Braderie de LilleSeptember 3, 2017 in France
We caught the metro into Braderie de Lille this morning. We didn't realise we had to change lines along the way, but luckily a young French guy started talking to us on the train and his cousin just so happens to live in Brisbane, so he helped us change lines and set us in the right direction before he got off to go to work.
Apparently this antiquities and flea market dates back to the 12th century. It was cancelled last year due to terrorism fears as there are around 2 million visitors to the event each year and their safety could not be guaranteed. Not sure what made it possible to guarantee the safety of visitors this year, but there were a lot of police with rather large machine guns at the ready standing around! There are so many people arriving by train and so much rubbish on the streets, I can't really see how they could have a hope of foiling the plans of a would-be terrorist.
It seemed busy to us, but one stall holder who started talking to us said business was so-so as it was not as busy as recent years. We had lunch in a little cafe off one of the main streets. We were jammed into a bench seat and the man next to us started talking to us. He was born and still lived in Lille, but had travelled a lot. We had a great conversation with our almost non-existent French and his better English. He was an avid cyclist and obviously followed the rugby as he was asking about the All Blacks (we set him right that he needed to go for the Wallabies!) and Phil Anderson (first Australian to win a stage and wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France - I had to look that up!).
Back at the farm, our AirBnB host Pascal asked if the kids wanted to go for a swim in her pool. 29 degrees, so off they went. We started talking to her and her husband (also named Pascal) about their hobby farm and all the rabbits we saw on the lawn the night before, which led to picking plums from their tree, checking out their quince, pear and walnut trees and collecting eggs from the chickens. The kids had fresh-from-the-chicken boiled eggs and plums for dinner. Can't get much more direct to the plate than that! We've been having last season's walnuts in our salad at night as there is a bowl in the apartment with a nutcracker. This AirBnb has been brilliant!Read more