Weekend adventures in Belgium

Published 7:46 am Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Meanwhile With Madeleine…

By Madeleine Fuselier

The Orange Leader

Hi there! I am a life-long Orangeite living in Paris. I am spending this year teaching English, improving my French, and exploring France (and some of its neighboring countries) before heading to college next fall. Keep reading to find out what’s been going on “Meanwhile With Madeleine.” Thanks for allowing me to share my adventures with you!

I went to Belgium this weekend! It was my first time outside France since moving to Paris. My roommate and I had set a goal to visit another country before the Christmas break, so I’m glad we were able to squeeze this little weekend trip into our crazy schedules.

We woke up early on Saturday morning to catch our bus. Our first stop was Lille, France. We arrived in the city in time to have a late lunch. After that, we spent the remainder of the day exploring the town and doing a bit of Christmas shopping. There was a huge Christmas market set up for the holidays, but it was completely packed; so we attempted to avoid the crowds in the little boutiques on some of the less touristy streets.

By the time the sun had gone down, we were both exhausted. We checked into our hotel and took a much-needed nap. When we woke up, we headed back into town for dinner. We had a nice meal and got to see the Lille all lit up for Christmas.

The next morning, we traveled to Bruges, Belgium. I had heard great things about Bruges, but nothing could have prepared me for how beautiful it was. It was straight out of a fairytale. The streets were an endless row of chocolate shops, the canals were filled with swans, and the otherwise village-like feel of the city was frequently interrupted when I’d turn a corner to discover yet another castle-like structure. Everyone we met was incredibly friendly, and we had a nice time doing some more Christmas shopping and just wandering around. We found an adorable cafe for lunch, but when we walked in we were told we would need to make a reservation for later in the day. We made the reservation and then went a few doors down to try some Belgian waffles (which were unsurprisingly delicious). We got back to the restaurant in time for our reservation and had a wonderful lunch. When we had finished, we found a little park and stayed there for a while before boarding the bus back to Paris.

Bruges was amazing, and I was so sad to leave. I guess I’ll just have to go back soon!