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Old 11-02-2008, 03:58 PM
 
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I am french, I never heard petite Paris for Lille nor Toulouse.
Even if it was the case it would be Petit Paris, not petite.
Toulouse is called Ville Rose (pink city), for many french it is the most livelable city.
Toulouse is also the fastest growing city over 1 million inhabitants.

Lille don't have a good reputation, anyway it is a great city.
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Old 11-03-2008, 03:31 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,917,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minato ku View Post
I am french, I never heard petite Paris for Lille nor Toulouse.
Even if it was the case it would be Petit Paris, not petite.
Toulouse is called Ville Rose (pink city), for many french it is the most livelable city.
heh
You probably don't read too many guidebooks (or need to.)
I've read the "pink city" description--and it fit. It is rather pink.
Apologies for my poor French.
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Old 11-03-2008, 10:49 PM
 
11,879 posts, read 32,912,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Minato ku View Post
I am french, I never heard petite Paris for Lille nor Toulouse.
Even if it was the case it would be Petit Paris, not petite.
Toulouse is called Ville Rose (pink city), for many french it is the most livelable city.
Toulouse is also the fastest growing city over 1 million inhabitants.

Lille don't have a good reputation, anyway it is a great city.
It was a French colleague from Paris who told me that Lille is called Petit Paris. If Lille's Belgian suburbs are included in its metropolitan population it becomes larger than Marseille or Lyon.

Regardless, Toulouse is certainly a beautiful city, too. Definitely warmer weather than in Paris or Lille. On the other hand, if you plan on flying back to the US it's kind of a hassle to do so from Toulouse.
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Old 11-04-2008, 03:24 AM
 
Location: on an island
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Originally Posted by JMT View Post

Regardless, Toulouse is certainly a beautiful city, too. Definitely warmer weather than in Paris or Lille. On the other hand, if you plan on flying back to the US it's kind of a hassle to do so from Toulouse.
I flew in and out of Toulouse, on KLM. This was in early 2006 when airfare was really low.
JMT, do you recommend seeing Lille? We will be near there in the spring and I am considering a visit.
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Old 11-04-2008, 04:11 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,018,212 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post
I flew in and out of Toulouse, on KLM. This was in early 2006 when airfare was really low.
JMT, do you recommend seeing Lille? We will be near there in the spring and I am considering a visit.

Lille has changed beyond all recognition in the last few years and I would certainly recommend it if you are in the area.

It used to be a rather depressing, grey sort of a city ( being near the top mining area of France, it had become rather run-down and was suffering a bit) but it has now really picked up and I was really pleasantly surprised a couple of years back to see how prosperous and well run it seemed.

The beautiful 19 th century buildings seemed to have all been restored and brought back to life, and the traditional Flemish area is just lovely. There are now great museums, open air markets, as well as some great shopping, excellent museums etc..

It is extremely well connected to the rest of Europe and as such has become quite a successful business centre attracting wealth and many companies have settled there.



Lille
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Old 11-04-2008, 05:25 AM
 
Location: on an island
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Sounds like my kind of place! Thanks Moose.
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Old 11-05-2008, 09:33 AM
 
Location: Colorado Springs
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Any one got some pictures of those cities mentioned?
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Old 11-05-2008, 12:48 PM
 
Location: Oxford, England
13,036 posts, read 22,018,212 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unsmicck View Post
Any one got some pictures of those cities mentioned?
photos of lille - Google Image Search

Lille Metropolis (photos de Lille - photos of Lille) Photo Gallery by HOIZEY François-Olivier at pbase.com


http://search.pbase.com/search?q=Toulouse

http://images.google.co.uk/images?hl...num=1&ct=title
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Old 11-07-2008, 07:27 PM
 
11,879 posts, read 32,912,793 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueWillowPlate View Post
I flew in and out of Toulouse, on KLM. This was in early 2006 when airfare was really low.
JMT, do you recommend seeing Lille? We will be near there in the spring and I am considering a visit.
I'm sorry for not answering sooner, but I agree with everything Mooseketeer said. Lille has morphed into a very modern, very vibrant, very young city. Its downtown area has some beautiful Flemish architecture. The entire Nord is famous for its beffrois (belfries?), and Lille has some beautiful ones.

You can take a streetcar (not the metro) from the Lille train station (Lille-Flandres) up to Roubaix which is a fun diversion. Roubaix itself is a formerly gritty industrial town that is trying to transform itself into something of a high-tech hub. I don't know how successful it's becoming, but it is interesting to take the tram and see what used to be big old factories transformed into cool mixed-use buildings.

However, the reason I love Lille so much isn't just because of the things there are to see. It's because it is NOT a touristy city. The shop owners in Lille aren't used to seeing lots of tourist (especially American tourists) so it seems easier to strike up a conversation with shop owners there.

I once went into a bookstore in Lille and ended up having a pleasant conversation with the owner for about an hour. He invited me to his home that evening for dinner because he was so excited to have a real American in his home. You don't get that in Paris.

So I like it that Lille is a real, vibrant French city but has very few tourists. And while business travelers are starting to discover the city, it's still pretty much unknown among sightseers to France. And, selfishly, I hope it stays that way.

Another thing I like to do while in Lille, and that's to take a train to Arras (another beautiful jewel of Flemish architecture) and rent a car. The countryside around there is littered with HUNDREDS of military cemeteries from WW1. It's very moving. Perhaps the most famous is Vimy, now a Canadian monument to the 60,000+ Canadian soldiers who died there in a couple of days during a ferocious WW1 battle.

ROUBAIX





VIEUX LILLE (OLD LILLE)


VIMY




Last edited by Cornerguy1; 11-07-2008 at 10:09 PM.. Reason: Please don't post copyrighted images
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Old 11-08-2008, 05:25 AM
 
Location: on an island
13,382 posts, read 40,917,231 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMT View Post
It's because it is NOT a touristy city. The shop owners in Lille aren't used to seeing lots of tourist (especially American tourists) so it seems easier to strike up a conversation with shop owners there.

I once went into a bookstore in Lille and ended up having a pleasant conversation with the owner for about an hour. He invited me to his home that evening for dinner because he was so excited to have a real American in his home. You don't get that in Paris.
Sounds like a great place. We met a delightful woman in Obernai who invited us up to her apartment to watch the start of the Tour de France. Between my wretched French and her rusty English we struggled a bit, but sometimes you get by without too many words.
I hope we have the time to get to Lille.
There is so much I want to see, but we have less than three weeks.
We will try to make the most of it.
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