14 May 2008

Charles De Gaulle Airport

Due to unforeseen weather in Philadelphia, a number of flights were cancelled or delayed. One of those flights was the one we were scheduled to take from Philly to New York, connecting to a direct flight to Rome. The weather in Philly didn’t seem all that bad to us—it was only rain—but it had grounded almost all flights that day.


As you can see, we made it onto a plane--this is the weather in Philly from the plane window, above.



After some passionate pleading from Jessica, the now-legendary Bob-of-Delta managed to get us re-booked onto Air France
flights to Paris and then to Rome. Our experiences at Charles de Gaulle airport, after nine hours of flight and some very spotty sleeping over the Atlantic were at the point when everything had become comical, due to lack of sleep and excitement that we managed to make it to Europe at all. Here’s Jess de-planing onto the tarmac, at left.



And Mark and Mia getting onto the bus at the airport (which then took us on a lovely tour of almost the entire airport. Somehow I think we might have appreciated that more were we not jet-lagged and loopy!), below:

De Gaulle is a fascinating airport, full of interesting lines, shapes, and a lot of windows. It’s interesting lines and shapes lead to a lot of confusion indoors—where lines include people in addition to nice aesthetics. Here’s a view of the outside of the airport:


We took in the sights indoors as well, ranging from women and men sporting high fashion (and rather a lot of fruity and flowery perfumes) to magazines to bizarre fliers. Posted throughout the airport were signs about one man in particular. Have you seen this man?




Customs was so laissez-faire that the bored agent didn’t even bother to stamp my passport—he just glanced at my visa and handed back my passport. We had some interesting experiences going through security again (including a baby being hand-wanded, me having a conversation in French about my (full) water bottle, and a lovely Gallic shrug at timetables and the harried Americans who kept cutting in line as they tried to make their flights), but we managed to make our connecting flight—by a mere five minutes. Here’s Mark and Mia re-planing, as we take off for Rome:

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Works Cited

Fiona Wild, ed. Eyewitness Travel Rome (London: Dorling Kindersley Limited, 1993), 2007 edition.

Hawthorne, Nathaniel. The Marble Faun. New York: Penguin Books, 1990/1860.

James, Henry. Daisy Miller. New York: Penguin Books, 2005/1878.

Powers, Alice Leccese. Italy in Mind: An Anthology. Toronto: Vintage Books, 1997.

Steves, Rick. Rick Steves' Italy 2007. New York: Avalon Travel Publishing, 2006.