Crossing international borders in Europe is about as anticlimactic as crossing statelines in the US. Blink and you’ll miss it.
On this very chilly and rainy day we decide to drive to a city (any city) in France just to settle the debate of whether a baguette is tastier in France or in Belgium. I’m anxious to get to Paris but we choose Lille for a day trip as it’s not too far outside of the border.
As usual, we find parking at the city center and pick up a walking map from the tourist information center, which in this case is located inside a beautiful historic building just around the corner from the main square:
Here’s a quick tour of the square:
Of course McDo is here:
But we have a wonderful lunch (I order moules frites again!) at this restaurant instead:
By the time we finish our lunch, it starts to sprinkle steadily. I’m actually pretty miserable because my clothes aren’t warm enough. Luckily we stumble across a Gay Pride Parade, and the excitement helps me forget how cold it is. I see a couple of drag queens on the church steps, surrounded by news photographers so I blend in and ask to take their photographs. The two queens say to each other: “On sera en Chine!” (We’ll be in China!). Sorry gals, I can’t get you on Chinese news but I’ll immortalize you here instead:
Not only am I underdressed but also totally outdressed. That’s what I get for traveling in comfortable clothes:
The noise and huge crowd warm me up as we follow the parade through the city center:
There’s a lot of dancing on the motorized floats and we can’t really hear what the DJs are shouting above the music. I find it amusing to see the madness on the floats against the calm backdrop of 18th century architecture:
After about 30 minutes of following the very loud parade, we break away to enjoy some very cool structures:
The church above has killer doors:
The day gets colder and colder and for once I’m not sad to go back to the car. But first things first. Is the baguette better in France or Belgium?