Cambrai, France et ses Bêtises

Back in December, my colleague invited me to come spend a weekend with her in Cambrai, a neighboring city just south of Valenciennes and Lille. Delighted for a change of scenery, I gladly accepted. We spent the cold December evenings soaking up the warm suds of her outdoor jacuzzi and indulging in typical French cuisine, and the days exploring the town, which included a Christmas … Continue reading Cambrai, France et ses Bêtises

Le Beffroi de Douai (The Belfry of Douai)

As an assistant in the Côte d’Azur, we would spend our weekends exploring new cities and towns. The common theme of these cities included the Mediterranean Sea, lots of colorful buildings, and distinctive southern French architecture. Here in the north, instead of signature colorful buildings and the Mediterranean Sea, the common piece of architecture in most towns is le beffroi, or belfry. A belfry, quite simply put, … Continue reading Le Beffroi de Douai (The Belfry of Douai)

Le Musée des Dentelles et Broderies de Caudry (The Lace and Embroidery Museum)

A little unknown fact about the north of France: it is one of very few locations where lace is still being produced! The little town of Caudry, located just 20 minutes from Cambrai, is home to Le Musée des Dentelles, or the Lace Museum. Source Located inside an old lace-making factory dating back from 1898, the museum includes several different aspects. For just a few euros, you are first … Continue reading Le Musée des Dentelles et Broderies de Caudry (The Lace and Embroidery Museum)

Le Carnaval de Dunkerque

**A shout out to my good friend and roommate, Anne, for capturing the vast majority of these photos. Be sure to check out her blog! Northern France is a very special place. It is quickly becoming one of my favorite regions of France, mostly due to the wonderfully nice people and the proximity to no less than five countries. The north of France is known for being … Continue reading Le Carnaval de Dunkerque

The Ultimate D-Day Road Trip

Normandy is best known for June 6, 1944– D-Day, or Jour-J en français, also known as the day the Allied troops (Canadian, British, and American) stormed the beaches and overtook Nazi Germany occupation. Essentially, this event was the turning point of the war, which eventually resulted in an Allied-victory. Normandy is why I first fell in love with France. It’s rustic-beautiful, it’s entrenched in history, and the mix of … Continue reading The Ultimate D-Day Road Trip

La Légende de Saint Nicolas (The Legend of St. Nick)

La journée de Saint Nicolas is observed on December 6th in France, especially around the Alsace, Lorraine, and Nord-Pas-de-Calais (and surrounding Belgian) regions! Typically, children leave their shoes out on December 5th in hopes that Saint Nicolas will come and fill them with candy and chocolate. December 6th is observed as an important Christmas tradition and celebration, often among families! Today, the most morbid French legend … Continue reading La Légende de Saint Nicolas (The Legend of St. Nick)

English Night

Approximately once per month, the lecteurs and lectrices at the FLLASH part of the Université de Valenciennes organize and host English Night at one of the local bars in town, encouraging all students to come speak English and hang out with native speakers. This past week, English Night was last Thursday, and included a pub quiz. All the lecteurs informed our students of the event, and … Continue reading English Night