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Yali Wu :: Blog

July 22, 2009

Well, it is said that there are thousands of castles all over France, each one telling a story of the country' s long and colorful history. The most visited ones include the renaissance castles of the Loire Valley, which, fortunately is just two hours away by train, or car.  Since the train schedule turns out not very convenient for us, we decide to go on our own pace by renting a car~~ 

Driving on the French countryside is definitely more fun than we thought~ As Andrew is driving, we are all enjoying the beautiful coutryside and the farm animals, and cute houses along the way~ After several hours of following the GPS, finally we arrived at our first castle of choice: The Chambord! Chambord is the largest of the Loire castles, which used to be the hunting resort for the king François, see the picture:

 

The second one we went, which is said to be the most beautiful is called Chenonceau Castle. It is built right across the river of Cher, with gardens, forests and even a maze~ What a life in the castle~

The last one we went, called Villadry Castle, is famous for its beautiful garden and canal. There are so many smaller gardens in it (like the water garden, vegetable and fruit garden) that I almost get lost in it~~

Due to the lack of time, we did not get a chance to see more. But what we've see is definitely eye catching and worth the drive~ Hopefully we could get back some time in the future~

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July 18, 2009

I have already been curious of the charm of the French cuisine and why it is so well known around the world. During Dr. Robert France's visit to University of Rennes, France, we went out with him to a really nice restaurant in town and believe me, it is an amazing experience.

The French people do not rush meal, they take time, relax and enjoy it. Of course, wine is served to accompany the food as well. After spending half an hour tring to figure out the menu and what to order, we are ready to go~  The whole three-course meal took more than three hours! Every dish is prepared right before it is served, hot and fresh. An intereting difference is that in French, "entree" actually means "appetizer", and the main course is called "plats...". Fortunately Dr. France pointed it out to us before we make a serious mistake ^_^.  Now comes picture time:

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July 10, 2009

Saint Malo, a coastal city in northern France, attracts visitors both from the country and outside, especially during the summer.  With Great Britain just miles away through the English channel, it has a fantastic ocean view with several important military forts, as well as the city walls that surround the area.  Since it is just an hour away from Rennes, when we live, this is an attraction that could not be missed~  

 

Well, technically it is shares the same ocean with Miami beaches, it is just the temporature of the water and the air that makes the DIFFERENCE~ (see our coat...)

 

The kind of peacefulness and quietness is just unbelievable..... i think we are coming back again...

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July 01, 2009

It was one of my most efficient research meetings ever~ Dr. Jean-Marc Jezequel, the leader of the whole INRIA team,  is really knowlegeable and healpful. After discussing our issues in the semantic simulation of our language in their Kermeta tool, he immediate sees the point and offered a few really useful suggestions on how things could be done. The good thing is, he does not tell you the specific solution, but rather give you a set of alternative views and let you decide the solution yourself, as you see fit. That might be, what they call " the autonomy of researchers", where students are trained as independent thinkers and problem solvers:) I really like this atmosphere of doing research~

To interest our blog readers, some pictures here from an annual musical festival in Rennes, it was really good and full with passionate people~

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June 19, 2009

France is well known for its wine culture. In the Triskell research  team, it is usually the case that if a team member is leaving, he or she will host a little farewell party with some wine and traditional snacks, and all other members, including professors and staffs,  are invited to enjoy the wine and food. It is also the opportunity for networking and cultural exchange. During our stay here, we are fortunate to participate in such an event. It was great, pictures tell~

 

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June 09, 2009

As an importang part of our PIRE experience, wenkend trips are always enjoyable and help us relax from the week. We spent the last weekend in Paris~ Unfortunately the weather was not that nice, we were walking along the Seine River in the rain on Saturday and climbed the Effiel Tower (around 700 steps!). The exercise kept us warm, though~  Then we went to Notre Dame. The design of the cathedral is really fancy and detailed! It is just  so delicate and eye catching!  During the time we went there, some religious activities were going on, people were singing songs and candles were lit up. All over the church, there are sculptures and things like such.
 
The next day we went to the Museum of Louvre and museum of D'orsay, saw the Mona Lisa and Van Gough's art pieces. You know how huge those museums so, and we just had to rush from place to place.
 
Another thing I want to metion is the arc of triumph: very magnificent monument~. We climbed up to the tower and enjoyed the view of Paris from the center of the radiant square~ Twelve avenues radiate from the square, all of which are named after famous people or battles.

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June 05, 2009

Here are some pictures taken in the workspace, and a picture of the team having coffee~ The labs here are really quiet and people work independently. If they need discussions, they go to the conference room. Hmm, a good environment for focusing on work~

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May 28, 2009

It all started on a regular Sunday morning, when we packed, repacked and boarded on the U.S Airways to start a new adventure... Everything was exciting and pleasant until we landed in Paris and realized that the luggages were still delayed in the US.  Although frustrated at first, we calmed down and got ready for the high speed train from Paris to Rennes.

Three hours later, here we are: a medieval city with a perfect combination of historical heritages and modern high-tech facilities. With two universities located in Rennes, like 75% of the population are students!  One of the professors in the lab, Dr. Benoit picked us up in the train station and drove us to the lab and settle down stuff like housing and lab access.  Another professor, Noel, even took us to a local supermarket to buy some basic living stuff. People are nice to us and one of the things I especially like is that all the team members go for a coffee break at 4::00 PM together, when they talk and discuss things of all kinds, increasing the team spirit. We might have something like that in FIULaughing

Another good thing is: we all get our bags after 3 days, finally!

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