If my posts from my April vacation last week weren’t enough for you, then here’s another travel post for you to indulge in! 😛
The week that I returned from Budapest, I was already planning my next (mini) trip to the beautiful Giverny (pronounced “jee-vair-nee”), a small town which is famous for being the home place of Claude Monet, one of the most well-known (if not the most well-known) Impressionist painter of the nineteenth century. As I have adored Monet’s works since I was very young, I had always been dying to visit Giverny. It’s crazy, because considering that Giverny is neither too far from Paris nor Normandy (the latter in which I’m currently living), I haven’t gone before! That’s why I knew that I had to seize the opportunity to go before I leave France, which is coming up very, very soon… *gasp
Fortunately, I wasn’t working that Wednesday, and so I decided on a day trip to Giverny. Booked my trains, tickets, and everything in advance, then I was off! 😀
My day started bright and early, as I caught two buses over to Rouen starting at 7h30. At Rouen, I took the train over to Vernon, which is the neighboring town of Giverny (there aren’t direct trains to Giverny), then a shuttle bus over. Arrived in Giverny at 11h30 or so, and thankfully skipped the *long* lines with my pre-paid ticket. April is definitely a busy season for Giverny, as I saw packs of American, British, French, Chinese, and Japanese tourists swarming all over the place (myself included). It was insane!
Any case, I entered the Claude Monet Foundation, which consists of the painter’s house (a charming green and white one), his sweeping, colorful flowers in the gardens in front of the house, and his waterlily garden located on the other side of the place (to access it, you go through an underground passageway).
It was amazing, just how beautiful everything was. Definitely helped that that day was super sunny, even hot! The gardens, filled with white, red, purple, yellow, pink flowers, were just a pleasure to see. While one can’t access all of the rows in the gardens, nevertheless it was marvelous. ❤
I went inside the Claude Monet House afterwards. The interior was quite small, despite being two stories- rather, it was cramped (then again, French houses tend to be smaller than that of the United States- should’ve expected that!). Any case, I discovered the well-known yellow-roomed kitchen, along with the blue-tiled kitchen, which were absolutely lovely. Following that, I went through the furniture room, then up the stairs to the painter’s study room and bedroom, the latter where one has a spectacular view of the gardens from the open windows.
After exiting the house, I headed over to the waterlily gardens, which was also amazing. I was looking forward to seeing the iconic waterlilies that I had seen in many of Monet’s paintings, and was glad to have seen them in reality. While the actual lilies themselves were smaller than expected (also more red than green), the scene of the pond, the low-hung trees, and the flowers surrounding the bank sides were still a postcard-perfect moment. You can bet that I took plenty of photos, while also enjoying the sunlight in the afternoon (I have been way too starved of sun, especially living in Normandy for the past eight months!).
Overall, I stayed perhaps two hours in the Claude Monet Foundation; while it was plenty of time to see everything that there was to see, I wished that I didn’t have to be pressed for time, in terms of going home and whatnot. In other words, transportation was tricky for me to make a day trip, with the timing of trains and buses. But I managed…
I took the shuttle back to Vernon, and before doing so took this amazing photo of the sweeping yellow-flowered fields just outside of the bus stop. Spring has arrived in Normandy, indeed. 🙂
Returned to Vernon, caught the train back to Rouen, then took the buses back to my small town. Arrived back close to 20h00, tired but feeling accomplished. After all, I had just crossed Giverny off my bucket list! Success! 😀
Some more adventures to come; look out for them soon!
— The Finicky Cynic
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