My first stop in northern France was Valenciennes, where my friend Patty lives. Getting there from Brussels was quite the trek, but as soon as I stepped off the train I was instantly enamored. Valenciennes is a charming small town, and everything about it is thoroughly darling.
Patty guided me through the winding streets while I admired all of the rustic limestone buildings with picturesque shutters. I quickly became infatuated with how quintessentially French it all was.
I didn't expect to fall in love with northern France as much as I did, but I'm so glad I made a trip up there to experience it.