Articles avec #around lorraine tag
It is easy to decide to have a weekend in Alsace but not easy to choose where to go as there are so many pleasant places there.
On our way to the hotel we stopped in Kaysersberg to have a walk but also to have a drink. It was a grey day but not raining, so it was better to go around without an umbrella.
We had an Alsatian "five o'clock" and each time we enter a tearoom in Alsace I am surprised by the size of cake or pie pieces. They are... huge ! So we enjoyed a huge blueberry pie piece with whipped cream for one and a huge apple and almonds pie piece for the other, with generous warm drinks. After this good break, we were ready to walk again.
In spite of several visits to Kaysersberg, we had never noticed rue des Forgerons (Blacksmith street). There is no blacksmith there but a potter shop and this narrow street is typical.
As there were only a few tourists around on this Saturday of April, we managed to look at houses quietly. The atmosphere was very peaceful and we could only hear the noise of the river (la Weiss). I also read on the bridge that it was built in 1514, so a very old one
We were told we should come to visit the local Christmas market next time. Maybe.
We went to Ypres to see the Menin Gate Memorial, but we really enjoyed walking around the old center of this town situated in West Flanders.
First the architecture of the buildings is so different from here. And the work done after the war to rebuild the town is very impressing.
We admired the Cloth Hall but didn't climb up the belfry. St Martin's cathedral is also beautiful.
It was market day and we had a look around. Of course, it was similar to our French markets. The atmosphere was cheerful and there were a few things we were interested in. Then we had lunch on Grote Markt square, i.e. we didn't leave the market square.
It is difficult to imagine that poison gas was used for the first time in this area in 1915. This gas was called Mustard gas, then also known as Yperite from the name of the town.
We spent the whole day in Ypres, visiting the Memorial and the town. It was a good time.
Nearly one year after writing this, I found this text in Rye and Battle Observer and decided to place the link after my own article.
It explains so much about the pilgrimage of British people to Ypres.
Ypres is a pleasant town to visit but, above all, it is famous because of the Menin Gate Memorial to Missing.
It is dedicated to the British and Commonwealth soldiers killed around Ypres during WW1 and who haven't got a known grave.
The Menin Gate Memorial is near the main square of Ypres, just a very short walk to reach it.
From the narrow street ending near it, you are already impressed by the size of the monument, a big arch, nearly white, nothing to compare with the architecture of the old town near it.
When you walk under it, you discover all the names engraved on the stone on the walls, and more in the stairs on each side, and more again on the top of these staircases.
More than 54 000 names are written, the names of soldiers who died before August 15th, 1917.
You see family names you know and hear people saying the same, you try to find if any name rings a bell, you look at nationalities...
The Menin Gate Memorial to Missing makes you stay calm and makes you think about all these men who died to save our freedom.
People come from all the world to pay tribute to them and some bring flowers or cards, some send flowers to the Memorial. Notes are moving either dedicated to one person or to all of them.
6 days out of 7, the Last Post is played in the evening at 8 o'clock on the dot at the Menin Memorial Gate to Missing, the traditional salute to the fallen.
We haven't been there this time and went back to France earlier in the evening, but next time we'll stay in town and attend this ceremony.
Our week end in Lille at the end of September was the opportunity to have long walks in the town.
We discovered big squares, narrow lanes, but also all these typical buildings of the north of France. The architecture is so different from the ones in Lorraine. It made us think about trips in Belgium and some houses in the suburbs of the town were similar to English ones.
We also discovered people. All the ones we met were cheerful, happy to have a pleasant week end (with the parade on the Saturday evening).
It seems all this happened a very long time ago. A busy life and important events have made weeks go far too quickly.
We will book another week end in Lille, we would like to see more and to enjoy its atmosphere again.
Last spring we planned a long week end in Lille to meet our English friends and we chose the last week end of September. We didn't know the town and it was more or less half way from each home.
When we arrived at the hotel, we discovered that there was a big parade on the Saturday evening in the center of the town and that the organization of all sorts of events from September was called Lille 3000 - Renaissance.
We walked to Lille Flandres station and waited for the parade there. There was a big crowd but the atmosphere was friendly.
It started with the arrival of a huge dragon. We saw it from far away. It was just like being in a film, waiting for the monster. It is strange the way our mind goes straight to films we have watched like Jurassic Park, Godzilla... From far away, we could have believed it was real.
Then there was music, mostly Brazilian. And we saw dancers too, all sorts. And artists who could be coming from a circus. There were so many lights and colours.
The parade lasted for about one hour. When it was finished, we walked in the streets and saw more musicians playing for our pleasure. The center of Lille was enjoying a big party.
After a late dinner in a pleasant restaurant, we came back to the hotel. At that time, it was calmer, squares were still busy but streets were nearly empty and we were able to enjoy Lille at night.