The curtain falls.

In two hours I will have left my home in France and will be taking my last ever metro journey to the centre of Lille from Tourcoing. It’s a bit of an emotional thing. I will never again have to try and find a seat in the rush at Gare Lille Flandres, I will never again hear the silly little jingle that is played in all French train stations, and I will never again have to sit on a 30 minute journey all by myself and try and look as inconspicuous as possible.

My coach leaves Lille at 8h30 but I wanted to make sure I don’t miss it so I should be sitting at the top of Lille Europe for a good 45 minutes before I even set off. I wish I could push it back a bit but I really don’t want to miss my coach as I can’t afford to pay a really expensive last minute train ticket home instead. I’ve worked out that it is going to take me about 12 hours altogether to get back to my home in Sheffield. I am really not looking forward to the coach journey but I am wondering how the coach crosses the channel. I’m thinking it will probably be the tunnel but I’m hoping that it will be by the ferry as I love boats and an impromptu boat trip would be wonderful.

I think I’m going to try and sleep during my coach trip as I definitely need to catch up on it! I’ve barely slept the last few days and I’m not sure why. I feel like it might be due to the fact that, subconsciously, I have been worrying about packing and my journey home as I often tend to sleep worse when I have things to do; I’m going to be horrid when nearing my dissertation deadline!

My last couple of weeks have been pretty good in France, well I say France. I spent 5 days in Germany to see Ryan for his birthday! It was really lovely to see him, and we went around the Christmas market in Mainz. It was really pretty and lot bigger than the one here in Lille! There was this little stage and there were 3 men playing the alpine horn. It was astounding to see something like that and there were so many people stood around listening to them as well. I managed to get a good view pictures but Ryan didn’t, bless him!

On the same day, we went to visit the Cathedral of Mainz as well. It is the main reason that there is a town there at all. Apparently, (if I remember correctly) it was the main Cathedral in the area and was in charge of all the other little towns. I’m certain there is a word to describe this but I can’t for the life of me think of what it could be. The cathedral was originally founded in the 1000s sometime and in the little museum there was this weird cloth thing that we later found out to be the old coat/apron/jacket-y thing that the first Bishop wore in the 1000s. I couldn’t believe the quality of it as it did not look 1000 years old. Unfortunately, I didn’t take a photo of it as I didn’t want to damage it and I wasn’t sure if taking photos was allowed at all.

Whilst in Germany, I tried currywurst as well! It was absolutely amazing and if you ever get the chance to eat some I would definitely recommend it! The best thing ever! I think I must have had like 3 or 4 portions of it in the space of 2 days.

I didn’t really do much else other than that as Ryan had lectures that he couldn’t miss so I sat in the German computer room again but this time I had to do my dissertation research so at least I had some work to keep my occupied and now I have all the French sources I will be able to get. Hopefully, I will be able to find a couple of French websites as well in the future.

I have done nothing really overly exciting since I got back from Germany as I have not had time. But we did have a girly night in on Friday, which was lovely. Alice, Amy, Sasha and I watched a film and made butterfly cakes. Well I say we all did, it was mainly Alice and Amy but then again you don’t really need a lot of people to make cakes. We watched “Sweet Home Alabama” and ate cakes and popcorn. It was a really lovely night and I am going to miss nights like those when I get back home and also when I go to Spain.

Right, now I need to finalise my packing and make sure that I have everything ready in time to leave. Signing off for the last time in France.

Lauren x

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