Lille, France, is one of those large, small towns. But now that we’ve looked at the city’s statistics, that might not be entirely true, as it has a population of about a quarter of a million people. The feeling is that of a small town, however. The Old Town in the city center is very compact and very walkable. There are two enormous churches in the Old Town, but only one of them is a cathedral. There are ancient buildings and a modern train station. Every restaurant has outdoor seating, regardless of the view offered. We passed an Italian restaurant whose view was of buildings covered in graffiti across the street, and we wondered why anyone would eat there rather than in one of the pretty squares, or along the pretty cobblestone streets. We can only guess that the food makes it worth it, but we didn’t verify that ourselves.
We caught a little of the European Heat Wave here that we have been hearing so much about on the news. It was very hot walking from place to place, and even relatively short walks felt oppressive. One thing we have found in France is that the businesses don’t provide us with much humor. In other places, we are always seeing goofy windows and funny signs in front of businesses. We did see a lighthearted barber shop, as you will see below, but it isn’t overtly funny, just subtly. And now, we are off to Belgium once again!