Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

CERN And Ferney-Voltaire

Monday morning was all about packing and cleaning the appartment. In the afternoon we drove Matt home to CERN. We'd hoped to take a tour of the visitor centre- the wooden globe in the photo below- but it was closed for repairs. CERN above ground looks like a business park.

With time on our hands, we went to Ferney- a not particularly pretty, small town-  famous as the home of Voltaire- and the site of his many, philanthropic and daring social experiments.   There's a statue- inscribed to Le patriarche de Ferney, a fountain with his bust on it, and a painting on the side of the hotel which shows him in silhouette, sitting, drinking some enlightenment beverage, legs crossed, with a slipper dangling from his toes. Voltaire was a very great man and a very good man- a secular saint- and I was moved to be in his presence. His so-called chateau, on the edge of town- is a tasteful and modest country house. I don't know if it opens to the public, but it was certainly closed on this occasion- and I got no closer than the gates.

In the evening we dined at the Coq Rouge in St Genois. I ate foie gras, fried in a raspberry vinegar sauce, veal kidneys in a gingerbread and mustard sauce and a coupe colonel- which is lemon sorbet with vodka. I've racked my brains to remember if I've ever had a better meal in the past 59 years- and I don't believe I have.

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