adventures, plants, Travel

The Gardens

Just out in the country visiting Monet

So, back in Paris. Woke up on a gorgeous Sunday morning and figured out the public transit route to meet with a group to go to the countryside for a tour of Giverny and Versailles. I went to art school, and like most of the world have a continuing love for impressionism. When I was obsessively planning my trtip, I flashed back to going to MOMA as soon as it opened and seeing Monet’s waterlily paintings and feeling restored by them. Also, two birds one trip, since we would also be going on to Versailles. For $250! Quelle bargain!

On the bus to the tour guide’s location, le Tour de Eiffel ❤️

I was a little groggy and scared of missing my train/bus connections, then got turned around for the walking portion of the trip, and I forgot to record more of the process of getting to the meeting location and getting out on the road. In spite of the fact that I had two cameras, my iphone and a portable charger, I was also paranoid about filling up on photos and wasting precious battery before getting to the sights that I’d paid to see. It was a fun ride, though. Our tour guide, Isabel, was telling us about pretty much everything we passed, and letting us know about all the fun we had in store on the trip. The best part was that we literally had to do nothing but chill, ask questions and enjoy the scenery.

details of the gardens…look at the light!

As soon as we pulled into Giverny I was snapping pics. The town is lovely, but I admit to focusing mainly on the gardens and home, because I could really feel how someone could see a house from the train, run to buy it and then set up artistic shop for the rest of their lives. If you’re a visual artist (or a content creator, since influencers do noting but take pics all day long), you could live in this place and never take the same photo twice. The light, the angles, the variety of flora, the lovely little ponds, the bridges, the waterlilies, all breathtaking. I got caught up. It got a little dicey when other tour groups arrived, but I was still so fascinated, and the morning light was glorious.

view through the little bridge

After winding my way along the garden paths twice, I started remembering that there was more and headed off to the house, which was PACKED to the rafters with tourists. Everyone wore masks and a nice man at the door sprayed your palms with sanitizing solution before entering, but it was still crowded. However, I had to mosey in and see how Claude was living. It’s one thing to see country French decor in magazines and another to see it up close.

I kind of ran through the place, because the crowd behind pushes you forward, but I adored the sunny yellow dining room and the cool blue and white tiles in the kitchen. Everything placed just so, lots of colors and life. It’s wild to see so many strangers tromping through it, when it was probably super quiet when the painter lived there.

the amazing art of Claude Monet in Giverny

After leaving the house I wandered out onto the road but, to be honest, I just got a sandwich and a cup of cider and chilled until it was time to leave. We still had another stop before Versailles, so I wanted to save my energy. But I did manage to get some shots off in the car as we sped deeper into the French countryside.

Next time we;’re going to hang out at Versailles. You’ll love it.