Marseille (May2017) – Day 7 & 8: Last Minute Shopping and The Return

Day 7 – Friday 19th May

Almost time to leave town, so it was time to do some supermarket shopping… Usually on my holidays I shop from place to place, but we did everything in one go!
Mr Travels dropped us at a nearby street near the supermarket… I had an hour to go around and shop… I lost track of time, but we still made it for the bus! I spent over €100 on food and drinks and other stuff. Wow, red wine in plastic bottles is cheap. Very cheap in France. I think I might miss all of this when Brexit happens. How sad to see cheap wine go. The money spent meant we got free cartoon playing cards which just came out. The girls got to play with trading cards! Hah!
It was worth spending all that money, I felt like I hadn’t done much shopping during the whole week. Heheheh. I also bought some more yarn, so that I can make a jumper for myself (I made a crocheted summer vest for Mrs Travels, and I thought I’m going to make a jumper similar to the design!).
It costs €1 for a single journey on the local bus.

Last evening meal consisted of many different small dishes to add into a pancake (like they do in China) and some egg fried rice with sausage.

Day 8 – Saturday 20th May

My last day consisted of repacking luggage and giving away things I didn’t need back at home, in which I gave to the Travels family. Missy I is really quick to get things… Missy S kind of misunderstood my intentions of my food stuffs… Those were for my friends and colleagues. (Must remember to send a food box next month).
Then I made both Missy I and S do a last minute violin practice (yes, they’ve started being musical… well Missy S gets the brownie points for the musical emotional effect – very talented!). Got Missy S to sing one song as she said she didn’t have time to play the short 1 minute piece! I had forgotten Missy S is quite shy when it comes to singing, but she did it anyway! Well done. 🙂
Now they were off to their classes, and the rest of us had last minute shopping to do… it was just so that I felt satisfied with the things I had already gotten, and also to shop more!
It was time to say my emotional goodbyes to the Travels family, gosh, I hate saying goodbye to them. Ended up crying. T_T (I’m crying now as I’m writing this, even though I’m listening to some uplifting Japanese shamisen music). Uh oh, I even made Mrs Travels and Missy A cry! Told the girls not to fight on my way out… (Siblings alway fight. I fought with Mr Stingy when I was young… still do…).
Mr Travels dropped me off at the bus stop I came to on my first day. Then I said another emotional goodbye to him and Missy I… I could she was about to cry too (but she’s a strong girl). Told her not to fight with Missy S so much, but she looked at me to say that’s not going to happen, LOL. 
Got on the bus. It was the usual €4.30.
Once I got there, I went to Terminal 1 and decided on what food to get… OMG. The old lady that stood behind me was so rude when I tried to order food… she didn’t even apologise as I stared at her when she ordered her food. Then when she had gone, the people behind thought to do the same. How dare they, so I stood my ground this time and ordered. Stupid and rude people!! I hope never to see them again. Grrrrr!
I sat in my usual place, where there was only two or three tables away from the main seating area. My food was ok. Felt happy to be full as well.

My flight was held up by an hour or two. So I sat upstairs, nearer to the toilets and watched one of my Korean shows on YouTube. Using the free WiFi was my benefit to having a better afternoon. 
I kept looking at the screen, and suddenly it flashed that our gate was ready… For some reason I always feel a bit of an outcast in the passport control queue. Chinese person in the queue with a Brit passport. Yep, that was me! ¬_¬

The flight was full again. I made sure I queued at the start and made sure no one pushed in front of me… My mood already sank that afternoon. 😦

We landed after a couple of hours on the plane. When we landed in Gatwick, I made sure to checkout at the scanning section, which is a faster queue than the people checking queue. Then zipped out towards the luggage belts and collected my suitcase….
Bolted to the train from North to South Gatwick and made it on time to get a train to London Bridge. I again used my Oyster Card… This time it was for definite that I paid £8.70 for a single journey. Don’t be fooled to pay for the £15 express price.

I arrived at London Bridge after 7 pm (this was two weeks before the van attack – I thought I must’ve been lucky).
It was a good week for a good rest of doing absolutely zilch! ^_^ Yippee!!

End of Days 7 and 8.

Marseille (May2017) – Day 5 & 6: Beach, Desserts and Raclette

Day 5 – Wednesday 17th May

Day 5 consisted of eating breakfast at Mrs Travels friend’s place where we had homemade breakfast of pancakes and muffins… Felt so privileged to go and eat in someone’s home for homemade food!! So happpppy!! 
Mrs Travels chatted about in French to her friend, so I sat eating and watching Missy A draw… It’s a half day in school for most French kids. (Their homework is more complicated than the British!).

Mini chocolate muffin was amazing! Tasted like it was from a shop, but no not at all!! ^_^

We headed to the local beach for a few minutes, and Mrs Travels said I should write this… Defo for the folks at work and home to see… I’m not always in the office!!! :p

These sandals made it to the bin on my last day… Heheheh, I bought new ones when I got back to the UK.

This is the view from Mrs Travels’ friend’s home. Amazing! Top floor too!!

We had spaghetti bolognaise that afternoon. ^_^

That evening we took Missy I to one of her gym/dance classes. Missy S had an hour to spare before her gym class, so we headed to the beach… it was hot! And I’ve realised I don’t like stony beaches that much… They huuuurt your feet!! But I did have a great massage from them I guess.

Day 6 – Thursday 18th May

What the beach again? We headed out to this one which is by the market near the girl’s school… We went looking for seashells which follow a legend… they are the shiva eye seashells which “symbolizes the creation, preservation and destruction of all from the flow of life”.

It was a nice cool day, and we were at the bakery quite early… got to glimpse at all these pretty cakes!! Awwwwww, I love French cakes!!

The girls and I got to try these out. Yuuuuuumy!!

Well, well, well, what was for dinner? Raclette time! I think I had loads of potatoes and cheese… At one point I had thought we ran out of cheese. What no more cheese? Of course not, Mr and Mrs Travels really think ahead. ^_^

Mr Travels coaxed Mrs Travels and I to watch a scary movie, so we ended up watching Wolf Creek, which wasn’t entirely scary, just gross. Am I getting immune to very mild scary movies, maybe! Mr Travels also made me some sweet version of cous cous… hmmm, how comes he served me a lot? I don’t eat THAT much. :p Think I prefer savoury cous cous. 

Our evening almost ended up being a good one but Missy I was apparently awake listening in on us, and got into trouble because of that…. Oh dear. 

End of Day 5 and 6.

Marseille (May2017) – Day 4: Return to Aix en Provence

Day 4- Tuesday 16th May

Last year when I went to Aix (pronounced X) I was a bit disappointed as it too me a long time to get there but had no chance to view the market. 
This year was a little different. Mr Travels happened to be heading towards Aix on this day for a training session, so I jumped at the opportunity to go… Going by car takes a shorter time, and a far better way to travel there! 
We went via the motorway, so there was a lot of traffic that morning. 
Mr Travels had to drop me off at the bus stop, and he asked an old lady if the buses at this bus stop was heading towards Aix. Yep, those buses were heading towards Aix. I think I took the bus 20, and I forgot how much it was for a single fare.

With a jolt on the bus, and we were off… I always seem to lose my grip on public transport, I stumble when I don’t have a good grip on the bars. ¬_¬””

I kept looking outside the window just in case I might miss my stop, but I saw a market ahead, and made my way out of the bus. Waved at the driver to say thanks. ^_^

Started to walk around, and it just felt like I was there the day before, I actually remembered the roads and the routes to some of the places in the back streets. LOL! What a good memory I have… but maybe it’s because I got lost a few times around the area.

Well the market seemed more for tourists than for the local peeps. Tried to buy some materials for Miss Vegan, but they were driving a hard bargain, so I bought some plain stuff… There were some secondhand stalls, but most of the stuff was expensive… or a reasonable price. It’s not like the market that I went to Marseille City last year – now that was fun!

Well walked around for a few hours trying to find something to explore… I think Miss Pinky would have stopped here if she had the chance… ^_^

It was time for luuuuuunch!! I couldn’t decide, but went for a “Quick” lunch. LOL!! I spoke in Anglais, because my French is just to crap these days.

I sat outside in the hot sun, so I had my apple crumble dessert first… Yum yum!!

Then onto the burger which had some French mustard, fresh salad and a medium rare beef burger… Oooh, nice! You don’t get medium rare burgers cooked liked this in fast food restaurants. 

Time to walk around again, but I got bored, so I went to the train station and bought my ticket to go back to Port de Bouc… tried to use the electronic machines, but realised I need one of those travelling cards, so I managed to find the ticket office… Gosh the French guy at the desk looked a bit unpleasant, but I managed to throw off a positive attitude… ^_^

Had to get a late train to Marseille City, so I walked back out to the centre of Aix, trying to get tanned but it was just too hot for me! Then I went back to the station and sat there doodling. ^_^

It was just after 3 pm when I got to Marseille… Mrs Travels had asked me to buy some stuff, so I walked fast to a tourist shop before my next train came, bought her stuff and some sovenirs…, then it was straight back to the train station to find a loo!

I’m sure that’s an Invader piece…. Have I seen this before?

My dreaded stairs… who built this station?!!

Managed to get back in time. Mr Travels’ mother came to visit, and she had dropped off a lot of food! ^_^ She knows I like her food!! It was couscous and stew that night.

The day was fun even though I didn’t buy or do much. Good small trip going back and forth!

End of Day 4.

Marseille (May 2017) – Day 1: an early start

It’s that time of the year again!! I went off and too a break from studying to go and see The Travels Family before Ramadan had started. ^_^
Day 1 – Saturday 13th May

I treated myself that morning and took an Addison Lee cab to get to Victoria Station. And I’m happy I did, because I hate waiting for the bus with my big suitcase… plus I hate crawling my luggage very early in the morning and waking up people with the wheels making so much noise. >_<""

When I got to Victoria Station, the gates wouldn’t take my Oyster Card so I followed the escalator downwards and decided to look for a card reader so that I wouldn’t get fined at the airport. I found an Oyster Card reader between Platforms 14 and 15, and so when I touched out at the airport it only cost me £8 something compared the actual Gatwick Express fee of £15… One Twitter user said it was a scam from National Rail! 😮 Anyway, don’t be fooled, and also try and not use the Express service. And for some reason the train messages will say that they can’t use Oyster when you use the Express train! 🤔 That’s a lie too, as their website said they do! Lies from Gatwick Express. Shame on you. 😠
Arrived at the airport in good time. Got lost at check-in, went up and down the escalator, but used the self service diligently, and also paid the extra £40 charge for heavy luggage. Heheheh. It was worth it, as my luggage was overweight when coming back but didn’t have to pay anything.
I must listen to my own words in future as the Euro really sells badly at the airports. Always go to a high street store!
I had my breakfast in a quiet Moroccan restaurant. The other places looked too busy for me to go to…
Then it was time to leave the country! It was raining in Britain and thankfully I was leaving the rain behind me.

I like sitting next to the window but I hate it when the flights are fully packed!

Arrived in Marseille Provence around 11am. I think the Travels family were happy for me to be early rather than late this time round (last year was awkward timing! It was rush, rush rush last year).
This year, it seemed they decided I that I am capable of using public transport to get to their home three-quarters of the way. Hahahah. We’ll it is cheaper than getting a taxi and petrol for Mr Travels. So I stood at the bus stand number 5 and waited for the number 38 bus to Martigues (I had forgotten all my French when I spoke to the person at the ticket office). Just to let you know, you have to put your own luggage in the lower part of the bus, as the inside of the bus is very narrow. It costs €4.30 still, and you pay on the bus. Prices haven’t changed since last year. 

Mr Travels met me after 1pm at Martigues Police Station stop. Missy S came along too who was very shy and quiet after a year. But we chatted along the way…
By the time I got there it was time to go to the beach… So I has to get a train from Port de Bouc to Sausset Les Pins.
I got to Sausset, and Missy I was at a friends party, and so we walked around waiting for Missy I. The weather kind of got cold as we walked…  Huh? What’s happened to this strange weather? The Travels Family always blame me when I come to visit… >_<""
Anyway, we got to eat some fresh churros after that long walk. 😃😃😃

We went back to the Travel’s Family home, and I travelled back by train…
The girls pointed out this strange fruit that was growing outside their home… looks like a mango fruit. LOL!

Every time I go back to see the Travels Family, there’s always an event going on locally… This was a hip hop competition for the area. Some were very good to watch. ^_^

Well, it was a long day. I was mostly the tired one.
But got to sleep on their sofa once again. Heheheh.

End of Day 1.

Back to Marseille 2016 – Day 8: Homeward Bound

Saturday 5th March

My last day. So sad to be going already. I had a fun time getting up early (which I don’t normally do for some reason) but thankfully the Travels family let me have a lie in. But we all seemed to have woken up by 8.30 am! >_<""

Well breakfast was served! Mr Travels decided to add a baguette to my picture but don’t worry, I didn’t eat this… :p

Before leaving, Mrs Travels really wanted time out… woow!! I guess family life can be stressful. I become like that sometimes and just really want time alone. Have my own space. Which is why most of my friends give me freedom to do things.

Anyway, Mrs Travels and I went out shopping in the market in Port de Bouc… I bought more clothes. Arrrgh!! Hopefully the weather will get better and I will wear them. Then we went to their local library where Mr Travels and the girls were – playing and reading. Their local library is really big… I actually am quite jealous!

Well it was time to go back to their home, finish packing (and they gave me chocolates and extra coffee! Thanks!). Missy S seemed upset I was going… awww… In the past she was the hardest to cheer up. Always so shy compared to Missy I. 
Mr Travels dropped me off to the bus stop as it would have been a journey for them to the airport and back. So I now have experienced a taxi and bus journey! The bus stop is in Martigues, near the tourist office). The bus stop is called Hotel de Police, and runs quite regularly. The journey to Marseille MP2 costs €4.30 (£3.36). Not bad. Cheaper than a taxi… it’s too bad I missed the bus when I arrived. 

It was an hours journey to the airport… just make sure you keep your bus ticket because it’s likely a ticket officer will be checking (which happened to me, and I had to empty my pockets to find it!).

I arrived at the airport with a heavy suitcase, and made my way towards the bigger building to have some lunch… I actually wanted that beef burger baguette I had the year before, but I think this years one was a bit boring, not enough sauce, and not appetizing enough. 😦 Boooo.

So I checked in after 3pm. There was a Manchester flight before the London flight, which was delayed… Our flight was delayed too by 15 minutes. It didn’t seem like a busy flight, but I sat next to two other women. I think it was their first time flying… I think there were a lot of first time fliers that day. Lots of students. I don’t think the flight attendants were too keen on us as there were a lot of French speaking passengers. No French alerts on the plane either. Hmmmm. That complicated things. 
During the flight I took a lot of in the air pics… the sun was setting… ^_^ I think you all must know by now how I’m a lover of the sunrise and sunset. It’s a geek thing. ¬_¬”

Well I landed in Gatwick after 6pm. I rushed to the passport check and decided to use the automatic gates… It was complicated, but I eventually got out. 
Arrived home after 8pm with my broken suitcase – time for a new suitcase!!!
Hope to go in the summer next year… just hope the weather is good… 

End of Day 8 and holiday.

Back to Marseille 2016 – Day 7: Avenue du Prado Market

Friday 4th March

One last school and one last market to go to. ^_^ It was almost a drastic morning with starting the car, a raisin stuck in the car belt was making us late!! Arrrggggh!! I hate school runs…!!! Although I think I held my composure quite well that morning. Plus I was getting tips about driving from Mrs Travels everyday… so I was pretty much composed.
Mr Travels said I should go to one more market before I leave. The market is called Avenue du Prado Market where you can get a lot of bargains – like cheap clothes, perfume and all sorts. So after the school run, Mrs Travels, Missy A and I went to the school’s nearest train station Sausset Les Pins (one of the rich/classy areas in Marseille). We bought my ticket (forgot the cost, but it wasn’t too bad). 
Mrs Travels and I took Missy A to the nearby play area… I sat on the small swing hoping it won’t break since it’s for children. Heheh… My train was around 10.14am, so we departed ways… however I got stuck! I didn’t know how to get to the other side of the platform!!! I thought I had to walk over the bridge, but no, you have to walk across the tracks like you would do in Texas. Ooooo. 

It was a shorter ride but still felt long getting to St Charles Station. From the station which I feel I know very well now I took the escalators to the Metro. Got my ticket (the 24 hour one) and then took the line going to Perier. From this station, I started walking to the right heading to Rond Pont du Prado. Then I started getting lost as usual. 😦 So I used Google Maps, but they don’t know where the market is! So I walked around the back streets and asked a few people in French where the market is… Finally I asked some people outside a restaurant and friendly person spoke to me in English… then said the market will be closing at 12… Arrrgggh!! I did a crazy walk heading back towards Perier Station. Why didn’t I go the other way?!

Well the crazy walk did me well, because the market was still open!! It’s there till 1pm. Mr Travels forgot to tell me which way to go!! Anyway I headed towards the market, the other side of the road is a flower market. I got a few bargains like perfume for €2! And it smelled nice!! Wow! I do recommend Avenue du Prado Market if you’re searching for cheap touristy things. Even the locals go there.

I realised when I reached the end of the market that I could have got off at this station Castellane and the market is in front of you. 😦

I was hungry as I didn’t have much for breakfast, so I went to the recommended restaurant – Mr Travels choice. I went to Quick. A French fast food restaurant. The bun was toast with a burger, cheese and salad. My server didn’t speak English, but at least I managed to order some food. She was a bit slow and flirting too much with the guys in front. Blaaaah. ^_^ Quick has free wi-fi by the way, so if you’re desperate for an internet connection, then go for a “quick” lunch. :p

I went back through the market, and bought a few more things… gosh… the market people move quickly. It was exactly 1pm, and lots of people had already gone.
I went back to Perier Station and returned back to St Charles. Then decided to walk around. 
I needed a loo stop and a dessert stop, so I ended up near View Port. Had a dessert feast!! 😀 I think they were making fun of me, but I didn’t care… Just needed the loo!! But make sure you pay first.

Next was another walk around and just a sit down to soak in some sun. I did get a face tan after this holiday which I’m pleased about. 😀

Found a fruit market near the station.

It was time to head back to the station. Wanted to get back to Port de Bouc and rest.
I really, really hate the stairs at the station. So much climbing. This was in preparation for my Easter Break destination which I’m no longer going to – change of destination. Mr Travels thought I wasn’t going to take the stairs, but I did! Hah!

I sat around the station for a few minutes with a fresh drink. It was really warm that day. Then the platform number was shown… 
I forgot to say, when travelling, if you have one of those long tickets, make sure you stick your ticket into the yellow machine. Got told off on one journey for not doing this! I will always remember now. 
Unfortunately I sat behind a couple who would not stop talking in broken Chinese-French (Chinese woman and a French man). So annoying, so talkative! Stick earphones on. Also take pictures. During the journey, I think I came across a refugee with no identification and no train ticket and the train officer who tried to get more information from him… was he a refugee or maybe a travelling gypsy? I don’t think I will ever know.

Returned back to Port de Bouc and was actually surprised Mr Travels was back early. Did he say he was coming back early? Can’t remember…

For dinner we made sushi!! Missy I doesn’t like seaweed, and Missy S is not fussed. Mr and Mrs Travels were greedily eating. Hahaha.

And for dessert we had mini cakes. Yaaaayyy!! And I somehow got the alcoholic ones (by default).

It was a good adventurous day. So happy I made this last trip. ^_^

End of Day 7.

Back to Marseille 2016 – Day 5 and 6: Rest Days

Wednesday 2nd March
Wednesday was more like a rest day, plus it was a half day for Missy I and Missy S. French schools seem to be lucky with this sort of system. Their education seems to be much better than the primary schools in England, they seem to learn more with languages, math, history etc., etc., thankfully as Mrs Travels said to me that they’re not using iPads and such technologies to teach children as it ruins the whole point of learning. Handwriting is important and learning the essentials is a must. Much advanced still… I think when I was their age at 7 and 8, I was still playing, learning maths, drawing a lot and was terrible at English grammar… they didn’t really teach I must say! Majority of my learning English was watching TV and reading a lot (my parents didn’t speak to me in English, which is probably a good thing because I wouldn’t have learnt Cantonese that way :D). To this day I think I’m still learning English by learning other languages… Did teachers in my day talk about what an adjective, noun or verb is…? ¬_¬”” No. 
So what Mrs Travels and I did, with Missy A in tow was walk around the school area… we walked for about 2 hours along the coastal line, it was a bit windy but I think Mrs Travels was exhausted by the time we sat down.

So we sat in cafe that I went to the year before and had a coffee and chocolate spread waffle. Yummy!!

Mrs Travels let me pick up the girls. Missy I is quite cool and calm before she goes out the school gates. Miss S is so excited to get out! Lol!! Such different characters from when they were babies… and then it was time to travel back…

Then suddenly (actually it was Mr Travels idea the night before) I took the girls to their nearby dance class, so I decided to go and sit around their local beach area… but it got windy, and then it started to rain. Huh! Where did this weather come from?!

This meant I needed to go back… and then ended shopping for family and friends (all the items are made in China… sorry peeps). XD … by the way, I seem to be asked a lot by local French people about directions!! Huuuuuh!!! Pourquoi! (Why?!)

We had raclette that night! How I love raclette… just melting the cheese and pouring it onto my potatoes and toasted bread. Yummy!

End of Day 5.

Thursday 3rd March
The night before Missy I asked where was I going next… I said I’m going to the market in Port de Bouc and then do nothing after that. And that’s exactly what I did!

The market in Port de Bouc only runs on certain days… and I think finishes around 1pm.

We had pizza that night! Thanks Mrs Travels for making these…!! I think I need to start making my own bases and try making my own pizzas. 😀

End of Day 6.

Back to Marseille 2016 – Day 4: Aix-en-Provence

Tuesday 1st March
It was another early start to the day. Get up. Wash. Drink coffee and eat breakfast. Then get into the car for the school run… Oh the joys of parenthood and dropping kids off to school in time and on time. It’s hard for everyone. The parents and the children!
Then back into Port de Bouc, Mrs Travels and I took our time that morning as we had already bought my tickets the day before when I went to Arles.
Mr and Mrs Travels kept talking about X this and X that… where is X? It’s actually spelt Aix and pronounced as X… Ooooo. I had no idea what they were talking about till I sat and had a look at some pictures of the area.
So, my train was just after 10am from Port de Bouc. It was an hours journey to Marseille St Charles station and then I had to change from there to Aix en Provence. As I had a little time before my second train I took some pictures of the city centre… It was nice day, calmer, sunnier and much warmer than the day before…

My train came after 12pm and went to my platform…
It was around a 40 minute train ride and so I took some pictures on the train… aaah, looks so warm outside…

Even Domo-kun from Japan enjoyed the view!

Arrived in Aix around 1pm… I basically had no idea where I was going, so I was going back and forth into and out of the station seeing if anyone could help, but no, so I followed some signs.

Got to this round-a-bout, and I was confused, so I used Google Maps to find my way to see if there was a market nearby…

In the end I went to the tourist office… looks massive! They said the market had closed when I arrived, so too bad. Maybe next time… so I went around the back streets and had a look around the area.

In Aix, there’s a lot of fountains! The area reminded me a of Paris, so I walked around the area.

Since I had loads of time, I went to this 17th Century house with a garden… I thought it would be grand but nothing much. There were a few people already there enjoying the sun and quiet life… It is a university town after all… Like going to Cambridge or Oxford…

After this, I went to find something to eat. There was a sushi place but I think it was closing in a few moments, so I decided on a baguette…
The person at this place was probably a bit nervous as my limited French seemed to intimidate him. My god… really? But anyway, I managed to order this baguette and get myself a coffee… I was hungry!!! Didn’t finish the baguette but at least it was a cheap lunch at around €7-8 (£5-6).

I went back around the area, exploring more and more of the back streets.

I think this was a mini Asian town…

At this point, I think I was going round and round in circles trying to find the park… so I gave up, and went back towards the centre.

I decided to go back to Port de Bouc early than expected… felt a bit bored of exploring… When I arrived back to Marseille St Charles Station, it was just after 5pm… and then I snuck a McDonald’s in before eating dinner at The Travels… :p Sorry… I had to…

End of Day 4.

Back to Marseille 2016 – Day 3: Arles

Day 3 – Monday 29th February

Sorry for the wait for Day 3 in Marseille! Busy catching up at work and I didn’t pre-write any of these entries like I ususally do. 😦 But now I have a 4 day weekend! ^_^

The night before Mr and Mrs Travels were telling me about which towns to visit in Marseille, there’s loads of small towns that are pretty famous and I’ve never been to them yet. So I planned my week ahead…

First town to visit was a town called Arles. Straight after the school with the girls, Mrs Travels and I went to the train station in Port de Bouc and bought the tickets from the ticket office since the machine was broken (I forgot the price but it was less than €30 (~£23)). My train wasn’t till after 10am, so I had a coffee or was it tea? (which I shouldn’t have had). So from Port de Bouc, I stopped off at Miramas… then I had to wait for the next train was more than an hours wait AND the loo was out of order… should have went on the train’s loo. 😦 Poor me. Had to hold it for a while. Next train came after 12pm and the journey was another 15 minutes… the loo on the train was out of order it seems. Noooo!!! But thankfully I found a loo on arrival. Phew.

It was a very, very windy day. I think this is the first time I have had to battle the weather in Marseille! Well, off I walked, turned left out from the station and followed the signs that said Centre Ville (meaning: village centre), and informed Mrs Travels I arrived. It was a short walk – about a 10-15 minutes depending on your speed.., but a cold walk…

Here I arrived at the town centre. I think these were once entrance gates in the town. What happened in the Roman period?
Yes, Romans once ruled this town! I felt like I was Van Gogh, just arriving in town and exploring the streets and places to take pictures (or in his case paintings) of. I’m sure many tourists have felt the same!

Then I saw the famous Roman Amphitheater which still stands here in Arles. I wonder what type of tournaments they used to watch… The cost of a ticket to enter into the site is €8  (~£6), but you can pay €15 (~£11-12) to see some other museums in the area. I opted for the €8 as I anticipated to eat later and maybe buy other things. Can’t spend all my money all at once! 

As usual I took a lot of pictures, enjoy for the next few scrolls!

I actually met two Welsh women in the amphitheater and got talking to one (Mr Travels was questioning whether they were actually men… nope, definitely women). Well, they had been in Marseille for a week and said the weather had just turned cold, and had travelled down via Eurostar which is mega expensive than the plane! Train should be cheaper right? No air fuel is used! Anyway, I think the lady I was talking to wanted to talk more… And I actually just wanted to walk around… ¬_¬”” pardon (in French)…

At this point I left in search for food! It was an exciting trip up and  down these ruins. I bet the Romans and French back then had long legs because those steps are quite high! 

Finally walking up and down in search of something to eat, I decided on this place called Restaurant L’Escaldou. I read the menu briefly and saw that snails were being served. ^_^ Yay! Snails! I actually watched a Japanese cooking drama about a Royal chef who went to France and cooked a lot of French food. Snails was one of them. 

There were hardly any customers that afternoon, just an old couple who was there before me, Mr Travels explained that Mondays is like a day off for most places… so it was empty, plus I think the restaurant was about to close for that afternoon before preparing for the evening customers.

I ordered the set menu which cost €25 (~£19), so you get a starter, a main and a dessert, plus a drink of your choice. It was a lot!! So as well as the snails, I had the lamb chop set with a red house wine and a chocolate mousse for dessert… 😀

Some of the snails had some grit inside which was unfortunate, but they went well with the sauce provided.

Had a lot on this plate, but I ate it all! The chips were sweet, the veggies were ok, I took the fat off the lamb and that was cooked medium. Good stuff!!

Gosh the chocolate mousse was a delight!!

Don’t worry I didn’t get drunk. Service was ok. Total cost came to €27.50 (~£21). Not bad!!

My geeky rating: 5/5

Address: 23 Rue Porte de Laure, 13200 Arles, France

Next, after a full stomach, it was time to go around again…

I arrived near the Van Gogh museum but unfortunately it was closed… 😦

I decided to walk back towards the station as it was too cold, but I saw the seafront and wandered around there… OMG I don’t think I should have gone there as the wind started blasting about, I felt like I was going to be blown away!! My pictures look as if all was ok, but boy was it windy.

I walked back the other way, and went to this structure… I went up but unfortunately it has a lot of graffiti. I don’t think the kids in France respect old remains like these. So sad. 
This was once a bridge called Pont des Lions built in 1868 but destroyed in 1944 during the Second World War. The lions were restored in 2008 it seems, but it’s too bad the bridge hasn’t been rebuilt as the next bridge is about 2 miles away.

Thankfully these ruins are next to the train station, I needed to feel the warmth, so I went and sat there for about 2 hours till my train came… but apparently I could have taken an earlier train! Oh!! I didn’t know that… but there was a crazy drunk woman who I didn’t want to be on the train with, so I sat and waited for the next one to come. 
I was so cold when I got back to Miramas Station and waiting for the next train back to Port de Bouc. Next time I’m going to Marseille in the summer!!! No way am I going back in February. :p
Thankfully Mrs Travels left me some food. How I needed this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I had a good nights sleep I think.

End of Day 3.

Back to Marseille 2016 – Day 1 and 2: Where did the sun go?

Day 1 – Saturday 27th February
Has it been a year since I’ve been on a holiday abroad? Yes it has.
This was a very much needed break as my stress levels were increasing and I needed to get out of London.
I had booked this holiday to see the Travels Family in November of last year (that’s how much I needed this holiday!!) with easyJet. Book early and the tickets are cheaper. ^_^
It was a good start to the day, I slept early and woke up early. Was out the door by 10 am, and then waiting at London Bridge for my fast train to Gatwick Airport. I bought the cheap ticket for £7.90. :p
Got to Gatwick in a flash! And then realised I’m booking in, in a different part I’ve never been to before… It seems easyJet have let a lot of staff go, because now there are self check-ins, and it’s AMAZING! I really LOVE it!! >_<""
So checked in, passed security, didn’t get checked this time, I think I managed to add all my liquids stuff into the plastic bag, and I had no belt too (I was wearing a dress!). Sat down, and decided what to eat… I saw McDonald’s in the distance, but just before I entered I saw Wagamama’s… Uh oh… that spells trouble for me. So I went into Wagamama’s and had a bowl of spicy beef ramen. Heheh.
It was almost time to find the gate, so I went to the loo and the gate number appeared afterwards… Walked mega fast to the gate, but there were already people there! Faster than me!!! Wooow… Luckily when I was boarding they were asking for rows 1 – 10 and speedy boarding passengers to board first. Lucky!
I sat next to a French couple, and the flight was full… Unfortunately there were some people at the back who just could not stop talking during take off and landing. It was painful till I decided to listen to some music. 
The flight was a short one thankfully, but when we got the off the plane, the weather in Marseille Provence Airport was extremely bizarre!! I always seem to bring the cold weather to France. 😦 It was windy and raining heavily. So sad… I battled through the weather and got to the other side quite  quickly (better than last year). Then I had to take a taxi to Port-de-Bouc. The Travels family couldn’t pick me up this time… The taxi ride cost me €64 (~£50). Not bad! 
Up in the skies

My plane with people returning back to England
Then it was now full steam ahead to our next destination, a theatre! Missy I and Miss S were performing in a dance show. Wow!!!
We arrived on time, and it was a first come first served seating… a little different to a normal show, I would say… 

Interval time with a pizza slice ^^

It was an extremely entertaining show seeing locals perform and dance almost like some professionals. ^_^ Well done!! And well done to Missy I and Missy S. They did really well. 
It was time to go back… an exhilirating start to my week’s holiday.
Grandma Travels (Mr Travel’s mother) made this cake
End of Day 1.

Day 2 – Sunday 28th Februrary
Sunday was spent with a short lie in for everyone.
Mr Travels said I should go to this fish market display which is about 4 stops away via train, but I missed the train and the buses!! Oh dear.
So I went back to the Travels family home, and stayed in for the rest of the day. It was cold and windy anyway… Where did the sun go?!!
Some large cous cous for lunch to battle the cold weather!
End of Day 2.