I’ll be honest, Limoges was boring. Is boring. Especially as a February destination when it is bitterly cold and grey outside and you are a university student looking to broaden your horizons and have a bit if fun (drink) – not bore yourself to tears. But alas, I am guilty of booking this trip after a couple glasses of wine- which gave me the lovely idea of France in the first place.
Why Limoges you ask? Fun fact you should know about me: while living within an hour of East Midlands Airport in the UK, my goal is fly to every country and city RyanAir flies to from that airport, and boy, you guessed it, Limoges is one of their most coveted vacation destinations.
Arriving at night, Rhys (upgraded to boyfriend status after Dublin) and I weren’t able to see a clear aerial view of the French city, but after exiting the airport (glorified warehouse); we thought we might have made a mistake- as there wasn’t much around. Luckily, the only other people waiting for a cab offered to share it with us into town, and after about 30 seconds it was made known that they were a very elated gay couple on a romantic holiday. I think they took a fancying to Rhys- and because they told us- and we proceeded to excitedly chatter about what was awaiting all of us in Limoges. We had such a good chat in the cab, that by the time we got to our hotel, they told us to put away our cab fare money and instead have a great time. To date, the best cab ride I’ve ever had. If only I could remember their names…
We checked into our hotel (an Ibis, nothing too fancy), where we had a top floor room with a small balcony overlooking the very pretty, but slightly desolate street. After changing into warmer clothes, we braced the cold and went on hunt for a fancy French restaurant. After a good amount of searching, and getting turned away by local restaurants that were full, we ended up eating at the moderately priced, not-French restaurant right next door to our hotel, because we were too hungry.
The next day we ventured out and wandered around the shops and little cobble streets. We had fresh croissants for breakfast and stumbled upon an indoor farmers market, went to the Jardin botanique de l’évêché (which is a must see, overlooking the river Venant), and the visited “iconic” bars along the route every 20 minutes because the cold weather was too much. At night we went to an Irish bar, and got grocery store sandwiches for dinner, and had a romantic night; in the safety of our heated hotel room out of the cold.
What I took away from the trip was; Limoges is probably a beautiful place when the sun is shining and the weather is warmer, but going in the winter unequipped of proper warm attire and a basic knowledge of French is, my friends, “not the one”.
Borrowed clothes: on this trip I wish I had borrowed more clothes, because I remember being very cold. I borrowed a flatmate’s kimono, which I now wonder its current whereabouts. I also had to borrow a pair of socks from Rhys, because I needed two pairs of socks to keep my feet at a comfortable, non-freezing temperature.
Pro travel tips:
- GO IN THE SPRING OR SUMMER. There are so many cafes and restaurants that open out to beautiful and historic squares, I’m sure it’s much nicer this time of year.
- If you do go in the winter, bring extra pairs of tights to wear under your jeans. Trust me. It’s that cold.
- Don’t go to Pauls. We thought it was a cute cafe- turns out it is a chain cafe. I’ve now seen one in the mall near my house in the USA, and all around Europe.