Cergy-Pontoise (Axe Majeur)

When cruising the river Oise there’s a striking bridge near Cergy-Pontoise. This is the bridge and its surroundings as seen from the river. We passed several times underneath it and always wondered what the combination bridge-surroundings means. This weekend (July/August 2015) we rented a car, so had a chance to have a look at it all from a different angle. (Borrowed picture.)

We discovered the entire composition is called ‘Axe Majeur’. Here’s the front-page of a very informative brochure. This time we’ll leave the talking to this document.

An overview of the entire 3 kilometers (1,875 miles) of its length, that’s to say: the first half. There are twelve points of interest – each having their own sign. The first six are visible here.

The other half of the overview with the second group of six signs. Put the two together and the image will be complete.

The first four points of interest are ‘The Belvedere Tower’, ‘The Place Hubert Renaud and the Laser’, ‘The Orchard of the Impressionists – Camille Pissarro’ and ‘The Paris Esplanade’. Each item will have its own picture. At least that’s what we’ve tried. Camille Pissarro is skipped because that was an orchard of tiny fruit trees. Apart from the fact that we’ve given him a lot of attention last week.

‘The Belvedere Tower’, combined with ‘The Place Hubert Renaud and the Laser’. We missed the laser. When there was nobody nearby we found an iPhone, evidently owned by a female Muslim named Anissa. We hope she’ll call before the battery runs flat…

‘The Paris Esplanade’ with a view towards the massive columns. Paris’ La Defense is visible in the background.

‘The 12 columns and the Terrace’, ‘The Garden of Human Rights – Pierre Mendes France’, ‘The Amphitheatre – Gerard Philipe’, followed by ‘The Stage and the Basin’ together form the next group of points of interest.

The twelve columns as seen from below. It’s really impressive! For the ones who want to know more about the dimensions of the Arc de Carrousel, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arc_de_Triomphe_du_Carrousel.

‘The Garden of Human Rights – Pierre Mendes France’. What a view! For Pierre Mendes France, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Mendès_France. (Of course we know everything about François (Maurice Adrien Marie) Mitterrand.)

This picture combines ‘The Amphitheatre – Gerard Philipe’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gérard_Philipe) and ‘The Stage and the Basin’. And, of course, the footbridge.

The final four points of interest are ‘The Footbridge’, 'The Astronomical Island', 'The Pyramid' and ‘The Ham Crossroads’.

The footbridge has inevitably already been visible on a few pictures. Therefore this time an overall view from up high with the bridge, the astronomical island and the pyramid combined…

…followed by an overall view from down low. We can assure you that is was quiet an effort to climb back to the top of the hill. We had to – our car was parked there.

‘The Pyramid’ deserves some extra attention. You’ve read with the 11th picture that sun and wind create a permanent natural light and sound show here – obviously loved by the birds. We zoomed in on it and as a matter of fact the light show was there, together with the birds. We were unable to hear the sound show: too far away.

‘The Ham Crossroads’ will remain unknown to us. We simply turned back when we’d crossed the footbridge. Instead a view of the lovely river Oise as seen downstream from the bridge. It’s familiar, we know, but keep in mind that we are permanently living on canals and rivers. Hope to see you all next week again.