Archive for May 5th, 2023

May 5, 2023

Again Saint Germain en Laye !!!

I used to lived not far from it and came to do market shopping as well as sightseeing on weekends just to see something different, I like to tell you a bit more of royal Saint Germain en Laye, a wonderful town that should be visited more, easy from Paris on the RER A trains, A great historical and architecturally stunning town with an old castle ,beautiful museum ,and nice church. I found me ,again, some pics not in my blog and they should. Therefore, here is my take on my again Saint Germain en Laye !!!, Hope you enjoy the post as I.

I have several posts on it so will keep it short and sassy ! The Château of Saint-Germain-en-Laye is a former residence of the kings of France. The current castle was built under François Ierfrom 1539. Enlarged several times by his successors, it was a royal residence until 1682, when Louis XIV left it definitively for Versailles. On March 8, 1862, an imperial decree acts the creation in the castle of a Museum of Celtic and Gallo-Roman Antiquities ,later renamed Museum of National Antiquities, then recently , and still today the Museum of National Archaeology.

SGL chateau back road jun12

However, the during the French revolution, the castle is seized as national property and sold to the former manager who demolishes it, subdivides the land and sells the materials. Today, only the Henri IV Pavilion (a nice restaurant today see post) , the Garden Pavilion, the Sully Pavilion at nearby Le Pecq, a terrace and its two ramps at the end of rue Thiers which overlooks the avenue du Maréchal de Lattre de Tassigny and some vestiges in the cellars of the district ,one at 3 rue des Arcades remained. Pic from Pavillon Henri IV to castle back.


There is a nice Saint-Germain Church  was called at the beginning of the 18C Saint-Germain-de-Paris. Located in front of the castle, this current Church built in 1824, in a neo-classical style inspired by the Paleo basilicas, was restored from 1848 to 1854. The present Church is however closer to Saint-Philippe-du-Roule in Paris. The present Church is the fourth built on the site.It houses the Mausoleum of the King of England, James II (Stuart), exiled to France and greeted by his cousin king Louis XIV. He resided and died at the Château de Saint-Germain,across the street.

SGL ch St Germain right side ext mar12

SGL ch St Germain ceiling ab altar mar12

The Castle/Museum of National Antiquities:

The Seine Saint Germain en Laye tourist office on the castle/museum:

The Seine St Germain en Laye tourist office on the Church :

There you go folks, do not miss it next time, worth your time there. Wonderful Saint Germain en Laye, many memories especially from the sights just to come to the market for goodies with the family. The royal town is part of the history of the city and my belle France, Again, hope you have enjoy the post as I

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


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May 5, 2023

My former rides in the Yvelines !!!

Ok let me dare take you to a really off the beaten path areas of my former Yvelines dept 78, These towns I visited for shopping with the family and our idea to always get out of the norm usual neighborhood we lived in Versailles, In passing or stopping by we really like the peaceful life around them, and sadly have only mentioned them very briefly in my blog, Therefore, here is my homage to Flins sur Seine and Buchelay ! Hope you enjoy the post as I

The town of Flins-sur-Seine is located in the Yvelines department 78, in the Île-de-France region of my belle France. It is 14 km from Mantes-la-Jolie, and 30 km from Versailles, The town is known especially for the establishment of a large automotive industrial center, the Renault factory in Flins on October 2, 1952, The town borders Aubergenville ,Les Mureaux ,Bouafle, Bazemont , and north of the Seine river separates it from Juziers and Mézy-sur-Seine. The main communication routes are the A13 autoroute de Normandie at sortie or exit 9 , The local roads D113 and D14 towards Les Mureaux, It is on the railroad line Paris-Le Havre.

What we came here the most was to the Carrefour Flins shopping center and the restaurants, our favorite no longer there El Rancho and the Pizza Bianca also now gone.  Centre Commerciale Carrefour Flins:

Flins El Rancho inside Pipo RF et MF jul12

Flins pizza bianca mom day boys 3jun12

The things to see here me think are the Church of Saint-Cloud with its first construction probably dates from the 10C; bell tower rebuilt in 1767, Also, a castle late 17C ,that has had different names according to the successive owners: Château de la Pépinière, de la Musardière, de la Minaudière, then Château du Bois Bodin. Château de la Minaudière was owned by Alfred Van Cleef, founder of Van Cleef & Arpels (he died there on June 11, 1938). Restored, it has been transformed into a residence with several apartments, There is another castle that belonged to the de la Motte Mongoubert family, which has become the City/town hall, and also, old houses including farmhouses that can date back to the 18C.

The town of Flins sur Seine on its heritage :

The town of Buchelay is located in the Yvelines department 78, in the Île-de-France region of my belle France, It is only 4 km from Mantes-la-Jolie, which it borders, and about 45 km from Versailles, The neighboring towns are Mantes-la-Jolie, Mantes-la-Ville, Magnanville, Fontenay-Mauvoisin just about 200 meters away !, Jouy-Mauvoisin and Rosny- sur-Seine, The autoroute de Normandie A13 crosses it in the middle in an east-west direction, with the installations of a major toll barrier as well as a half-interchange. The town is served by the local roads D 110 which connects it to Bréval to the south-west and which connects to the N13 – A13 link which connects the RN 13 to Val Fourré (Mantes-la-Jolie) as well as the RD 983 to Magnanville

At Buchelay we came to eat as was close to the A13 autoroute so when traveling west we either had our road lunch as well as when coming back east, It was an easy exit/sortie 13 , Léon de Bruxelles was our stop, We even won a magnum of Gérard Bertrand !  

Buchelay Leon de Bruxelles front c2011

Buchelay leon de bruxelles 8aug12

Buchelay leon de bruxelles MF won a magnum rose provence jul10

A bit of history and things to see me think : The town of Buchelay was separated from Rosny-sur-Seine in 1487, It was the property of several lords, then Savalète bought the lordships in 1720, The lordships were brought together in 1735. Everything was sold to Mr. de Boulongne then to Mr. Morel de Vindé until the French revolution, You can see here the Church of Saint Sebastian made of limestone covered with slate, built in the 15C, extensively restored in 1846. Square bell tower with hexagonal spire. Neo-gothic style. The bell was renovated in 2014 and was baptized Irene on April 5, 2014. The 15C church was oriented normally (choir to the east). The one we see is built north south. It is therefore a new construction in the 19C and not just a restoration. The houses of the old center are almost all present on a map from 1732.

The town of Buchelay on its heritage

There you go folks, simple countryside towns of my nostalgic Yvelines and my belle France, As I said, memories forever in Flins sur Seine and Buchelay, Even now from the Morbihan I passed by there on the A13 take a ride for old time’s sake, Again, hope you have enjoy the post as I

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

May 5, 2023

The Axe Majeur of Cergy Saint Christophe !!

Let me take you once again out of Paris, and update this older post for me and you, This is not far just over the Val d’Oise dept 95 in the Île de France region west of Paris. 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 is the reason of this post, the Axe Majeur ! Hope you enjoy it as I

A true international reference for Urban Art and the “signature” of Cergy-Saint Christophe, the Axe Majeur or Major Axis is an architectural route of more than 3 km. The site reveals the landscape from the Axe Majeur district to the Ham crossroads by offering 12 landscape sequences materialized by symbolic elements. It is an essential walk, a landscape sculpted between mineral and vegetal. Without forgetting the pleasure of the eyes offered by the immense point of view that one discovers from the Twelve Columns before plunging by hundreds of steps towards the Oise river which one crosses by the red footbridge leading to the Leisure center and its ponds. An enchantment… Going down to the left of the Human Rights Gardens, an arboretum is designed as a botanical garden made up of different listed species , about 110 trees of 80 species. Neat visitor paths are drawn to follow either the trail of the bees or a discovery circuit where the trees are classified geographically. About fifty are equipped with explanatory terminals.


This is the creation of artist sculptor Dani Karavan. You have several architectural points here,first is the Tour Belvédere, 36 meters high ( 119 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 de Camille Pissaro, 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 Pierre-Mendès-France  or the Human Rights garden, it has trees including an olive tree from Italy representing peace. My Dad right of pic below !!!


Next ,the Amphithéatre Gérard Philipe or amphitheater for events that brings the locals and visitors together. Then comes the Bassin,86 meters wide and 1.20 meters deep link directly to the Oise river, allowed to hold water events in conjunction with the amphitheater.  Now you are in the Passarelle now 251 meters long, that 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 now itself with 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, The twelfth station guarantees the unity of the Axis by overlooking it throughout its route. The rayon laser vert or green laser beam has a range of 3.2 km and is emitted from the Belvedere Tower, the first station of the Axis, will allow you to see the work and the laser lights ending in a crossroad of routes coming into the City of Cergy-Pointoise.


You don’t 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, is about 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 rue de l’abondance for about one km to the Axe Majeur with signs. The Axe Majeur is in the quartier or neightborhood of Saint-Christophe not far from my first job in France, On its upper levels the Place Hubert-Renaud is close to Cergy-Saint-Christophe train station, which is also served by many road public transport lines. Closer to the square and the Esplanade de Paris, several STIVO network bus stops also serve the Axis such as Mondétour on line 40, Rond-Point du Tilleul on lines 40 and 36, Martelet on lines 45 and 3639. A VélO2 self-service bike station, named Axe Majeur, is located on the side of the Esplanade de Paris. The Axis is crossed by rue de Vauréal at the bottom of the stairs, at the end of the Passerelle. However, there is no parking lot nearby. Rue de Vauréal is taken by STIVO bus line 38; no stop serves the Axis directly but the Gency stop is located a little further east. The Passerelle makes it possible in particular to reach a cycle and pedestrian path which runs along the loop of the Oise river on its left bank.Mind you check before coming as above is information only I always come here by car

The official Axe Majeur ;

The city of Cergy its heritage and the Axe Majeur:

The Cergy-Pontoise tourist office on the Axe Majeur :

There you go folks, something different off the beaten path to see outside but near Paris, The Axe Majeur is unique and worth a detour, me think. And remember, happy travels, good health,and many cheers to all !!!

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