The computer seems to be back in good operating order. I don't know what the problem was but it would not type without spiraling off with of back slash marks. So far it's OK so lets get on to Giverny.
We went by train from GSL (see previous post) to Vernon, a Medieval town some 6 or 7 miles from Giverny. From the train visitors get on a little shuttle that wends through the historical part of Vernon out to the village of Giverny and its main attraction.
It's a short walk from the shuttle arrival point to the entrance to the Monet property. The lily ponds are, of course, the most famous and the most distinctive. They are across the road from the main house and gardens and you get there through an underground tunnel. And when you get up, these beautiful ponds with large lily pads are sparkling in the dappled sunlight. There are flowers and ferns along the banks, narrow paths for visitors, little bridges along the way. It's absolutely enchanting.
Even with serious crowds it is still so serene and peaceful.
This is the second time Mr. C and I have been here. The first time was in 1984 and it hadn't really been "discovered" as a must-see destination. We came on the train, WALKED from Vernon (we were young and dumb and there wasn't a shuttle back then), and there were no crowds.
Back under the road to the main gardens and the house. The gardens were showing their fall blooms, mainly dahlias of every side and color.
Access to the rest of the gardens up near the house is now limited; you can no longer walk down the rows with the wrought iron arches covered in nasturtium. This is the best I could do (actually, Cait took these pictures).
Here is the house, nestled in among all the flowers and trees.
The house is open to visitors, too, but it was really packed the day we were there. I went through the downstairs sitting room, the yellow dining room and the blue kitchen.
The color scheme, blue and yellow, is reflected in the gorgeous Monet china which Mr. C and I bought in '84 when the franc and the dollar were at par; 10 ff=$1 USD. We have two very precious settings. Now? Not a chance we could buy it. We bring it out for VERY special occasions.
We walked to the museum where we saw a terrific show of a Spanish impressionist Joaquin Sorolla. Beautiful big canvases of women and children by the seaside, sail menders, seascapes. They are so beautiful, such extraordinary light and movement. Read about him above.
|Walk on the Beach or Paseo a orillas del mar, 1909|
We stopped and had lunch at one of the several restaurants now on the property, new since our original visit. Then we headed back to pick up the shuttle to take us back to the train station and a ride home. Gare Saint-Lazar was absolute madness, not only because it IS that way but because it was also rush hour. I will do almost anything to avoid that place as either a train station or a Metro connection. But we got home, had dinner and collapsed in bed. A wonderful day filled with beautiful things to look at and, especially if you're a gardener, either inspiration to do more in your little back yard or confirmation that you better pave over the whole thing! Believe it or not, I'm inspired to do the former. Erin, are you listening???
Tomorrow is a trip up to La Defense Grande Arche for lunch with Cait's friend Anne. See you there.