Bonjour Lille

 For me, Lille wasn't just about Christmas shopping but also about our independence. Having been on so many of the schools trips to France, both Beth and I seemed to be given privilege upon privilege! We had so many priorities. These being given the only room for two so we didn't have to share with a year 7 (and had extra space seen as it was originally a room for 3) and the whole back of the bus which became our make shift bed allowing us to have a much more comfortable sleep than everyone else. The best was that rather than stay within the boundaries with everyone else we were given a map and allowed to go on our own little adventure, finding our way to a huge shopping centre on the other side of Lille. We were given so much freedom that nobody else had, could leave the hotel room when we wanted and do as we wished. It really felt as if we were on our own little holiday in France and I loved every second.

It seems nowadays if I am somewhere even mildly photogenic my fingers are itching to pull out my camera. Since realising its full potential in my post on Greece (click here) my whole life seems to revolve around me looking for moments I can capture and keep to look back on. So, you know the drill by now, my last post was very much all writing (and a lot of it) where as this one is very much full to the brim of photographs! I am listening to Walking In The Air from The Snowman whilst I write this and let me tell you I couldn't feel more wintery if I tried.

Lille was a two day trip that I had very much been looking forward to. It seemed we had been counting down for so long and suddenly it crept upon us so quickly!
On Wednesday night we were due to leave the school at midnight so I arrived at Beths for nine to get ready together. What really happened is I fell asleep in Beths bed which probably isn't a surprise for anyone who knows me personally- Sorry Beth! I did feel ashamed that I couldn't even stay awake past half 10! After sleeping on the coach we were woken up at 6 (ouch) and stretched our legs in the services for half an hour. We then made our way to the Eurotunnel and popped in the duty free store to pass the time before our slot.

After travelling through the Eurotunnel we then had another 2 hours on the coach before reaching Lille. The one thing we couldn't take our eyes of when we finally arrived was the architecture. Each building was so beautiful and I adored the small balconies on many of the houses; plants weaving around the bars. Everything seemed so delicate and well, French! Oh how I longed for the buildings to look so nice in England.

Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely love shopping. I usually have to travel all the way to Exeter just to shop at Zara and across the 2 days I went in 3 different ones! Walking around shopping is a tiring activity after a while, especially having very little sleep the night before. By the time we had finished in old Lille it was 5 oclock and getting dark and my eyes were beginning to droop. Our time spent in Eurolille, from 5 until half 7, was done halfheartedly and both myself and Beth had reached new levels of tiredness. When we were walking around the hypermarket to get some food and drink for the hotel room it was almost as if Beth was drunk- she just couldn't function!

The square-like area that contained most of the shops and seemed to be the centre of Lille had a large Christmas tree and a huge ferris wheel. We chose not to spend 5 euros on the ferris wheel, which is probably my only regret, I'm sure the view from up there would be astounding. There were rows of pine trees next to it and it all looked very pretty.

The Christmas market consisted off several nicely decorated wooden cabins containing a wide range of homemade goodies, Each hut was decorated to match what was being sold and many were covered in Christmas lights and personalised signs.

When we finally arrived at the hotel, we unpacked and sorted out all our stuff. The room was very spacious, two beds downstairs with a bathroom, wardrobe, table and tv and a ladder led up to a balcony which had another bed on.

Beth, being the guru that she is went about doing her skincare routine as I just lay down bathing in my own filth. Joking, that's very much an exaggeration! I did feel gross after the day though and had a shower and put my pjs on. Beth, much to excitedly for my liking, was adamant that she wanted to give me a facial. It consisted of this pore strip thing (much too technical for me) and moisturiser which was carried out whilst we listened to the Mamma Mia soundtrack. I'm sure not many people can state that they've done all this in a French hotel room- how random! Of course we had our cartons of ice tea and then I had the best nights sleep I've ever experienced. I slept all the night through and even when I was woken by my alarm I felt like I'd just come out of the deepest sleep ever.

On Friday we then went to yet another shopping centre where I had the nicest Mango and Passion Fruit sorbet and ANOTHER ice tea. To be honest 3 ice teas in 2 days is quite bad for me- I can usually manage more. Slightly ashamed of myself there. We then travelled all the way home, where Elijah came and joined us at the back. He is now our new best friend. He let Beth try her new make up on his hand and picked his favourite shade from the Naked 3 palette so she was very content. The feelings of boredom and tiredness had really set in about half way back to Devon and Beth ended up with her toy deer on her head as a hat with mentos stuck up her nostrils? Need I explain any further?

All in all I thoroughly enjoyed spending so much time with Beth and we flourished with our own little bit of independence to do as we wished which we weren't usually given on trips with the school. Although I am rubbish at French myself I do love to visit France as the sound of French people talking is so much nicer than English; I do wish I could speak it well. When you think about it they do all speak so eloquently compared to English and each of their words flow together so nicely.

Although I doubt I will go on another trip with the school in my last few months, I do intend on visiting France again and hopefully with Beth too.

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