Monet and Giverny

After roaming the streets of Paris for several days (one in the pouring rain) it was a delight to get out of the city for a bit and enjoy the countryside. Fresh air, rolling green hills, and lots and lots of cows (they do make a lot of cheese there, right?) made for a lovely drive about an hour and a half northwest of Paris to the village of Giverny, home of impressionist painter Claude Monet. It is located in the departement of Normandy, not quite as far north as the famed beaches. One day I hope to go there, too.

This was my first visit, and surely won’t be my last. Take a look at the beauty.

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Village of Giverny, France

Just look at those steeply pitched roofs, the stone walls, all the greenery. Beauty at every turn. And this was just the village. I couldn’t wait to see Monet’s home and garden.

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This is a shot of the home and just a fraction of his gardens. He loved flowers of all kinds and the soil in Normandy is able to allow plants from all over the world to thrive there. Monet collected clippings from the four corners of the globe, especially Japan, and found a new home for exquisite blossoms of every description.

After a brief turn around the garden just outside the home, I went inside. Unfortunately folks aren’t allowed to snap pictures of the interior, but they did let me take this one.

giverny5This view awaited Monet each morning as he threw open the shutters of his bedroom. Inspiring.

I really really wanted to snap photos of the dining room and kitchen, but alas, I’m a rule follower. That is why I stepped just outside the back door and and got this photo of the range and all the pretty blue tile. I wasn’t actually taking pictures inside the house, right?

giverny4After visiting his home I enjoyed the vast gardens stretching well beyond the little road passing by his house. In fact, there is a little subterranean passage to get there. Fun!

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You know all those lovely paintings of water lilies that we love (especially the ginormous ones on the lower level of L’Orangerie in Paris)? Yup. These are they, people. So serene and beautiful.

After enjoying the gardens we treated ourselves to the most delicious homemade ice cream from those cute local cows we saw on our way into the village. Sorry, Blue Bell, but based on tasting that ice cream, I believe the cows think that Normandy is heaven.

Have you ever been to Giverny? If so, what was your favorite part? If not, what do you imagine yours would be?

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