March 28, 1971

Real luxury – Breakfast in our room — Dressed & had a meeting in the Lobby – Harold and Ruth were heading for Versailles – The rest of us decided to make the trip to Chartres – It was a beautiful, bright and sunny day as we left the Hotel – We to…

Real luxury – Breakfast in our room — Dressed & had a meeting in the Lobby – Harold and Ruth were heading for Versailles – The rest of us decided to make the trip to Chartres – It was a beautiful, bright and sunny day as we left the Hotel – We took a walk up the Champs Élysées – the side walk cafes were full even at this early hour Sunday morning.

We walked to the Arc de Triomphe & took the elevator to the top

Arc_de_triomphe

from where we had a wonderful view of the City –

Pants

[Editor’s Note: This is the moment some of you have been anticipating.  If you didn’t already know this was the 1970s, the pants would have given it away.  And there I am in a telltale skirt and “mod” boots.]

We boarded the “metro” and went to the  Rail Road Station & took the train to Chartres – It is some 60 miles out of Paris & on our way we passed through Versailles where the palace by the same name is to be seen.

We arrived in the City of Chartres in time for lunch – The French mushroom Omelet was something extra special – another bright spot in the day!

In only a few minutes we stood before the beautiful cathederal of Chartres – At one time this very spot was the Druidical center where ceremonies were held around a well (since found under the Cathedral crypt) So this has been a sacred spot since the Gallo-Roman period – later a Gallo-Roman  temple stood here before it became a place of Christian worship.

This as we saw it this Sunday –

Chartres

As a pagan Temple a statue of a “Mother Goddess” was venerated  Later the Christians saw in this statue a prefiguartion of the Virgin Mother of God & it was moved into the first basilica they built on this spot – The new Tower (seen on the left) which is actually the older of the two dates from 1134  The Old Tower is a masterpiece of Roman art.  Inside the collection of 12th & 13th Century stained glass windows is perhaps the finest in France – The clear blue is the famous “Chartres Blue”

Window

The column statues are outstanding marvels of Romanesque art – The intensely live faces with the rigid bodies are famous

The crypt is the largest in France – over 240 yards long

Back through the countryside of France to Paris & our Hotel where we met Harold & Ruth –

Harold had learned of a Restaurant – good food & English Speaking waiters So off we went – to Un Bon Restaurant –  Doucet

Doucet

At the door there was a display of many kinds of fresh fish and a man in fisherman’s attire to provide fresh fish for your table –

The decor was Victorian in red velvet & heavy dark wood – The food was wonderful as we worked our way through the meal from onion soup to real French Ice Cream –

Our steps were a little slow as we made our way back to “The Californian”

————————————————–

Volume labeled “The Pennsylvania Lawyer’s Diary 1971”, used as travel journal by Elizabeth W. Ruffner, for a trip taken in March-April 1971; held by Malissa  Ruffner, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE], Baltimore, MD; 2011.

For background information on this series of posts, see Spring Break, 1971.

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