Archive for March 22nd, 2019

March 22, 2019

The Axe Majeur, get out of Paris!!!

Ok so let me take you out of Paris but not that far just next door to dept 95 Val d’Oise going west of Paris. Well you know this is the dept where Roissy CDG airport is located, not in Paris ok. I have come by here on my routine road warrior trips with the family and found gems off the beaten path sites!

One of them was the Axe Majeur of Cergy, Val d’Oise dept 95 of the Île de France region. Let me tell you a bit more on it ok.  You dont even need a car to come here, and its wonderful to view, if you like architectural wonders and natural views this is it for you.

The Axe Majeur, its at 30 km from Paris on the A15 road out of porte de Clichy. You can get here from gare Saint lazare train station direction Cergy-Pontoise and stop at Cergy-St Christophe. Out of station turn left and follow the city center street all the way out you will come to the axe majeur with signs. The site for the region train service is the Transilien, https://www.transilien.com/fr/gare/cergy-saint-christophe-8738249

This is the creation of artist sculptor Dani Karavan. You have several architectural points here,first is the Tour Belvédere, 36 meters high ( 118.8 ft) inside there is a stair to the top for magnificent views towards Paris main attractions. Then, you have the Place des Colonnes Hubert Renaud, its circular rounded plaza at 360° angle ,and you go here by passing apartment buildings done by architect Ricardo Bofil.  Follow this with Le Verger, parcs des Impressionists, the painters place, with gardens and fruit trees that in the summer are just delicious to even look. You reach the Esplanade de Paris, the place for gathering and people watching, the stones on the floor are from the Cours Napoléon in the Louvre! ,and the 12 columns are a link to the companies that sponsor this and the Arche du Carrousel by the Louvre. You come to the Terrace, you come to see the Valley of the Seine, and the natural beauty of the area from above with Paris and La Defense just ahead.  Next, the jardins des  Droits de l’Homme or the garden of Human Rights, it has trees including an olive tree from Italy representing peace.  Hey that’s the silhouette of my Dad below photo lol!

Cergy

Cergy

beyond is Paris!

Next ,the Amphithéatre or amphitheater for events that brings the locals and visitors together. Then comes the Scéne, link directly to the river Oise, allowed to hold water events in conjunction with the amphitheater.  Now you are in the Passarelle, (under construction) that will link the amphitheater with the ile Astronomique or astronomic isle and eventually reaching the base de loisirs Cergy-Pontoise (a popular playground park with swim,horse,team sport complexes).  Now you see the ile Astronomique, site of an old sand dunes for construction now itself under construction it will have scuptures from the world.  The Pyramide, done so that the wind and sun plays a part in its lights, you can only go by boat and navigate inside of it! And you have reach the extreme point in the Carrefour de Ham; about 1,5 km from the Ile Astronomique will allow you to see the work and the laser lights ending in a crossroad of routes coming into Cergy-Pointoise.

Cergy

Some webpages to help you plan your trip here are

Axe Majeur information

Interactive visit to the Axe Majeur

And again in French, the city of Cergy official page showing the Axe Majeur,  http://www.cergy.fr/notre-ville/lieux-cles/culture-patrimoine/lieux-remarquables/

Something different to see in the Paris region, and nice, the Axe Majeur is unique. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all!!!

 

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March 22, 2019

Orléans, a lot more than Jeanne!

So needless to say have other posts on Orléans in my blog and speaking of Jeanne oh yes Joan of Arc or Jeanne d’Arc (fr) it is a nice city to visit and even thus we use the car, it has direct train service from Paris for an easy day outing. It is worth it. Let me tell you a bit more on Orléans.

The very essence of mentioning Orléans brings back my history coming to France. It was on my trip to know my dear late wife now Martine, that I passed by here on our way to Spain, right down the center of town back in 1990, still going strong, and many visits afterward.

This is the epicenter of the history of modern France, when Jeanne d’Arc gave back the city to the French king Charles VII from the English invaders. This is the epic story of a young lady rise to military genius and more importantly to be later the Patron Saint of France, doctor of the Catholic Church.

orleans pl du martroi

orleans

It is a city in the department of the Loiret No 45 in the region Centre-Val-de-Loire.  It is easily reachable on the autoroute A10 direction Bordeaux from Paris. Near it passes the A71 towards the mediterranean becoming later the A75 . The A19 linked the city with the A10 and A6 north of the city. Route planning is ok with viamichelin at http://www.viamichelin.co.uk/  or the use of GPS is the only way I have visited the city ,by car. However, it is well linked by train from Paris Austerlitz station , the SNCF train station is at avenue de Paris near shopping center place d’Arc;the bus station is also next to the train station. The TER centre train webpage is here  TER Centre Val de Loire , just to add this was the route to go to Paris at Gare d’Orsay, today its the museum. There is a local bus/tramway service Tao here  TAO network of Orléans

orleans

The city goes back several thousands years but the most important event was that took place with Jeanne d’Arc and its liberation. Liberated on May 8 1429. Later after much destruction in WWII it was liberated again by Gen Patton of the US Army in 1945. The history associated with it its huge not enough space for this blog.  The feast of Jeanne d’Arc is held every year on the 29 of April to May 8 celebrations, there is a video reproduction and more in French at this webpage, keep an eye for it. Tourist office of Orleans on the feast of Joan of Arc

One must come here to see the Cathédrale Sainte-Croix (see post apart) at 10 rue Gobelets,where Jeanne d’Arc came to celebrate Mass in 1429AD. There is a church here since 330AD destroyed ,fires, and always rebuilt from kings of France to 1829 when finally all restored. its great inside and statue of Jeanne d’Arc is superb.  The Hôtel Groslot,(see post apart) built between 1550-1555 by Jacques Groslot bailif of Orleans. kings Charles IX, Henri III,and Henri IV stayed here ! It now houses the mayors office of the city since 1790, it is splendidly richly decorated. The Maison de Jeanne d’Arc is where she lodge from april 24 to May 9 1429AD, rebuilt to identical after its destruction with the bombings of WWII.   The place du Martroi, symbolic heart of the city has a huge equestrian statue of Jeanne d’Arc where she is bigger than the horse, at WWII this sculpture was partially destroyed and it was rebuilt by sculptor Paul Belmondo ,father of the famous actor Jean-Paul Belmonde.  The Hôtel Hatte, 15C, where it now houses the Center Charles Péguy, a native writer/poet .  The Church of Notre Dame de Recouvrance built between 1513-1519 has a choir altar from Second Empire in renaissance style. For walks do it by rue de Bourgogne and rue de l’Empereur for wonderful medieval ambiance as well as Rue Royale. The Musée des Beaux-Arts, Place Ste Croix, is very nice with works from Velazquez, Van Dyck, Jan Brueghel, Tintoret,  and works of Rodin,Maillol, Picasso etc, really nice. admission is 3€ only for adults.open tuesdays to saturdays and sundays afternoons. Walk too the pont George V the oldest bridge in the city, built in 1751-1760 and runs for about 1,2 kms.

orleans

We stayed there at the Mercure hotel at 44-46 quai Barentin overlooking the river Loire and near pont George V.  Mercure hotel Centre at Orleans, usual great service by the chain,pool and good resto. walking distance to the best and easy in and out of the city by car. However,there is plenty of accommodation in the city to choose for all budgets.  The Mercure hotel resto Le Chaland was good too and cheaper at menus from 13,50€.

The tourist office for the city of Orléans is at Tourist office of Orléans on things to see    , and  and area metro of Orléans in French : Metro Orleans tourist office on Joan of Arc in French , and the regional Loire Valley here: Regional Loire Valley tourist office on Orleans

orleans

my family front of city hall Orléans

Enjoy the city of Orléans . We did too!!! See more pictures on sights posts in the blog.

And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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