Lille & Nord-Pas-de-Calais, France

Lille is so close to Belgium, yet we didn’t visit until the end of our expat adventure. What a pity! Lille is a beautiful city and a foodie paradise. We loved the markets, great restaurants, and variety of foodie shops dotted around the old centre.

Beyond Lille, Nord-Pas de Calais has a lot to offer, despite being a region most people pass through on their way somewhere else. The somber battlefields and war memorials around Verdun awed us. As did the extensive Roman ruins at Bavay and the stunning remains of the Abbaye de Vaucelles. We wonder how it’s possible we knew nothing about Cambrai and its UNESCO landmarks, before our accidental visit. Nor did we know of the region’s artistic connections – to native son Matisse, and to the art glass movement.

In all, Nord-Pas de Calais is a slow travel destination just begging to be explored.

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