For the purposes of this trip report, I'll start with my TGV from Brussels Midi train station where I headed to CDG airport, staying at the Sheraton. I went to the Paris Air Show on Friday. Then I toured Chartres and St. Denis to view medieval architecture, which I ended up enjoying more than the air show! I shouldn't say such things on the a.net forum, but it's my trip report anyway! I did enjoy the air show, but history and architecture are some other hobbies of mine, so you'll see some examples of that. If you saw my "Charlemagne" trip report, then you might remember my history side.
Here's my TGV at Brussels taking me to Paris CDG Airport.
The Platform at Brussels.
It was a fun train ride. We made one stop at Lille and then on to Paris CDG. The train was headed to Marseilles, not for central Paris. I was staying at the Sheraton CDG, so it made more sense for me to just go to CDG and take the escalator to my hotel room! For most of the ride I hung out in the buffet car where I could stand up and have a good view.
The ride from Lille was very fast and looked familiar as it's the same track I remember from when I took the Eurostar several years ago.
Here's the platform when I had arrived at CDG2.
Here are some shots from when I went into the city. Here's Sacre Coeur.
I love the sidewalk cafes.
This bridge has an amazing history, which I won't bore you with at this moment.
The view from my room at the Sheraton CDG.
Most of the MD80s I see are usually shiny!
So then I went to the Salon Le Bourget, the 100th Anniversary Paris Air Show.
Here's the plane I want if I win a couple lotteries. One lottery wouldn't do, probably.
With a nice climb!
Retro-painted A320, which shows up again in this trip report
The first AF 747 that I boarded on my trip.
A great view from the exit. Inside is worth a visit, but my pictures aren't the best.
You won't see this at any other air show. Here's the French flair!
Now after a nice long day at the air show, where it was actually cold, it was time to go home. Look how many people were on my side of the train tracks, and how many were on the other. It was one reason I stayed at the Sheraton CDG. Hundreds of thousands of people were taking the train to Paris. Hardly anyone was taking the train the other way, to the airport.
The Cathedral of St. Denis! This used to be way north of Paris, but now it's in Paris, just in the northern part. It is THE typical example of Gothic architecture. Gothic architecture developed in France in the late 12th and early 13th centuries. I went to the three best examples, St Denis, Chartres, and Notre Dame of Paris.
St. Denis here was by far the highlight of my trip (for me, but maybe not for the average a.netter).
A view of the inside architecture. Notice how "light" it all is. This is the best example of their leaving the Romanesque behind and moving into Gothic. Gothic is light air airy. Romanesque is dark and thick-walled. This was the first church with such light architecture. It's hard to imagine how revolutionary that was at the time.
Now that feeds the architecture hobby. The 61 monarchs buried here at St. Denis feeds the history hobby.
Look at the dates of these tombs. You might not recognize the names. Clovis was the founder of Frankia, emerging from the fall of Rome and the subsequent warring of the Goths and Visigoths. Clovis is a very important name in France (he was actually the first French king) and the name Clovis got truncated to Louis. He started the Merovingian dynasty, which ended 4 centuries later with the Carolingians, and Charlemagne was the founder. If you want to see where he's buried, click this link to see Charlemagne and read another trip report.
Here are the tombs of Clovis and his son Childebert.
About 60 miles southwest of Paris, here is the cathedral of Chartres. Notice the two different towers. One is original from the 12th century and one is late gothic from the 16th century.
It's much darker inside than the St. Denis.
Oh right. I did fly home. Here's the info on the flight!!
Terminal 2F at CDG was an architecture marvel in itself (but don't I remember the roof falling once?).
Just think architecture when you look at the next three pictures.
Seat 15L in Y
About 7 hours
1 hour late departing. On-time arrival.
I picked the AF 744 because it was one of the very few flights that looked OK for flying standby on the day after the Paris Air Show rapped up. My route was CDG YYZ DFW. So this was my first Transatlantic flight that had nothing to do with the United States.
It was a bit stressful getting a boarding pass, but I finally did get one. Here it is:
One of my favorite paint schemes--Kenya, the Pride of Africa
When we boarded, we got on a bus to be driven to somewhere near Orly airport about an hour away! Just kidding. It was a long drive. And there was no hurry. We boarded on time but didn't leave until an hour late. There were recounts and reconfirmations whether or not the bussed passengers made it. It seemed very disorganized and no regard to timeliness. I know AF buses many flights a day, but they didn't seem to have their act together.
View of the plane from the bus.
Though the engines don't look very huge, especially compared to a GE90.
From the top of the stairs.
I had hoped for an upstairs seat, but didn't get one. My seat was the second row of coach, which was a good seat, and I ended up with a window next to an empty middle.
Looking forward in the cabin.
Looking to my left.
The seat in front...with no TV.
Just after pushback.
Here's the special A320, probably on its first revenue flight after the Paris Air Show!
Why the blurry 767 picture? That's AA49 CDG-DFW, going nonstop home! It looked really full, but it turns out I would have gotten a seat in coach had I tried. It left with one empty seat.
Once we landed, I saw this again and took a picture. Why all the abandoned DL connection CRJs? Anyone know?
And here's Air Canada.
On stand in YYZ.
Notice it doesn't have the new Air France KLM logo in the front. It still has the old "Groupe Air France." Yes it's an old 747!
Another shot. I could look at that all day!
Immigration officers were in the hallway immediately after deplaning pre-screening people. They saw my US Passport and asked if I was simply transiting, and I told them I was. They waved me on.
After getting through Canadian customs and immigrations, I looked at the monitor and saw my flight, AA to DFW, CANCELLED! I couldn't believe it. I was in YYZ for no reason at all. In Canada for no reason at all. And my flight cancelled! Fortunately, the late flight to DFW didn't offer many connections, so I listed for it and they managed to squeeze me on in the window seat in the very last row. I took no pictures from that flight, as I was seated by two colleagues from the airline, and I was a bit tired.
Here are some interesting shots from YYZ.
BW 738 to POS.
Olympic. I think their A340s really look like 707s with the classic paint Olympic still has. There's my 747 and an Air Canada Star Alliance livery just past it.
After spending a stressful hour or two trying to figure out if I'd get home or not, I then went through customs again, and used my Priority Pass to gain access to the AA Admiral's Club, where I relaxed until it was time to go to the gate and await my fate whether or not I would be boarded to DFW. I thought about getting a pass on Air Canada, but after the dust settled from the cancellation, it looked like there were about 18 seats on the DFW flight, so I chanced it and it worked out.
So I managed to fly CDG-YYZ-DFW on AF and AA, avoiding AC completely!
Thanks for enduring another of my long trip reports!
FX772LRF From United States of America, joined Apr 2009, 675 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 13497 times:
Nice trip report Matt! I've been waiting for a trip report of someone that attended the Pairs Air Show. Sorry that your flight was cancelled in YYZ, but what are you gonna do? I hope you enjoyed your trip to Paris and had good flights home.
Cleared to IAH via CLL 076 radial/BAZBL/RIICE3, up to 3k, 7k in 10, departure on 134.3, squawk 4676, Colgan 9581.
Funny thing. I was there last sept. and I ate at the exact same place. And you know what, we had this very server serving us. Brought back a lot of memories for sure...
Thanks for writing this report n sharing it with us...
MadameConcorde From San Marino, joined Feb 2007, 11042 posts, RR: 36
Reply 11, posted (5 years 7 months 3 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 11048 times:
This is a very good trip report by all means.
Not only did you cover the Paris Air Show and your flights but you also covered a lot of essential historical sites in Paris and its surroundings.
We can see beautiful pictures of the Sacré-Coeur and Place du Tertre in Montmartre, the Conciergerie where Queen Marie-Antoinette was jailed before she was guillotined, with the bridge named "Pont au Change" http://lefildutemps.free.fr/paris/pont_change.htm
and the cathedral of Saint Denis with the tombs of the Kings of France and the beautiful stained glass windows and majestic organ by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll the famous organ builder from Toulouse.
Also you went to the Air Museum to see the two Concordes the first ever flying prototype F-WTSS and F-BTSD one of the last two AF Concordes to fly commercially.
You posted nice pictures of the terminal building at CDG.
I was also at the Paris Air Show and my side visits were made to towns in Picardie such as Senlis and Beauvais which house two of the most ancient and most famous cathedrals of France.
Beauvais has the tallest cathedral and Senlis has a cathedral which Jeanne d'Arc had visited as she had resided in the town. I also went to Chantilly a town famous for its Castle and horse racing track. Pink Floyd gave their last concert in France on the horse racing track grounds at Chantilly.
I like your video of the A380 flying demo. Friend Jacques Rosay and his co-pilot Guy Magrin both total 79 years of flying expertise. They are both former Air Force pilots from the French Air Force with many flying hours on Mirage and Rafale. They display the A380 just like a ballerina on a world Opera stage.
Mr Magrin is in charge of directing the new A-350XWB project and will be the Chief test pilot for the new aircraft if all goes well. I was happy to see that his health is much better so I hope he will bring the new plane to its completion. This is my picture of Mr Magrin sitting at the flight deck of prototype F-WWOW right after they got back from their flying demo on the Wednesday. Notice how he is all dressed up for flying with the shirt and tie.
The Men at work up in the air - A380 F-WWDD flying display
The other prototype equipped with Engine Alliance engines was used for the flying displays. F-WWOW was presented at the static display.
The Air Show grounds seen from inside F-WWOW
Under Concorde's wing.
The Seine river in Paris near Notre Dame cathedral with the Ile Saint Louis to the left and the Left Bank to the right. The statue on the bridge is Saint Genevieve, Saint Patron of Paris.
The TGV train that was going to take me back. French high tech on rails.
I hope you did not mind me adding these few pictures of my visit to your trip report, which I
reallly enjoyed as it was so complete. It covered a lot of areas and subjects and reminded me of many good moments.
Thank you very much for your good work.
[Edited 2009-08-11 07:39:56]
There was a better way to fly it was called Concorde
JAGflyer From Canada, joined Aug 2004, 3648 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (5 years 7 months 2 weeks 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 10458 times:
Very nice trip report to my home airport. I especially enjoyed the landing videos with annoucements. As far as I know, the DL CRJs have been parked there for months. When I was working at the airport in the winter they were still there. As for the Olympic A340, it is by far my favourite aircraft/livery of all the airlines at YYZ. Something about that plane excites me and I was shocked when I heard OA might pull out of YYZ all together.
Support the beer and soda can industry, recycle old airplanes!