Come with us as we travel round Europe in our floating home

Friday, 4 August 2017

Haubourdin to Lille

Wow, another week's just flown by.

We stayed on the mooring at Haubourdin safely tucked in between the two commercial barges for the weekend as we had good satellite TV reception and Roger wanted to watch the last Grand Prix before the Summer break.

On Monday morning we carried on towards Lille, passing lots of industry and barge loading wharfs.

The Port de Lille is amazingly busy with a couple of these huge cranes in constant use.

Luckily for us there was plenty of room on the moorings at the Citadelle and we've been here ever since. It's a lovely place to moor, perfect for exploring the city.  The zoo is on the opposite bank and we can hear the monkeys screeching at their morning and evening feeding times. We're planning a visit but just haven't foung the time as yet.

 It's a very busy recreational area and we've had lots of passers-by stop for a chat, with the occasional request to come on board to take photos!  Just across the pavement is the Jardin du Vaudin park which is quite stunning and very popular with the locals. There's also a childrens puppet theatre in the park inside this thatched cottage.

Cyclists are very well catered for here in Lille and there are ranks of hire bikes all over the city.  The first 30 minutes are free or you can rent for a full day for 1.60E or 7E for a week. At that price it's hardly worth owning your own bike if you lived in Lille.

Lilleois architecture is quite amazing and everywhere you go the buildings are spectacular. This is the 104m high belfry attached to the town hall.

The Grande Place, main town square, is always bustling with tourists but also has many child beggars and families of immigrants sitting around the fountains with nowhere to go. It's quite sad really.

This is the Porte de Paris which was built in 1692 as a monument to Louis XVI

It doesn't actually lead anywhere but was built simply to boost the ego of the king

The gardens in the moat are rather impressive too.

A totally different style of architecture is the old Market Hall which has been saved from demolition by having had a Match supermarket built inside it!

We've had a few really good meals out while we've been here in Lille. We tend to eat out at lunchtime and take advantage of the Plat du Jour which is literally Dish of the Day. If you look for a place that's full of locals you know you're onto a winner.

Moules Frites were twice the size and half the price than when we'd had them in Belgium

and today's lunch of Couscous with chicken or meatballs included wine and mint tea for only 12.50E

At the opposite end of the culinary scale, we found this pizza vending machine when we were wandering around the student quarter.  I suppose it gets plenty of business during term time.

We've now been joined by our friend David who's come to stay for a few days. We need water and gas so we're going to take him for a little cruise tomorrow and introduce him to the delights of the commercial barges and big locks. There's still plenty to see and do so we'll be back in Lille in a couple of days.

That's all for now, see you soon 😃

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