3月16日から同月28日まで、白井研究室の赤ちゃんチームはフランスへLaval Virtual 2017の展示に参加するためにフランスへ行きました。私がフランスに旅行に行くのはこれで２回目になります。
From March 16th to March 28th, the Real Baby – Real Family team from Shirai-lab embarked on a journey to France where the team participated in the 19th Laval Virtual Reality exhibition. This is my second time in France and first time in Laval and Rennes.
I landed on Paris`s Charles Du Gaulles Airport on the evening of March 16th and after some navigation arrived at our hotel in Paris thanks to my other lab mates Yuya Mochizuki and Takaya Asano. At our flat we are joined by the 4th member of the expedition team Marika Higashida. After some very quick dinner the team quickly fell asleep.
On the first full day the entire team walked to Louvre Art Museum for some sight seeing. The Louvre Art Museum used to be a fortress for the French King Philip Augustus and is later converted into an imperial palace and finally to an art museum. The museum is the undisputed biggest art museum I have seem to date and that is saying a lot as being a professional artist I made it my priority to visit as many art museums as I can. There are probably over five floors inside the art museum and at times an entire room from the floor up to the ceiling are covered with art pieces. The pieces exhibited there ranges from old fortress wall sections and castle moats (yes actual entire fortress sections the sizes of 3 story building), to European art master pieces and Greek statues. At the end of the day the entire team is dead tired and resorted to taking the train back to our hotel.
We toured the French Morning market on the second day which while doesn’t seem like much is a street market open only on Saturday. There the team practiced our English and very limited French skills. The third day is mainly a working day where we didn’t finish our SIGGRAPH VR Village submission till late at night.
On the forth day three of the expedition team, Marika, Yuya, and I went to the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower. Takaya Asano had to stay behind due to some unfinished works for the Laval Exhibition that is yet to come. Before our visit to Arc de Triomphe there were some initial debates as to whether we should even visit the structure due to our limited time but I was and am very glad I had went there as it would prove to be the highlight of my trip. The arc was commissioned by Napolean at the height of his power where the emperor wanted an arc for soldiers to march under after returning from a successful military campaign. It stands at the heart of Paris and is connected by 12 other streets, forming a star like geography with the arc right at the middle. It is 50 meters, or roughly 15 floors tall and is much bigger than I originally anticipated (I thought it was just a small arc roughly 4 stories tall). The entire arc is covered by stone relief sculptures featuring soldiers and angels. Our small team of three actually paid an entrance fee to go up to the arc (yes you can actually walk up there) where we gets to see the entire city of Paris. The arc also functions as a small art and history museum where soldiers’ uniforms are stored inside. After the arc we went to the Eiffel Tower which proves to be somewhat of a let down as it is just a giant steel structure. The team decided not to go up the arc due to the long waiting time (45 minutes) and expensive ticket.