Accomodations,  Airbnb,  First 24 hours in...,  Food,  France,  Lille

first 24 hours in lille (france)

what do i like?
-we’re out of the “f*cking fairytale* land of bruges and back to reality where food doesn’t cost a kidney
-across from an amazing bakery with 80 cent pain au chocolats (better than every one i had in belgium!)
-the largest market in the city runs on sundays however they also run 3x per week.  on our way out to visit the market we came upon a really good one down the street from us and stocked up on things there.  amazingly, even less places were open on sunday versus saturday.  the french, i tell you…

Checking out the selection at the local farmers market
Veggie haul from the market to make chicken soup

-a very cozy airbnb.  with not much being open this weekend this means getting lost in our books

what do i dislike?
-we arrived on a saturday and unfortunately timed it on a long weekend.  after arriving at our airbnb, the owner wasn’t home and we walked around the neighbourhood for an hour before we could find some place open to use their phone.  the blessing in disguise is that we’ve made use of our host’s well stocked kitchen and have made a slew of home cooked meals… baked chicken with corn, rice and a mushroom gravy, fried rice in the middle of the night, pan fried potatoes, herb sausages and poached eggs for breakfast, chicken soup for lunch and chantrelles & poached egg donburi for dinner

what do i like/dislike about the new accomodations?
-for a one bedroom unit the layout is perfect, tons of natural light and uber comfortable.  a stove that will boil a pot of water in under 30 seconds (is that even safe?), memory foam mattress and pillows and a heated toilet seat.  i’ve never been so happy to leave belgium.   aaaaaaand before i forget… on the top floor with no elevator.  80 stairs each way.  bunz. of. steel.

Our his must ride with the amount of helmets he has
Nice big kitchen
The toilet comes with japanese seat cover, I’ve missed those
Memory foam mattress and pillows

biggest adjustments from the previous stop?
-we thought that bruge was quiet in the late afternoons; lille has been a ghost town.  nearly every store we pass has a posting on it about being closed for x number of weeks.

what was our first meal?
-white rice.  coming from the land of fries (well, europe in general has felt like fry-central), we needed a change.  after having a string of delicious flemish stews, i could only imagine how good they would have been if they were served up with white rice and a sunny side up egg.

Rice, baked chicken, canned corn and peas, mushroom sauce with salad on the side. First homecooked meal in a long time.
Coffee flavored cream puff for dessert

overall impressions?
deciding on tossing lille into our itinerary came on a whim since we booked our leg to western europe (brussels) and had to fill up the last three weeks with destinations.  it’s the fifth largest city/region in france (a confusing venture since the french measure population by city, urban area, urban unit or commune) and feels like a suburb in comparison to paris.  we’ve been to a string of very busy cities and lille’s vibe is a nice changeup.  we might have timed it poorly with it being a long weekend but so far it’s sitting perfectly fine with me.  bruges was tourist overload and i need some time to decompress from that experience.

what do i like?

There is not much to do in Lille since we arrived on a long weekend. All of the shops and restaurants in our neighborhood are closed. Luckily we chanced upon a farmers market 5 minutes from our airbnb on Sunday to stock up on food. We’ve been eating, sleeping and reading the whole. It’s been a really nice break from sightseeing. Oh yeah, we also played some jenga. Joe is way better at this game than I am.

Game in progress
Working on my BRF

what do i dislike?

We haven’t been out to town enough to find anything to dislike.

what do i like/dislike about the new accomodations?

Great place, on the top floor of a 5 floor walk up. Nice big sectional  couch to curl up in and read.


biggest adjustments from the previous stop?

So good to have a laundry machine and dryer again after 8 days. The first thing we did after settling in was a load of laundry.

what was our first meal?

Rice rice rice! The airbnb host had Maggi sauce and soy sauce, both flavours that we haven’t had in weeks. I used both on rice and eggs copiously.

Rice, chanterelle mushrooms, egg and Maggi sauce

overall impressions?

Lille is nice and small, I’m looking forward to checking out all the cute French patisseries and boutiques once they are open after the holiday.

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