Archive for June 24th, 2021

June 24, 2021

A short stop in Basel, Switzerland!

Let me update this older post for me and you. One of the opportunities of traveling in Europe and the world is having a job that takes you places; it has helped me a lot over the years get to know places otherwise not gone there. This is the case of Basel in Switzerland. Even now have a good friend from Versailles now living there working permanent so who knows for a next visit. Hope you enjoy the post as I.

And another week is beginning, the routine, cloudy rainy cool spring day and they say more rain this week, hope they are wrong. Life goes on sad, but we are hanging in with lots of memories.  One of them was my short visit to Basel Switzerland. It was a business trip, and my dear late wife Martine as usual was all ready with the preparations and always eager for me to return home.   Basel is in northwestern Switzerland on the river Rhine located where the Swiss, French and German borders meet, Basel also has suburbs in France and Germany.

A bit of history I like

Basel has been the seat of a Prince-Bishopic since the 11C , and joined the Swiss Confederacy in 1501 as its eleventh canton . It was the only canton that had been asked to join, not the other way round.  A provision of the Charter accepting Basel required that in conflicts among the other cantons it was to stay neutral and offer its services for mediation. The Duchy of Alemannia fell under Frankish rule in the 6C, and by the 7C, the former bishopric of Augusta Raurica was re-established as the Bishopric of Basel.  At the partition of the Carolingian Empire  Basel was first given to West Francia, but passed to East Francia with the treaty of Meerssen of 870.

The city was plundered and destroyed by a Magyar invasion of 917. The rebuilt city became part of  Upper Burgundy , and as such was incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire in 1032. Until the Reformation, Basel was ruled by a Prince -Bishops.  Basel has often been the site of peace negotiations and other international meetings. The Treaty of Basel (1499) ended the Swabian war .Two years later Basel joined the Swiss Confederation. The Peace of Basel in 1795 between the French Republic and Prussia and Spain ended the First Coalition against France during the French revolutionary wars. Because of the Balkan Wars  the Socialist Second International  held an extraordinary congress at Basel in 1912. In 1989, the Basel Convention was opened for signature with the aim of preventing the export of Hazardous waste from wealthy to developing Nations for disposal.

How to get to Basel. Well you have the wonderful EuroAirport Basel Mulhouse Freigurg operated by France and Switzerland and for anecdote the airport is in French territory and how I came here. airport webpage:

I did stay at the Hilton Basel in city center close to the train station and was very good indeed. webpage:


I had dinner at Da Roberto , an Italian resto, here I was disappointed, the food was not that great and the service very slow, but the setting is nice with artist movie stars on the walls and near both the train station and hotel.  Very fancy, but did not live up to my culinary expectations which are high. for info webpage:


There are three train stations ,those of German, French ,and Swiss networks lie within the city.  The  Swiss Basel SBB , and French Bâle SNCF stations are actually in the same complex, separated by Customs and Immigration facilities. Basel Badischer Bahnhof is on the opposite side of the city. Basel is located on the A3 expressway ,and however, has an extensive public transportation network serving the city and connecting to surrounding suburbs, including a large tram network. No experience here. For info webpage:

Things to see

The red sandstone Munster , one of the foremost late-Romanesque/early Gothic buildings in the Upper Rhine, was badly damaged in the great earthquake of 1356, rebuilt in the 14C and 15C, It was  extensively reconstructed in the mid-19C and further restored in the late 20C.  A memorial to Erasmus lies inside the Münster. The City Hall from the 16C is located on the Market Square and is decorated with fine murals on the outer walls and on the walls of the inner court. Several Churches and Museum that had no time to see them. Of course, I had to go see the market at markthalle nice displays.


The city is known for its many internationally renowned museums, ranging from the Kunstmuseum, the first collection of art accessible to the public in Europe (1661) and the largest museum of art in the whole of Switzerland, to the Fondation Beyeler. The University of Basel founded in 1460, Switzerland’s oldest university and the city’s centuries long commitment to Humanism.

This is the pity of the trip, other than the food and the train station and hotel had little time to see much of Basel. It will have to be another time. If you have been there feel free to post some interesting things to see; I would like to be back on a private visit and maybe the pictures will be better too lol!

Some webpages to help plan a trip to Basel are:

The city of Basel on things to do/see

The Basel tourist office on things to do/see:

A city guide to Basel go to Branchen

There you go folks, a brief introduction to Basel and on the horizon for a visit. Hope it gets you going too and have enjoy the post as I. Again thanks for reading me since Nov 2010.

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

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June 24, 2021

A side step to Les Mureaux!

Let me take you back to my old dept 78 Yvelines and my road warrior trips of always! In the effort to see it all I venture into a historical town for aviation/aeronautics folks but a bad reputation today on social issues. This is Les Mureaux sitting between the N14/A15 and A13 highways and direct train to gare St Lazare in Paris. Let me tell you a bit about the town.

As an ongoing desire to show you the other France, not really the tourist trail but the real working France; let me bring you up to date on this small town. It has been renown for years as the Aeronautical/Aviation center of France, sleepy now but we went there for a visit.  I am talking about Les Mureaux, not a bright spot in your map but it has some nice events and pretty sights by the Seine river with cruises stop. We went there for the Seine en Auto show (see post) where they put brand new cars from different dealers on the street!

Les Mureaux is in  département 78  Yvelines,in the région of  Île-de-France,and only 39 km west of Paris, and about 30 km from Versailles, on the banks of the Seine river.  The name comes from  murus (defensive wall), and a river port was there from the 1C BC.  It has a a direct train line J to Gare Saint Lazare and back to Mantes-la-Jolie. The autoroute de Normandie A13 passes right by it at exit or sortie 8 ,also , the D154 connects to Verneuil-sur-Seine and  Vernouillet and eventually to Poissy and the D14  connects to Flins-sur-Seine and Aubergenville. Also, back away directino Meulan sur Seine you get on the D14 that takes you to the N14 (A15 out of Paris) direction Rouen.

A bit of history I like

After the death of her husband king Philippe III le Hardi in 1285, Marie de Brabant retired to her deuil in Les Mureaux, where she died in 1321. In the Middle Ages, the town belonged to the Counts of Meulan. Also, during two centuries the Vion family originally from Burgundy had the lordships of Mureaux  and Becheville. In 1902 the aviation starts in Les Mureaux, and continues today with the site of the EADS the European Space and Defense agency where the rockets are assembled for later shipment to Guyanne and launch. In 1924 , Les Mureaux host the sailing competition of the Olympic Games . In  1952  the first flight of Noratlas, military transport airplane built in the factory at Les Mureaux.

A bit info in French on the history and especially the aviation./aeronautical connection of the town in history. City of Les Mureaux webpage:,-ville-d-air-et-d-espace/15033/

Nowdays, the city is attach to the metro agglomeration of the Grand Paris Seine et Oise.with an extension from  Rolleboise to Conflans-Sainte-Honorine reunating 73 towns,and becoming the most populated urban area in France and the only one with no city center/downtown area. The official webpage for the metro area or GPSEO in French:

As to what to see ,things to do here.

Well , there are tours of the EADS complex but need to go thru them or inquire at  the city hall in Les Mureaux. Other than that there are five nice parks or parcs name here as remarkable gardens designation; these are the park at the Castle of Becheville (17C); the park de l’Oseraie (1874) ; the park Jean Vauzelle (end 19C.), by  rue Carnot,in the old town section; the park  Sautour (1985), and the park de l’Hermitage (1987). The city participate in the contest for the most flowery towns of France or the  Concours des villes et villages fleuris from which has gotten a 3 flowers designation out of a possible 4. Webpage here in French:

Other sites are the  Dolmen des Gros Murs,a big funeral room for about 60 bodies completely covered by a tumulus (big stone cover) located in private property by 19 rue des Murets where you can see it from the street. The nice Château de Bécheville 17C that was visited by the writer n Stendhal in 1811 ; the castle renovated in the 19C today houses the Conservatoire or music conservatory of the town.

Les Mureaux chateau-bechevelle

Maison Bouvaist, currently a Paléoscope, a mini castle in brick and stones from 1879, built on the borders of the Seine river and in the parc de l’Oseraie by rue des Gros-Murets. The nice quaint  Club house du Cercle de la voile de Paris (Circle of sailing club of Paris) built in  1893 on the Seine river. The Church St Peter and Saint Paul or Église Saint-Pierre-Saint-Paul, done in the neo gothic style and finished in 1896.

Les Mureaux cercle-de-voile-de-paris

Some webpages to help you in your visit here, an off the beaten path town of the Yvelines, capital is Versailles.

The city of Les Mureaux on its wonderful train station in French:

The city of Les Mureaux on things to do/see in French:

Not for the tourist flake oriented, this one is for the adventorous curious of all things French. And believe me with the aero complex and the history of aviation and car plan Renault not far at Flins sur Seine, pleny of English spoken there.

Enjoy Les Mureaux ,and remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!!

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June 24, 2021

This is Cergy , jobs and views!!!

Well here I am digging deep again as my latest posts doing update on those early towns of our lives in our belle France. This is particularily fond as not only visit but I worked my first job nearby Cergy St Christophe, and my dear late wife Martine took as her route to work in Roissy CDG airport. So sit back and come along with me in some nice memories of me and my family in an off the beaten path town  of Cergy you might as well visit to be different..!

So in my travels as I was saying, I have been to many places, and most never written on it. They are not on the tourist trail and nowhere in any travel book, but they are worth it for the real local experience and some facts about France to enrich your understanding of why France is the most visited country in the world according to the official UN-WTO. And no, it is not always Paris….  I like to talk a bit today about Cergy. This is Cergy in the department 95 of Val-d’Oise in the région of Île-de-France. As I have a post on its main monument this will be on my black and white series, no pictures. Hope you enjoy it as I.

Cergy is located on the right bank of the Oise river on the limits south of the park of the Vexin français at about 28 km from Paris. It is the principal city in the metro area of  Cergy-Pontoise. It is cross by the autoroute A15 towards Paris or Rouen, and cut on the La Francilienne N104 towards Roissy CDG airport, Versailles on the N186 etc.  The A15  ends at sortie or exit 9 in the district of Grand Centre between the wonderful and favorite shopping center of the  Trois-Fontaines (see post)  in the plains of  Saint-Martin in Pontoise. However, the road continues without interruptions as the N14 and later the D14  by sortie or exit 13, and continues on as the scenic route to Rouen in Normandy; very nice indeed. The wonderful boulevard du Port takes you to Pontoise and Cergy-Village as well as the very nice Port-Cergy; the D915 takes you as far as Dieppe in Normandy.  For public transports, Cergy is in zone 5 at the end of the line RER A ending at Cergy-le-Haut  and passing by Cergy-Préfecture and Cergy-Saint-Christophe (my first job site was here in France ! which of course came by car!! ). The train stations of Cergy-Préfecture and Cergy-le-Haut have exchange poles to take you to several towns and bus depot such as well the intercity long distance buses even to Roissy CDG airport. The local public transport site is call STIVO,the network of the metropolitan area of Cergy-Pontoise.

My dear late wife, Martine , used to worked for many years at Roissy CDG airport in cargo area for DHL Global Forwarding at 27 Rue de la Belle Borne,in cargo zone 7, in the limits of the town of Tremblay en France, and she came by bus changing here at Cergy. The bus was the 95-18, Cergy Préfecture to Zone Technique . The Transdev bus network for it, webpage:

Better than the trains!  As DHL was a memorable nice job for my wife and lots of help on her passing I will put their webpage here as a thank you:

The shopping center or centre commercial les 4 Fontaines were a favorite for the grocery shopping at Auchan, the car rental Hertz by the Esso gas station (great deals to Spain! ), FNAC, Armand Thierry fashions,and the Micromania video games store. As we took the road warrior theme seriously from wherever we live lol! webpage:

Being part of a new city or nouvelle villes of France , the history is surprisingly very short.  A bit of history I like; tells you a bit that the current town of Cergy is the union of several villages. Cergy  was first called Cergiacum in 1069 and Sergy in 1731,then other villages were Gency called Gentiacum in 1072, Menandon called Monlandon in 1135, Les Veaurois called Vaulx-Rouez in 1528, Le Brûloir, Ham was annexed to Eragny sur Oise in 1687, then back to Cergy after the French revolution, and finally, Les Clobilles.

Things to see at Cergy

Saint Christophe Church at rue de Neuville, as Cergy was elevated to a parish in 1120, the monks of the priery of the abbey of Saint Denis built the first Church in the Roman style that today left only the belltower until the second level (3rd US) , the transept, and some chapters. From early 18C, the gothic choir was done to replace the roman one. This choir with the collateral chapels represent the principal elements of the Church today. The lateral Chapels of the organ and the sacristy were added in the 14C. Today, only is left the fortified tower and a pigeon tower; the south gate entrance to the Church once closed has recently been open and renovated . The pierre-Fouret also known as the menhir de Gency is a megalith stone in the village of Gency, rue de Vauréal,in the garden of the a retirement home today.

The major things to see here are the Axe majeur,(see post) in the district of the Axe Majeur/Horloge done in a sculptural and garden style monuments from 1980. By 1985 ,Ricardo Bofill did a semicircular space around the original point of the Axe. It has great views of Paris; very relaxing place we came here often.

Another not been too yet is the Château de Gency  located on 96 rue de Vauréal or road D922 near the village of Gency dominating the Oise river descending from one side of the road to the road chemin de halage with apple trees and cow pastures. The park has 5 hectares of space on a miniature Buttes-Chaumont of Paris look done during the Second Empire (Napoleon III ) period. The place full of history was built in 1860, today the castle of  Gency  is a place for receptions not open to the public.

The other is the Port Cergy on the Oise river marina with yachts and nice contemporary housing and gardens given to the canals. It has a nice pleasure boat marina. More on the port Cergy in French webpage:

.A great entertainment place came here often for lunch or happy hour/after work/apéro when worked nearby in Cergy St Christophe and even took the family here for lunches on Saturdays. The favorites were Hippopotamus with webpage:

And our tops the La Créperie du Port an English Pub style lovely place, webpage

The city of Cergy on its heritage

The Cergy-Pontoise tourist office on Cergy in English:

The Val d’Oise dept 95 tourist office on things to see:

There you have it folks, something new in my blog that should have been on it long ago. The always memorable Cergy. And remember, happy travels, good health, and many cheers to all!!

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