The old town – Lille

5 days in…and… finally… sleep! Today we were able to sleep in for one hour more because our students did not start school until 9:00am. Sure, one hour is not very long, but every second counts and I, for one, think I might finally be adjusted to the time difference. After my luxurious slumber, I arrived at the school where we began yet another day consisting mostly of walking. We walked to a ‘hop on/hop off bus’ in order to get a better sense of Lille as a whole town. We saw the ‘olden town’ parts, the center of the city next to Lille’s version of downtown, and then continued our journey looking at monuments, sites, and sculptures, each with their own significance to the formation or continuation of this incredible European town. My favorite site was an old church, ‘Saint Maurice de Lille,’ because its architecture reminded me a bit of the front of the Sagrada Família (a famous church in Barcelona). After the bus tour, we were given 2 hours for lunch, about half of which was spent looking for a restaurant that was both open and had tables to sit at inside (if you weren’t already aware, San Francisco’s “foggy and cold” is a beautiful summer’s day for Lille). After settling on a somewhat legit kebab place, I ate a kebab sandwich and then walked through the streets peeking in shops varying from small, seemingly invisible chocolate shops to much larger and very obvious…chocolate shops (I will note the difference: some of them sold only chocolate while others offered a variety of jams as well). After lunch, the entire group met joined again around 1:15 where we walked to the museum of Charles de Gaulle. We were given a guided walking tour of his house where we learned about his life as a child and how that may have prompted his future as a leader of France. From this museum we walked (again!?) back to the school and joined our french students. From there a few of our students asked what we wanted to do, (they suggested not only more shopping and walking, but also scuba diving?!) but they soon realized that our feet were exhausted and so we instead relaxed and I was able to watch some french reality television, a great experience. Lille has continued to surprise me in the best of ways and I can say with sincerity that this has been an incredibly beneficial trip. I am excited to learn, see, and do more!

Sarah

Main square with Flemish architecture

Main square with Flemish architecture

Inner courtyard of the Hospice Comtesse

Inner courtyard of the Hospice Comtesse

Eglise Saint Maurice

Eglise Saint Maurice

Chocolate and pastries - Meert Lille

Chocolate and pastries – Meert Lille

Listening to our guide at the Charles De Gaulle Museum

Listening to our guide at the Charles De Gaulle Museum

Kemp is in trouble!

Kemp is in trouble!

Waiving at the paparazzis!

Waiving at the paparazzis!