Three Cities

Wednesday, June 26, 2019
Lille, Hauts-de-France, France
Today, we ended up in three cities. After a delicious breakfast at the Up Hotel, we went to visit the Mercator, which was a Belgian ship that launched in 1935. It served as a training ship and is now a museum. I really enjoyed looking at the old equipment and where the workers slept, and now the captain's cabin had an old typewriter. But no internet. No Facebook, no Instagram. Just books. Ha! 
After that, we left Oostende and drove about 45 minutes to the cute town of Kortrijk, which I have wanted to visit for a long time. The main attraction here are the Broel Towers, built in the 1400s to help the river Rhys navigate traffic. They were really magnificent, and I expected to see hundreds of people here taking selfies or "candids" for Instagram, but THERE WAS NO ONE. So, either people don't come to Kortrijk as much, it's too early for holidays here, or Wednesdays are low in tourists. Whatever the reason, I was grateful. It was a nice change of pace from the hoards of people in Oostende. After walking around the a bit, we decided to take a break and have a Belgian beer, and I had a Leffe Blonde. Belgian beer kicks me in the butt every time. Kortrijk has a population of about 70,000. 
After leaving Kortrijk, it took another 30 minutes to get to Lille, France, where I will stay for the next two nights. I had read that something to try here is the "Le Welsh." Basically, it's something we would love in Wisconsin. It has bread, cheese, beer, mustard, ham, and a fried egg on top. Oh yes, served with a "side" of frites. It was delicious, and the only reason I don't feel too guilty about eating it is that I walked over 22,000+ steps today. Le Petit Table was an adorable place in the Old Town that served this beast. 
It's hot and sunny in Lille, probably close to 90. I realized that I get a little moody after too much walking in the sun, as it gives me headaches from not staying hydrated. 
Lille is nice - has a lot of Flemish influence with being close to the Belgian border, but still feels very "French," with its cobblestone streets and brick houses. Tomorrow, a walking tour is planned, as well as some time at a spa. I can't wait!  
It's only my second day here, but it feels like weeks. Time has a tendency to fly and go in slow motion. 
Thanks for reading,
Au revior!