26. From Paris to Pontoise.
1872 or 22 M. Railway in *li-ilU hr., either from (1) the Gare du Nord,
via St. Denis, Enghien, and Ermont; or from (2) the Gare St. Lazare, via
Argenteuil and Ermont; or from (3) the Gare St. Lazare, via, Argenteuil
and Conflans-Ste-Honorine; or from (4) the Gare St. Lazare, via Maisons-
Laffitte andAcheres. Fares 3 fr. 25, 2 fr. 20, 1 fr. 45 c.; return-ticket
4 fr. 85, 3 fr. 50, 2 fr. 30 c. Comp. the Maps, pp. 330 and 371.
A. Via St. Dbnis or via Argenteuil and Ermont. —For the
two routes from Paris to (9*/2 M.) Ermont, beyond which they are
identical, see pp. 370-379. Ligne de Valmondois, see p. 385.
To the right, in the distance, is seen the chateau of La Tour,
rising from the Forest of Montmorency (p. 379), to the left, the Hills
of Cormeilles (p. 381). — 10 M. Cernay. — ill/2M. FranconviUe.
The station is about Y2 M. to the N. of the village (pop. 1779), and
1 M. from Cormeilles (p. 381). We next see the Fort of Cormeilles,
at the W. end of the chain of hills. — 13 M. Montigny-Beauchamps.
Montigny, about l1^ M. to the S.W., is more conveniently reached
by the line next described. — 15 M. Pierrelaye. Farther on a junc¬
tion-line branches off to the right towards Beaumont (p. 383). —
18 M. 8t-Ouen-VAumOne (p. 382). — On the right we have a fine
view of Pontoise. To the left our line is joined by that from Acheres
(see p. 381). The train crosses the Oise. — I872 M. Pontoise (p. 382).
B. Via Argrntbuil and Conelans-Sainte-Honorine.— From
Paris to (3 M.) Asnieres, see p. 331. — On the left is the line to
St. Germain (p. 362). — 4M. Bois-de-Colombes (12,726 inhab.). —
4^2 M. Colombes (23,061 inhab.). — We cross the Seine.
1172 M. Argenteuil (Soleil-d'Or, with restaurant, near the
bridge; Cafis-Restaurants, at the station), an ancient town with
17,375 inhab., owes its origin to a nunnery founded in the 7th century.
Theodada, daughter of Charlemagne, was one of the abbesses, and
Heloise, beloved of Abelard, chose it as her retreat. The Gares de
l'Ouest and de Grande Ceinture are on the N.E. of the town. The
Church at the other end, is a modern building in the Romanesque
style, and claims to possess the seamless coat of our Lord (distinct
from the seamless robe or upper garment at Treves), which, it is
alleged, was presented by Charlemagne to the ancient convent. The
wine of Argenteuil is mediocre, but its asparagus is justly celebrated.
— Argenteuil is the headquarters of pleasure-boat sailing near Paris.
Steamboat to Paris i1/^^1- Tramway to Asnieres.
Below Argenteuil au Aqueduct Bridge carries the liquid sewage of Paris
across the Seine; the Pump, on the left bank, raises it to the height of the plain.
The Pontoise railway then crosses the Ligne de Grande Ceinture,
and diverges to the left from the Ermont line, making a wide curve
to the N., and then to the N.W., traversing the vineyards of Argen¬
teuil. To the right stretch the fortified heights of Sannois (440 ft.)
and Cormeilles (545 ft.), commanding a fine view, to the W., of