Tuesday, June 12, 2012

France and England on $98 a Day - Giverny

Lack of wi-fi prevented me from writing about Giverny at the beginning of our trip, but since this travelogue would not be complete without it, we'll leave London and go back to France for a moment.

Claude Monet splashed color everywhere, not just on his canvases. The narrow road leading to his house is a series of color-coordinated gardens--here are shades of lavender in the iris, tulips, roses and peonies while the next small garden contains only yellow daffodils, jonquils and tulips--and his house has rooms that are saturated with one dominant color.

The kitchen is determinedly bright with yellow walls, furniture, tablecloth, fireplace mantel and curtains while it is impossible to escape the color blue in the sitting room. Even the grandfather clock is painted to match!

As you walk the grounds, explore the acres of flowers and sit on a bench contemplating the lily pond, you can't help but wish there were some way to pack up this little corner of France and take it home with you. Luckily, Monet's art, which captured the passing seasons in these magical gardens, allows us to do just that.

Practicalities -
There is an information center, bathroom, gift shop complex where you buy your 7€ admission ticket. There are several reasonably priced restaurants on the road leading to the gardens and lots of places for picnics.

The gardens are a quick day trip from Paris--45 minutes by train--and taxis abound at the train station, ready to whisk you from the town of Vernon a couple miles to Giverny.

If you want to spend more time in the area, you might consider the lovely B&B where David and I stayed, the Villa Geraldine, in Vernon. Rooms were 70€ a night. Or, there are several B&B's in the region that cater to Giverny visitors.

The little historic town of Vernon, on the banks of the Seine River, is charming in its own right and deserves a walk-through.

Check this link for more information about the gardens, the house, and accommodations.

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