Antibes & Parking

Our next destination was a town called Antibes.

We left Aix-en-Provence after breakfast and took A8. The sky was a little overcast but we were grateful because it was not raining.

As I mentioned before, the general weather in France during our holiday last year was volatile to say the least. In Northern France especially, they had lots of flooding and also sudden hails brought about lots of damage to the vineyards in Southern France. During our last night at Aix-en-Provence, we heard through an open window, the rain drops hitting the leaves of the lime trees lining the street while watching an evening news. ‘Oh god! Look mom!!’ The scene on TV was extraordinary – the flash flooding causing havoc to Paris metro! The murky water was gushing into the entrance of the station and some of the unfortunate passengers who caught up in the event were taking off their shoes and trudging up the stairs. Mom and I both agreed that we were very lucky regarding the weather so far.

As we got nearer to Saint-Tropez, the passing vegetation changed to palm trees…

We came off A8 at Les Moulins and followed D35 towards Antibes. At one of the roundabouts along the route, we saw a rotunda-like apartment building…

It’s so 60’s like, don’t you agree? A very groovy looking building. I liked it very much.

Locating the entrance to a public car park was a little troublesome. We ended up driving around aimlessly along maze-like streets…

Eventually, we managed to untangle ourselves from the labyrinth and found the approach to the underground car park.

The car was parked at a bay number, 2082!

Mom and I were very happy to be out of the maze…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Gare de Toulouse-Matabiau

After circling around our hotel in a state of semi-panic more than a few times because all the approaches we should have taken in order to access a car park were blocked by extensive roadworks happening on Allée Jean Jaurès and Boulevard Bonrepos.

Eventually, we decided to park at a multi-story car park next to Gare de Toulouse Matabiau.

Must take a picture so I won’t forget where our car is.

The mainline station was undergoing a major facelift…

After checking in at the hotel, we headed back to the station. ‘Mum, why don’t we try the metro?’ We needed to do some shopping and there weren’t many shops around our hotel.

There were two policemen in the station concourse when we walked in. So I asked one of them if he could point us towards the metro entrance. He told us to use the stairs further up and to follow the sign. I thanked him and we headed to the stairs.

Which ticketing machines are for the metro???

I can’t remember which one was the correct one but eventually I managed to buy two sets of the returns for us.

Down the escalator…

And on the platform…

We used the line A from Marengo-SNCF to Capitole.

Our little adventure in Toulouse commences!

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

Bank holiday recap 1

Hope everyone had a fabulous bank holiday weekend. Even though the weather was on the chilly side, it didn’t rain (or snow!), and therefore, I say it was ok. During the holiday, we ended up not doing much other than driving to Greenwich and taking a walk around Shoreditch and Soho.

On Good Friday, we decided to visit Tall Ships Festival which was held around Greenwich and Woolwich. Despite my objection, Hubbie insisted on us driving there, rather than using public transport. ‘Woolwich Arsenal Pier is miles away from tube stations!’ Hubbie’s right index finger was firmly placed on a Google map on his Mac. Alright, alright, whatever. I was fine with the idea but Bella had another idea, so it turned out.

My pocket-rocket Bella is absolutely fine with travelling on tube or bus. However, she turns into an absolute nutcase if she is on my lap in a co-driver’s seat. I can’t tell you how many times she head-butted my chin while wriggling like a giant eel in my arms! Why, Bella? What is wrong? She was like in a state of panic, desparately wanting to run away. I should have moved to a back seat with her, but I had to assist Hubbie navigating London’s weekend traffic.

Into Blackwall Tunnel while holding threshing Bella in my arms…

Is there light at the end of the tunnel?

No, it was not to be. We managed to find Woolwich Arsenal Pier alright. But we couldn’t find any parking space near the festival! After driving along the blocks lined with double yellow lines, I spotted a sign for NCP, ‘Look! There is a car park!!’ Then, another disappointment. The gate was firmly shut, despite sporting the sign “SPACE”, why?! We had to give up visiting Royal Arsenal in the end…

‘Shall we go home then?’, sighed Hubbie as he steered the car towards the main road. ‘Let’s go to Greenwich Park! Bella can stretch her legs.’ I suggested, hoping the walk may calm her down.

Again, we were disappointed. Car parks around the park were choking with cars! Hubbie started to get cranky because he hated driving in a jam. ‘Well, didn’t I tell you visiting Greenwich by car would be a bad idea?’ I reminded him while I held down equally cranky Bella on my lap.

After arriving home, Hubbie headed straight to bed because he was starting to have migraine. And I made myself a cup of tea because my entire body was so stiff from holding wriggly Bella all afternoon.

What a Good Friday it was….

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

GANBARE! NIPPON Lotus @ Maddox Street

After finishing lunch at the Photographer’s Gallery cafe, I was scurrying towards Brook Street via Maddox Street, off Regent Street.
By the way, Regent Street was colourfully adorned with the flags of NFL.


The game started to get more attention in recent years.
Even though I wasn’t paying that much attention, the exhibition match played between the real NFL teams at the the Wembley Stadium was televised on TV during the peak time. Who knows, we may have our own American Football teams in future. We have plenty of brawny tall men in here too!

Anyway, I saw a gleaming white Lotus parked on Maddox Street…


Coming across super luxurious sports cars is not at all rare in London. In fact, Central London is saturated with them…


However, bumping into the one with a message to Japan was pretty novel!


ガンバレ!日本 – Come on! Japan, the slogan stated. A message to the land of the Rising Sun from the street of London.

However, it was a shame that a parking penalty was slapped on its windscreen…


The owner of this beautiful car would not be very pleased when he/she was back…

Kaori by Kaori Okumura

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