Mon 12 Dec Slept in till 8:30 and then quickly got dressed to go to the buffet breakfast which closed at 9:30. Spent a bit of time working out what to do today. This was made difficult by the slow internet which kept dropping out. We decided to go to the Vimy Canadian War Memorial, which turned out to be a fascinating place.
We had a free guided tour of the bunkers 8m below ground and could walk around some trenches. There was a cemetery where most of the bodies were unidentified (‘Known unto God’ on the tombstones). The information centre was manned by Canadian students and today was the last tour before mid January’s new group of guides arrived so all 3 guides took part as it was their last. It was a very cold, windy, rainy day although it started and ended sunny.
We got back at 4 pm but it was really too cold to walk to Lille centre to see Christmas markets, so we just walked to see where to return the car and catch the Eurostar and looked around a big indoor 2 storey shopping centre. We came across a vending machine with fresh flowers! Then we battled the internet until the 7:30 pm buffet – don’t the French get hungry before then? The buffet was fantastic – cold meats, about 20 salads plus dessert, also a choice of steak or fish with mussels and small lobster for €13.