Even as I was apologizing for using a previously undefined acronym (RER) I used yet another undefined acronym. CDG is the acronym for the main international airport serving Paris. More specifically these are the initials of General Charles de Gaulle. For those of us of a certain age (certainly me) the name of Charles de Gaulle has many, many associations. My personal associations are tied to the French WWII General and hero who became a statesman and political leader of his war ravaged country. He was the French President during my first years as a student of French, so he gets extra credit in my recollections.
Le Général de Gaulle was historically and literally a larger than life individual. He led the Free French Forces from exile in England and returned to French soil after the 1944 liberation of Paris. He was heroic in deeds and in stature. He was especially tall. His official height is listed as 6’5″ or just a bit shy of 2 meters!
There are many monuments dedicated to his memory in Paris, in France and even beyond. The most familiar “monument” is the airport located about 15 miles (25 km) from Paris. Those of us who fly to “Paris” will see our destination listed as “CDG” by travel aggregators (travel *aggravators* I like to call them) and airlines. Many travelers know that CDG stands for Charles de Gaulle but don’t know much about the man. Heathrow airport is named for the company that owns and operates the London international airport. Aéroport de Paris-Charles de Gaulle is named for a true national hero. Nice touch, don’t you think?
I’m frequently asked what’s the best way to get from CDG into Paris. I’ve tried ’em all and I still can’t say definitively which one is “the best”. There are too many variables to consider such as; time of day, level of fatigue, language familiarity, ultimate destination, cost and duration tolerance, and such.
In my opinion truly “the best” would be to have my personal French chauffeur greet me immediately after I emerge from the airport’s interminable lines and many document inspection points, take charge of my luggage and then whisk me away to Paris! That would be positively heroic.