We took a day trip from Paris to Giverny to visit Claude Monet’s gardens and house. We traveled from Paris to Vernon by a very crowded train, then rented bicycles from a cafe across the street from the Vernon train station and rode on to Giverny. Tour buses and taxis were also available, but we had a perfect day for a bike ride. Most of the bike ride was on a quiet bike path, where we encountered a few butterflies! We passed a bright field of rapeseed on the way to Giverny.
And once we turned onto Rue Claude Monet, we knew we were on the right track.
The line to get into Monet’s property was very long, and parts of the gardens were rather crowded, especially around the water lily pond. The gardens were lovely though, and I enjoyed trying to put myself in Monet’s place, appreciating the changing effects of light and shadow in the gardens.
When I was at the Belvedere in Vienna, I saw a painting of Monet’s gardens with his house in the background. I bought a postcard of that painting at the Belvedere gift shop, and brought it along to the gardens. The photo below shows the painting postcard in the spot depicted in the painting.
We weren’t allowed to take photos inside the house, but I liked seeing the art that Monet hung on his own walls – lots of cool Japanese prints.
Ready to escape the throngs of tourists, we hopped back on our bikes and rode back to Vernon. We stopped by the Seine in Vernon to check out the castle shown below. There was no signage about it or mention of it in any of my pre-trip research, so I guess it’s no big deal to the French, but it’s called Chateau des Tourelles and was built in 1196!
We also thought this old mill over the river was cute and picturesque.
Back in the center of Vernon, we stopped to admire the collegiate church Notre Dame, which dates back to the 11th century.
We had a late lunch in a small family-run restaurant across the street from the church, then returned our bikes and headed back to Paris.