26 February 2012

Wednesday 29 February, Abbey Road

Royaumont Abbey

This week, Daniel Perot will be our leader. Read on for his information and his wit.

Abbey Road
On Wednesday 29 February we will walk along the Abbey Road leading to l'Abbaye de Royaumont, located north of Paris in the Val-d'Oise. The highlight of the day will be the Cistercian abbey and its cloister, founded in the 13th century by Saint Louis (Louis IX), the largest in France. The abbey, built in 1228, was dissolved under the French Revolution and converted into a cotton mill. It is now a cultural foundation — not a branch of the famous Beatles' recording studios of Abbey Road in London.
Visit (not free) and picnic.
Some hikers are familiar with the abbey; they might prefer to have their picnics outside. Unfortunately, there is no bench.
For those interested in the visit, they will have three quarters of an hour. There are many benches inside, but picnicking is prohibited. Be discreet or have your snack while walking. Too bad; the medieval garden has been an ideal place for a picnic. I tried it.
Entrance fee: 6€ individual or 4.50€ for groups of at least 10 people for the cloister and refectory. The church has disappeared.

Getting There

We will take the train at the gare du Nord, level 0 (surface), suburban train LOMI, direction Luzarches, and get off at Seugy in zone 5. Departure 10.04, arrival 10.48. Meeting place at the gare du Nord: start of the platform, last carriage.

Important: get your round trip ticket to Seugy in your metro station. There's no ticket office at Seugy, only a credit card machine.

Return from Seugy probably 16.03, arriving Paris 16.47. The train after is at 16.55, arriving 17.35.

The walk is about 14 km long. We cross the village of Seugy. A path in the woods will take us through an often muddy underpass, but avoids the most dangerous stretch of Abbey Road. Please don't forget your good walking shoes. The road to the abbey is an impressive approach to the domain of Royaumont.

Return to Seugy via the peaceful village of Baillon. Bring the usual picnic lunch and adequate gear.

As an extra we will pause at the café "le Rendez-vous des Chasseurs". Sure, you will be conspicuous if you step inside. Here you are in "la France profonde".

Looking forward to seeing you.


Pictures of Royaumont

If you wish to be informed of changes or cancellations, please give Daniel your cell phone if you have one, home phone if not.
09 50 56 65 26
01 45 90 65 26

Mobile (only the day of the walk) 06 99 20 70 79
Email daniel.perot@free.fr

19 February 2012

Wednesday 22 February, villages in the Chevreuse

On Wednesday 22 February, Bob Levy will lead us on a 16km loop walk through the Valley of Chevreuse. The second half of the walk is particularly suited to those with photographic interests.  The walk is not hilly (there is one brief climb late in the day, one descent before our picnic lunch).  The trails and roads are good. Mud should not be a problem, but wear shoes appropriate to winter.  

There will be the opportunity for a shorter day: BUS SERVICE from Dampierre en Yvelines to the RER station at St. Remy lès Chevreuse. 

The walk will take us from the RER B station at St. Rémy, along the River Yvette and through the village of Chevreuse.  Then on along the GR11 to the village Dampierre en Yvelines and its château.  We will lunch across from this landmark, after which walkers can elect the bus return to St. Remy. Buses depart Dampierre at 13:26 and 14:21 for the 15 minute ride.

The rest of us will continue south of the château, passing through a wonderful landscape: the old Moulin Aulne, La Palaterie, the village of Senlisse, through a narrow forest and equestrian center, the photogenic village of Choisel, and back to St. Remy. We did a practice hike of the route last November; our photos are attached.


We will meet at Châtelet Les Halles RER, the RER 'B' Platform, direction St Rémy, at 9.15 for the 9.26 train PLAN.  We will, as usual, meet at the rear of the platform. This train leaves Gare du Nord at 9.23, St. Michel Notre Dame at 9.28 and arrives at St. Remy at 10.13.
We will return from St Rémy at approximately 4.00. RER B trains depart every 10 to 15 minutes.

We will, as always, proceed at a good strong pace.

All best,

Bob Levy

11 February 2012

Wednesday 15 February at Etampes

The Tour Guinette at Etampes

This coming Wednesday 15 February Stuart Ellis will lead us on a 20km country and village walk in the Essonne. It will be possibile to leave the walk after 10km. It’s a great itinerary. Here is Stuart’s info.
Part 1: Etréchy to Etampes along the valley of the Juine river (10 km):
The route takes us through the pretty town of Etréchy and then a short (but steep) climb to the Butte Saint Martin. The walk is mainly through and along the edges of oak forests, passing through several charming Essonne villages and farms before descending to Etampes. We shall lunch in the shadow of the 12th century Tour Guinette where there is a good panoramic view over Etampes. Etampes RER station is right below the Tour Guinette for those who want to return to Paris after lunch.

Part 2: Circuit of Etampes (10 km):

The route takes us into the countryside behind and overlooking Etampes before descending to the really lovely Chalouette river which we follow back into Etampes. We then trace a route through historic Etampes which takes in the three medieval churches, including St Martin with its leaning tower, and the market square!

9.32 Gare d'Austerlitz RER C (ELBA), direction St. Martin d'Etampes (zone 1-5)
This train leaves Javel at 9.14 ;  St. Michel-Notre Dame at 9.28; and Bibliotheque F. Mitterand at 9:35
and arrives 10.23 at Etréchy


16.30 Etampes
17.28 Gare d'Austerlitz
**trains every 30 minutes**

Hopefully the weather will be dry and sunny but—as usual—come prepared!

Contact me if you need more info.

Mobile number: 06 19 85 25 56

Best Regards,
Stuart Ellis

The Leaning Tower of St Martin d'Etampes

04 February 2012

Wednesday 8 February from Le Perray to Les Vaux

Léon Germain Pelouse, Hiver à Cernay

We are not letting a bit of cold weather deter us. Next Wednesday, Feb. 8 after two city walks, we will return to the country with Judy Choat as leader. Our hike will be a loop from Le Perray-en-Yvelines to the lovely Vaux de Cernay and back to Le Perray. Here is Judy's information:
On Wednesday I am proposing a hike of 21km. (OH NO! I hear you say, but go on, rise to the challenge!) It is a beautiful route, mainly forest, but passing through a village with a privately owned 19th century chateau; also on the way a former 12th century Cistercien abbey, which fell into ruin after the revolution and was bought and renovated at the end of the 19th century by the Rothschild family. We will also pass two attractive lakes, one of which was the inspiration for the French landscape painter Leon Germain Pelouse.
There are two or three short, steep hills and there could be a short, very muddy section. Let's hope the mud stays frozen. As it is quite a long walk and the daylight hours are short at this time of year we will have to keep up a reasonable pace!!

If it is very cold or wet we could, after a democratic vote, shorten the walk to 16km. We can decide en route, but we will have to stay together.
Travel Arrangements
I shall drive so will see you at Le Perray en Yvelines station.
Departure: Gare Montparnasse, train REPU, direction Rambouillet at 8.54 arriving at Le Perray en Yvelines at 9.52 (zone 5). Do not cross the tracks but exit at Rue du Petit Pas.
Probably train PERU direction Montparnasse at 16.27 arriving at Montparnasse 17.28. There is a return train half an hour earlier or half an hour later. 
As usual wear boots and bring lunch — we will not pass any cafes along the way! 
If you need to contact me here is my mobile number:
     06 84 30 91 47
and my home number:
     01 30 80 01 34
See you on Wednesday!


Here are some pictures taken during  the walk.

The étang de Cernay
The abbey of  Les Vaux de Cernay
Picnic at the monument to Léon Germain Pelouse