Archive for Roissy

impressions, soleil couchant (#2)

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on July 12, 2014 by xi'an


impressions, soleil couchant

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2014 by xi'an


ABC in Le Monde?

Posted in Books, pictures, Statistics, Travel, University life, Wines with tags , , , , , , , , , , on October 29, 2012 by xi'an

In the plane to Chicago, while being stuck on the tarmac at Roissy airport for an hour, I went through my newspapers, only to have the pleasant surprise find in the science leaflet of Le Monde that my co-author Arnaud Estoup, senior researcher at INRA in Montpellier (CBGP), was mentioned in a full page article for his work on the multi-colored Asian lady beetle (Harmonia axyridis, HA), establishing “that the recent burst of worldwide invasions of HA followed a bridgehead scenario, in which an invasive population in eastern North America acted as the source of the colonists that invaded the European, South American and African continents, with some admixture with a biocontrol strain in Europe“. Obviously, Le Monde does not goes as far as mentioning ABC, which was used in our paper to compare scenarios, i.e. to make ABC model choice! (I may also add that the invasion of those Asian bettles in our neighbourhood is a real nuisance and, each Fall, I keep checking for any sign of black beetles inside the house before disaster strikes…)

Despite an inauspicious start (RER B train finishing its trip in Paris and forcing me to board in a hurry a taxi to the airport, abyssal mess at Roissy airport [now, that’s a surprise!], departure delayed by 90 minutes), I got some work done during the nine hour flight, including reading and reviewing a PhD thesis, and I even managed to get my connection from Chicago to Des Moines despite a tight 45 minutes transfer time! At a personal level, this reminded me of the very first time I flew to the US, in August 1987, as it also was through O’Hare and I also had to rush to get my connection to Lafayette, Indiana. Even more anecdotally, this AF0664 flight from Paris to Chicago happened to be the very last one, as the route is discontinued by Air France. The second flight to Des Moines was on a small propeller plane and, despite sitting next to an obnoxious drunk woman who wanted me to know everything about her [dull, so very dull] life, quite pleasant: I finished reading in the Midwest sun the highly entertaining thriller by Cédric Villani, Le Théorème vivant. (Obviously soon to be reviewed on The ‘Og!)

most hated airport in the World!

Posted in pictures, Travel with tags , , , on November 29, 2011 by xi'an

The Charles de Gaulle airport, on which I posted my list of complaints a while ago, has been nominated “the most hated airport in the world” by CNN Go. They mentioned

“Grimy washrooms with missing toilet seats don’t help. Nor do broken scanning machines and an overall lack of signage, gate information screens and Paris-worthy bars, restaurants or cafés. The baffling circular layout is worsened by warrens of tunnel-like structures, dismissive staff and seething travelers waiting forever in the wrong queue.”

This is about Terminal 1, whose circular design is indeed nonsensical since there are only two exits to the circle. The picture on the site is in Terminal 2, with the huge posterboard at the exit of the train station. My complaint with Terminal 2 (I rarely use Terminal 1 for frequent-flyer reasons) is not about the toilets (they are fine by French standards), nor about scanning machines (I actually registered for an automated passport scan that cuts queues dramatically when both entering and leaving the country), nor about the bars and restaurants (I do not eat, nor drink), but rather about the poor design (or rather the outgrowth of the design:) a linear layout of the airport that forces travellers to walk long distances (often doubled by the fact that the luggage room exit is as far as possible from the train station) since there is no inner train, a flight density that often induces bussing passengers for dozens of minutes (this is always the case when flying to the UK), and a very poor train connection to down town Paris (there is no direct train, all trains stop in a myriad of Northern suburban cities).