Monday, January 14, 2013

Christmas-Time in Northern France

Over the summer we met a great couple on our Baltic cruise. Jeff and Stephanie are native Canadians who were living in Boston for years before moving to England. We immediately hit it off and made plans to stay in touch after the cruise. We had our chance to meet up over Christmas.

Jeff, Steph, me and Dan in Aug 2012

We decided to take the ferry from Dover in south England to Calais in northern France. We spent one night in Lille, which is close to the Belgian border, and another night in Boulogne-Sur-Mer. We also spent a couple of nights in Jeff and Steph's lovely home in Cambridge.

Lille, France

Lille was so much better than than I expected. It felt very "French" but with a huge Belgian influence. Almost no one spoke English, so it was great that Jeff is fluent in French. We were lucky enough to be in Lille during their Christmas market. It was delicious beautiful. The whole city was decked out for the holidays.

The Wazemmes Market was really fun too. It was filled with delicious fresh fruit, fish, cheese and baked goods. We bought a bag of fresh clementines and enjoyed it over the next few days.

Dan and I decided to be adventurous at the cheese stand. We asked the cheese monger for the most typical French cheese. She pointed us to this one, nicknamed the "Lille stinker." It tastes a whole lot better than in looks!

We spent a few more hours wandering around Lille before heading to Boulogne-Sur-Mer.

Boulogne-Sur-Mer is a small town near the English channel. We got in at night and were treated to this view.

The town was cute and it was nice walking around at night. The real highlight was in the morning when we drove along the coast on our way back to Calais to catch the ferry. The views were stunning! It was very windy, but we made the most of it.

After a very short trip France, Jeff and Steph graciously hosted us at their place in Cambridge. I really loved this town. We got to see some of Cambridge University, the Cam river, and the pedestrian-only city center.

Overall it was a great, but short, trip. It was fun catching up with Jeff and Steph and I was thrilled to eat pain au chocolat, baguettes and waffles! Check out my post on all my sweet-tooth adventures on TripWolf. 

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