Yet they sail through the air,
With the greatest of ease,
And dance on the street,
Wherever they please.
Reporting live from Lille, France (pronounced “LIL”) it’s your friendly blogging couple Brooke and Frank. This morning we wrapped things up in Gent, checking out of our lovely hotel. Some positive things I would like to report about Europa Hotel. Very good service, great breakfast and free parking. I was very pleased with everything regarding the hotel. So, we set off for Sanctuary Wood Museum in Ypres, Belgium. (http://www.ypres-1917.com/hill62.html) About an hour drive from Gent. The museum is a sobering reminder of the horrors of trench warfare that took place during World War I 1915-1917. On our journey to the museum, we traveled through farms and open fields of countryside. The museum was full of interesting facts, terrifying pictures and barbaric war weaponry. It was packed with indifferent school age kids loud and rowdy. The most interesting thing in this museum are the original trenches that were left there as an open air memorial. As I wondered the grounds, I could almost hear the battle cries. And, as the cold rain pelted down on my face, I could scarcely imagine the harsh conditions these brave young men endured. The field we were traipsing through was sacred ground. The silent echoes of these courageous men lives on in this field where many of these men died. We left the museum in silent appreciation for the freedom we have.
The rain started to come down pretty heavy after that –as we made our way to our hotel in Lille, France. Other than circling the block no less than 17 times, our arrival was uneventful. The 17 times of circling the block was due to a major lack of parking spaces. But, fortunately for us I think we took the only last spot available. Lille, France is right on the border of Belgium and France. We are staying at a lovely boutique hotel in the center of town called L’esplanade. (http://www.esplanadelille.com/en/) It’s a 3 story brick townhouse with beautiful, modern studios. Our room is a spacious studio with all contemporary furnishings. We plopped off our things and made our way to Palais des Beaux-Arts Museum. (http://www.pba-lille.fr/) It took us about a half hour to get there. The rain came in cool bursts then retreated. The wind at times was monsoon – like. The museum holds many works of art by Masters such as Goya and some lesser known artists. But, the real treat is the basement floor which was all German Medieval and Italian pre-renaissance art. It was very enjoyable and made the whole visit worth it. We took a small break in the café and had some coffee and spent 2 hours there.
After the museum, we went out into the wet, windy evening and walked through the bustling city streets. The smell of tempting street side waffles hung in the air. There was every store you could imagine, shoppers out in droves. We walked and walked and walked-looking for possible dinner options. Apparently, the amateurs we are forgot dinner does not happen until late in France. So, we searched and searched. After much debate, we finally found a café/brasserie called Le Square (http://www.le-square-d-ramis.com/). A nice eclectic pub with good service and FREE tap water J. Dinner was pub grub with the highpoint being a decadent appetizer of a deep fried ball of brie accompanied with tasty jam chutney but from there it kind of petered out. (No photographic evidence remains)
After dinner, we walked back in the cool wet air-a rain reprieve for now.
Tune in for more exciting travel tales………
Love and Rain Drops-
~Brooke and Frank~