Our overnight stop was in Maubeuge, a town many might avoid as its architecture is predominantly fifties to seventies. I, however, like it immensely as here it has many features that are almost Art Nouveau, and having learnt to appreciate this era from my architect father, I am intrigued by the quirky disregard for standard proportions and perspective.
|Banking by design|
|Lauding the Lord in concrete and glass|
|Buckling up in Maubeuge|
|Classical satin stripes|
But the best shop window of all was the local patisserie, whose bakery was busy even on Easter Sunday morning. I stood with my nose pressed to the window watching the (tasty) young baker mix dough and form rolls ready for the morning rush to buy petit dejeuner. The smell was divine and it all looked so wholesome. And so French.
|The bakery at the patisserie in full swing|
on Easter Sunday
I am an unashamed Francophile, so this was food for my soul, but for all that, I did not miss out on a few of Maubeuge's more obviously charming nooks and crannies. The town is not most people's choice of a place to visit, but I'll leave you with this lovely arrangement of steps, walls and rooftops and the obligatory lock on the river Sambre.
|An appealing hidden stairway|
|The Sambre as it cuts through the town|