Lille, France. Our firstborn is 8 months today and we are celebrating it with our first real travel together as a family of 3.
The train journey went smooth, with a little of sleep and a lot of activity. And by a lot I mean continuous, never stopping jumping around, from mama’s to papa’s arms, checking out every hole, trying to grab the hair of another passenger’s head sticking out of the front seat etc.
Walking the city
Outside, when we walked the streets of the new to us city, the baby was very curious about everything going on around. Even in our holiday home it was so interesting and new that we went to bed later than usual.
The night was not different from the ones during the last two months – our baby wakes up every 2-3 hours at night at home too. The wake up was early – at 6:30 our daughter decided she’d had enough of sleep. Even though it takes time to get ready to go out with a baby, if you get up at 6:30, you go out early anyway 😉
Lille is a small city but we made about 20 km on foot during our first day. It seemed we walked all the streets in the center, we also attempted to go to the zoo, but it was closed for reconstructions, and to the citadel which appeared to be a military base. But there is a beautiful park around the zoo and we enjoyed it a lot.
Next day they had forecasted rain and we’d planned shopping in Euralille but the rain had stopped till we got up and, following our mood, we just walked some more. Eventually we did some shopping though. The baby was great. She was in her stroller almost all the time, looking around or sleeping. In the restaurants we entertained her with paper plates/cups/bags or bread. No other toys were needed. For more entertainment and other baby travel tips, read how to travel with a baby and enjoy it.
On day 4 we ate our breakfast, bought some french sweets and went to the station. And there the real fun began. First the train was shown to arrive at a wrong platform, then we couldn’t get to the right platform because it was closed for security reasons. We needed to run to the security control (with our baggage and stroller, yeah) and, after we were checked, go back to the same lift to get to the train. From the security gate to the platform we were escorted by 2 security guards. We only weren’t late to the train because we were asking station workers all the time where to go next. And they were telling us one step at a time, who cares about the final destination.
To sum up, Lille is a nice small city and we liked it even more than Paris – there are more flowers and less beggars and the French charm is there, with its fantastic bakeries, chick shops, well dressed people and of course an enormous choice of lingerie, wine and cheese.