4 in 1

Our first weekend in the Belgium started off with a slight dilemma: what can we visit in Belgium (or in the region), having a car at our disposal? Most of the landmarks in the region are easily accessible by train, so we needed something special, a trip which could use the most out of the existence of a car.
4 in 1
We decided to visit more than one place in one day. Our target area was the western part of Belgium in the metropolitan area of the French city: Lille. Actually we have had several target cities/towns, but in the end we only had time to visit 3 towns and Lille.

Our first town to visit was Mons. This little town is situated to the south-east of Lille. It is famous for its beautiful architecture and of course its cathedral, the Sainte Waudru collegiate church and the neighboring belfry, which is considered a World Heritage site. The town hall of Mons also has a small monkey statue on its side, it is said, that touching it brings you luck 🙂 . I have uploaded photos of Mons on my Picasa account.

The next town to visit, was Tournai a town also famous for its belfry and its Notre Dame cathedral. The main square is also very nice, filled with cafes and restaurants. Photos of Tournai have been uploaded also to my Picasa account.

The next city to go to was actually Lille itself. Now Lille is the center of the whole metropolitan area. However, it is not too big to have decent parking places, but big enough to be crowded. It was quite hard actually to find a parking place…
We visited its Cathedral (also called Notre-Dame), then walked through its quite nice shopping streets towards the city center. The center is also very nice. When we were there, there were a lot of people there, with street performers presenting their skills and lots of candy-stands. Photos on my Picasa account.

We still had time to visit one more city. We chose to visit Kortrijk. This town is located on the eastern part of Lille, again in Belgium. We visited its main square with its very nice medieval city hall, strolled down the streets towards the Saint Martin tower. An interesting thing to note is the presence of loudspeakers everywhere in the city with music playing anywhere one went in the city center area. It was actually not disturbing and a quite nice thing to have. There are photos of this town also in another Picasa album.

All in all the trip was great for our first taste of Belgium (and a bit of France). I think by train we couldn’t have done the same trips…

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