Joyeux Noel

28 Dec

Merry Christmas from France!

Matt and I wanted to escape London for the Christmas weekend and not wanting to do a heap of travel to get to ‘somewhere else’ for a mere three days – our plan was to wind down and relax – Lille in Northern France seemed like the perfect option. One and a half hours by Eurostar – great!

There’s not a lot to tell of our time in Lille really. We spent most of our time in our hotel room in big fluffy white robes wearing white slippers to match, watching Christmas movies and watching the slightest sprinkling of snow come down outside our window. It was perfect really. We explored a little – when we felt like going out into the cold. It was absolutely freezing most of the time, except on Christmas day itself when the sun decided to come out for the whole day. It was even freezing in the cathedral where we spent Christmas eve at mass (much harder to understand in French!) – our toes and fingers were freezing by the time the ceremony finished when we raced back to our hotel (and into our robes!).

Christmas morning we woke up in darkness (8am) and Skyped our parents in Australia to see them on Christmas day. The day before we stocked up on Christmas food – lollies, gingerbread, croissants, juice, crisps, cheese and bread – we wanted it to really feel like Christmas back home where as soon as you wake, you’re allowed to eat anything you want in copious amounts until at the end of the day where you just lie there with a full stomach and watch Christmas TV. We played Christmas music (mostly consisting of the Glee soundtrack thank you very much!) and watched Christmas movies until it was time to head out for our Christmas lunch.

Matt and I have a good history of picking restaurants for Christmas lunch. Firstly our Christmas lunch in New York where we turned up to the restaurant where we booked a meal and it was closed – this time, we turned up and the restaurant was open, but we just couldn’t afford the Christmas menu they were offering us. Sixty euro for per person! I kept saying one of few words I seemed to remembered from my French language classes a few weeks back – I kept saying ‘desole’ or sorry… Together with my French phrasebook and some other words that came to me, we eventually got across that the price was too expensive, so we walked out of there in search for another restaurant. But never fear, we found a restaurant so we could have a resemblance of a proper (cheaper) meal for Christmas and sat down to a wine/beer and delighted in the fact that we were celebrating Christmas in France.

Boxing day in Lille and we had no choice but to peel ourselves out of our white fluffy robes and head outside into the cold for the rest of the day before our train back to London. We explored the cobble-stoned streets some more – went to the snow-covered parks, the Notre Dame cathedral, the Belfry, the opera theatre, the local markets and the Christmas markets, the ferris wheel and one of the modern art galleries in the town. We covered all of this within a couple of hours and spent the remainder of our afternoon in the hotel lobby in the warmth… waiting for our train.

Lille is less pretentious then Paris – the people are a little friendlier and much more open to speaking to tourists. Lille has the same beautiful buildings and streets as any French town (definitely my favourite by far) and the bakeries on every corner, which we just love. It was really nice to have some down time together in the north of France for the festive season.

We hope everyone had an absolutely lovely Christmas – it just didn’t feel the same being so far away from everybody, but still a good first Christmas to spend as husband and wife.

Next it’s time to say happy New Year!! Bring on 2011 and more tales of travel!

M&M xox

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today was meaningful

a collection of thoughts, life lessons, and days full of meaning.

Liv Hambrett

An Australian in Germany

I am the world's oyster

Photography, Aviation, Nature, Culture, Nikon, Canon, Qantas, Airlines, Emirates, Airports, A380, 747

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Love for hand-knitted & -crocheted beauty. Proud designer & founder of LN|Beanies and LN|Andes, my two knit brands, my two loves.

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