I have an ongoing love affair with the northernmost city in France, the metropolitan area of Lille. This area is spread out across the Belgian border, as I've written earlier in "A brief visit to France".
Part of the magic is the train journey from Belgian Kortrijk (Courtrai) by way of Mouscron and then across the border to Tourcoing, Roubaix and Lille, where the terminus is a true copy of Paris's Gare du Nord.
This time I took the motor scooter to Lille, and I followed the railway closely, taking in as much of the area as I could. Normally I would only get superficial impressions in the passing, this time I took several hours instead of the usual thirty minutes.
The first station south of Kortrijk is called Lauwe. No scheduled passenger train has stopped there for years. The station had a second life as a pub, now it is for sale. Wouldn't I love to stay in there for a while. If anyone else is interested, I can provide the broker's name and telephone number.
Note, the telephone booth is not that old, yet it is an endangered species.
No old roman temples for me. This is the my idea of history, must take pictures now, it may be gone tomorrow!
Quite large areas are still in use as farmland.
The French words are at the top, which means we are now in the French speaking part of Belgium.
Opposite Mouscron station the atmosphere is very much like my beloved Maubeuge, or many places in England if it weren't for the traffic here driving on the right.
Lethally pretty - I love it...
...but this is my favourite of the week!
The end of today's zig-zag ride along the railway: Tourcoing station.
Realising I had left for France from Rotterdam in the morning, and was planning to be back before midnight I asked myself: is this madness? No, most certainly not! Madness is staying in Rotterdam on a gorgeous day like this instead of breathing in that wonderful French atmosphere.
Please click on the FilmLoop to enjoy the complete series full size (95 photos)!