Dr. Hoffer's Travel Site This site was last updated 03/12/13
UK1999 #4 Paris: Champs-Elysées
Flag of Paris
Paris view of Notre Dame on the Seine
Sunday, June 6, 1999
I woke up at 9:00 AM and by 10:00 I was on my run and heading down to the Champs-Élysées. This famous avenue runs for 1.2 mi (1.9 Km) and is 230 ft (70 m) wide. It runs from the Place de la Concorde in the east, with the Obelisk of Luxor, to the Place Charles de Gaulle (formerly the Place de l'Étoile) in the west at the Arc de Triomphe where I started. Further to the west, the avenue is lined with cinemas, cafés and restaurants, and luxury specialty shops (below left.) The Arc de Triomphe (below right) was built to honor the victories of Napoleon Bonaparte. The weather was a little cool and drizzly making it good for running. Below are two aerial stock photos of the street from two directions.
Here is a stock photo of what it looks like in the evening hours.
At 10:45 AM, just outside the hotel, I bumped into Dr. Hal Sawelson and his wife Sylvia from Key Biscayne, FL who I have known since the early Implant Society days. She is a professional singer and sang with Dr. Kelman during the musical I produced for AIOIS Meeting [American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery] at the Century Plaza Hotel in 1977. They invited us to join them for dinner that evening. Then I headed across the street from the hotel and at 11:00 I went to Mass at St. Honoré d'Eylau [66 Avenue Raymond Poincaré, +33-14-501-9600] Below are stock photos of the church.
At 2:00 I decided to go out and take some photos of the Eiffel Tower and then it started raining so I went back to the room and took a nap until 4 PM. At 4:30 I went to Notre Dame Cathedral (Boutique) and the left bank and saw the Sorbonne (University of Paris). Paris Sorbonne University is the main inheritor of the old Sorbonne, which dates back to the 13th century. It was one of the first universities in the world. The biggest complex in France, dedicated to Literature, Languages, Civilizations, Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, is located on the original medieval foundations, and now extends to the Latin Quarter and to other areas in Paris. Below are diagrams of Notre Dame.
Here is a unique 360° panorama of the interior of the church (main altar in the center.)
Below are some video shots I took of the building.
Here is a map showing the island in the Seine River where the church is located. Below right is an example of the many gargoyles that cover the building which are water spouts.
[In 2013, Notre Dame celebrates its 850th Anniversary and there is a stamp issued for it (below.)}
Here are my shots of the Sorbonne or University of Paris.
Marcia joined me as I was exploring and we came across the Thermes de Cluny which is the ruins of Gallo-Roman thermal baths lying in the heart of Paris' 5th arrondissement dating from the turn of the 3rd Century AD. Below are photos from my video camera. It was closed so I had to take them through the protective fence.
It is believed that the bath complex was built by the influential guild of boatmen of 3rd Century Roman Paris or Lutetia, as evidenced by the fact that the consoles on which the barrel ribs rest are carved in the shape of ships' prows. Like all Roman Baths, they were freely open to the public, and were meant to be, at least partially, a means of romanizing the ancient Gauls. Here is a stock photo of it I found without the fence. Below right is a model of how it once looked before it was destroyed at the end of the 3rd Century.
The present bath ruins constitute about one-third of a massive bath complex. The best preserved room is the frigidarium, with intact architectural elements such as Gallo-Roman vaults, ribs and consoles, and fragments of original decorative wall painting and mosaics.
We got back to the hotel and I changed; this time into a sport jacket and tie which I rarely do unless at professional meetings. The Sawelsons joined us and we took a cab to dinner. At 8:45 we arrived at the fabulous La Grande Cascade [Allée de Longchamp, Bois de Boulogne, +33-14-527-3351] which is housed in this previous royal hunting lodge in Paris' "Central Park" near the Siene River. To download their present MENU, click it.
I took this video pan of the front entrance and park.
It is quite elegant and we were given a table in the circular pavilion area.
I went outside a took a picture of Marcia sitting at the table.
I took photos of Sylvia (left) and Hal (right) ...
... and one of Marcia then Hal took one of me.
You see that big ice bucket on the table? Well, it is full of bottles of bubbly of various varieties.
Our waiter was very good and took very good care of us.
The room was beautifully decorated from floor to ceiling.
I didn't take a menu and didn't write down what we had eaten, so here is an example of a fixed menu.
MENU "DISCOVERY" 885.5 FF (€135.00)
(Scheduled for the
Our prices are taxes and service included. Payments by check are not accepted.
Food and wine pairing, suppl. 315 FF (€48.00)
seized a la plancha
infusés in a broth with lemongrass and coconut milk
Turbot cooked on the skin melting sea apples and spinach marinière for shells
Guinea fowl cooked in casserole bursts of chestnuts, and onions-shot fades simmered au jus whipping sauce
Beaufort matured eighteen months in chips nuts, apricot and arugula
Sun & Shade domain "Soleil de Midi" 2008
Fine meringue light cream with chestnuts and Ardeche dark rum
blackcurrant sorbet Of scallops St. Jacques
languages and marinated raw sea urchin olive oil raised the citron peel
Saint-Pierre filet cooked in seaweed steam
artichoke agnolotti with almonds and scallions broth soup with herbs
Macaroni celeriac, foie gras and black truffles parmesan gratin
Sologne deer rubbed cocoa radish leaves kale and mustard cremone cherry pepper juice
Beaufort matured eighteen months in chips nuts, apricot and arugula
Jivara milk salted caramel nougat glacé way granny smith and Exotic freshness
emulsion banana curry rice
I let Hal decide on the wines since he knows more about French wines than I do. They started with some wonderful breads and then an amuse bouche (below right.)
I really don't remember what it was (below left.) Then they brought us this bowl ...
... and came around and laddled a green liquid over it ...
... and then another came around and poured a brown fluid over the top. It became a soup and was very good.
Our next course started as a plate of langostines ...
... and added fluids over the top of them as well.
The next course was a rolled pasta of some kind.
Then in came the presentation of the two game hens on a silver platter.
He then sliced it and plated it for us.
Then the ubiquitous French cheese tray was brought in and they described all the cheeses for our choosing.
My selections (below left) were very good. They then brought us a passion fruit papaya dessert (right.)
We enjoyed that (left) and then more desserts (right.)
After I was finished I took a trip to the men's room which is up on the next floor (below left.) The facilities were interesting with this long waterfall sink (below right.)
The dinner was absolutely incredible but the price was even more so at 2,492 francs ($400) for the two of us. We took a cab back to the hotel and went to bed.
Tomorrow we catch the train to Munich.
KJH Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #5
Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD
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