Tuesday 19 Sept 2017
The day was cloudy but did not rain as predicted. Robin and I had decided that we would visit Giverny (Jee va nyee) today as planned, rain or no rain! It turned out to be a very nice day. The garden was fabulous even at this time of year, after the splendor of spring and summer had passed. Dahlia, cleome, impatiens, tithonia, hydrangea, amaranth, crocus, roses, sunflowers, cosmos, fuchsia, nasturtiums, bamboo, ginko, willow, japanese maple, poplar…..all so artfully placed. The famous water lilies were not in bloom this time of year but the pond with the Japanese styled bridge bordered by maples and willows was so beautiful and serene. I think it would be impossible to be angry here. Paradise!
Getting there was not as difficult as we had feared. We made our first ride on the Metro to the train station where we would get a ticket to the town of Vernon. From there you catch a bus that will take you the 7 km to Giverny.
The Metro was quite an experience at morning rush! People shoved their way into the already crammed subway cars, bodies compressed together until not a square inch of space remained! Getting out of the car was interesting as well! “Pardon!” in your most commanding voice!
Once at the Gare Saint Lazare train station we had a devil of a time finding the right line to purchase a ticket on. There are two trains to Vernon, one direct and one requiring a transfer. Once we had our tickets we realized we were on the line requiring transfer. We were rescued by a very nice ticket agent who changed our tickets minutes before the train was to leave the station.
Riding the bus through Vernon made us wish we could hop on and off or walk back. There seemed to be numerous sights of interest and photo opportunities. It’s about 4.5 miles from the train station to Monet’s garden so walking back through the village was not an option for us this time but I’d like to come back and spend more time in this area.
Giverny is a beautiful and picturesque village located on the right bank of the Seine in the Normandy region. People have made their homes on this site since the neolithic period! Wine grapes have been cultivated here since the mid 500’s, Quaint stone houses covered with climbing roses, wisteria and virginia creeper line the streets.
Vernon has many interesting sites as well. The old mill straddles two piers of the ancient bridge over the Seine. The Archives Tower is the remains of the ancient Castle of Vernon dating back to the 12th century. Many photo opportunities and loads of history! I do hope to get back!