4.23.09 Rouen and Giverny

Giverny Travel Blog

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Lovely fields near Amiens

4.23.09 Rouen and Giverny

 

Beautiful Spring day in France!

 

We left our carpark in Amiens early.  The interesting thing about that parking lot was that it became busier as the night wore on.  A woman laughing woke me at 12:15 am, but the kids slept soundly through her high-decibel solo. 

 

But by the time we left at 8am, the lot was finally cleared.

Rouen Cathedral
  We negotiated the town, which was busy enough at that time of day. 

 

The light system at one of the roundabouts was one of the most complex I’ve seen.  We’ve had before lights for entering the roundabout, but this one also had lights as you exited.  Only they were tiny lights on the right for our double lanes.  Very confusing, but we figured it out and no accident occurred.  We were glad to be early in the morning though or it would have been more stressful.  Amiens was a delightful town and we’d gladly return for a longer visit.

 

We made it via motorway (8E) to Rouens.  Parking was challenging to find, but we passed a curbed area where trucks and a camping car (that’s what Sugar is called in France) were parked.  By the time we circled around a roundabout and returned, there was just room for Sugar to squeeze up and in.

Lunch in Rouen
  Whew!  It was just 10:15am, so we were lucky not to arrive later.

 

We walked across the Seine River to the Cathedral, which was magnificent and the subject of Monet’s famous painting of the church.  Joan d’Arc was burned at the stake here and a 20’ cross and monuement to here were also admired.  Finally, we saw the one-handed clock.  Well, we think we did!  Guess what time we saw it?  12:00 noon!  It was hard to tell if it was the one-handed clock that the locals had lowered in the 1500’s so they could see it better. 

 

After enjoying some baguette sandwiches (2.5E each) at a street café and wandering the lovely cobblestone alleys of this medieval town, we decided to head on down the road to Giverny.

 

Giverny is, of course, where Claude Monet, the famous impressionist painter, lived in the late 1800’s.

Monet's Garden
  It is just 30 miles or so south of Rouens, on the way to Paris, so it put us closer to tomorrow’s goal.

 

Upon arrival at the free parking at Monet’s Visitor’s Center, we asked the nice parking guy if it was possible to park for one night in the lot.  He said that we could park high up in the lot by the house and gardens and to take the 2nd left.  At that turnoff, we pondered the small road curving in front of us and pulled over to let a van through.  A nice guy who worked there was in the van and toting in tourists- he kindly confirmed the location of the hidden parking lot and that we could stay overnight.  They, fortunately, spoke better English than my attempts at French.

 

So we drove on up the skinny road and Jazy kindly pre-walked the lot to make sure we could fit, or at least turn around, amongst all the cars.  We pulled up to the top and there was a band of open spots for Sugar.  Later, we backed her into a spot in the emptying lot so that we are now taking up only one space.

Monet's Garden

 

The gardens were stunning and absolutely quintessential on this most glorious Spring day!  The trees and flowers were blooming and the air smelled sweet.  It was lovely beyond description.  I took a million pictures to share.  We saw a few tourists from America, and had to wait in line for about 15 minutes for tickets, so I can only imagine the crowds in the summer.  We are so glad to be travelling pre-season.  April is a great time to be in France.

 

Monet’s house was also very lovely with a sunny yellow dining room and delft blue-tiled kitchen.  We sadly learned very little about Monet though.  There were no pamphlets or signs at all, not even in French.  We’ll have to research on our own. 

 

There was one room (his studio) which housed reproductions of his famous paintings- it listed the paintings’ names and where the originals are located.

Monet's house and garden
  Most originals are in three Paris Museums, which gives us impetus for visiting them.  We also each chose our favorite small Monet prints from the gift shop as souvenirs for the kids’ first houses.

 

The weather was pleasantly warm today.  We wandered Monet’s gardens in short-sleeves and it felt perfect.  The sun felt warm on our now-pasty white skin.  We’re looking forward to some warmth.

 

We put together some dinner from yesterday’s grocery expedition:  pate’, soft French cheese, a Bordeaux wine, seasoned rice, and a salad with ham cubes.  While that’s not gourmet for some people, we were thrilled to have food to eat.  Other than some very quaint (and very expensive) on-site restaurants, there are no nearby stores open for purchasing provisions.

 

Charles and Lia finished reading Book 6 of Harry Potter today- they are so glad Dad is bringing Book 7 with him.

Village in Normandie

  

We’re headed to bed early- the kids are in bed now at 8pm even with the time-change, though of course they’re still awake.  We’re meeting Ned at Charles de Galle Airport at 8am on Sunday, so we need to get used to getting up early.  We cannot wait to see him!

 

Hope our campground in Paris was confirmed by Ned.  We look forward to 10 days there, so we hope the campground is good.  While cities can be exhausting, Paris sounds like beaucoup fun.

 

I’m off to download all those pictures!

 

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Lovely fields near Amiens
Lovely fields near Amiens
Rouen Cathedral
Rouen Cathedral
Lunch in Rouen
Lunch in Rouen
Monets Garden
Monet's Garden
Monets Garden
Monet's Garden
Monets house and garden
Monet's house and garden
Village in Normandie
Village in Normandie
Lovely fields near Amiens
Lovely fields near Amiens
Fields in Normandie
Fields in Normandie
Village in Normandie
Village in Normandie
Rouen Cathedral
Rouen Cathedral
Rouen Cathedral
Rouen Cathedral
Rouen Cathedral- Monet painted
Rouen Cathedral- Monet painted
Rouen
Rouen
Rouen one-handed clock
Rouen one-handed clock
Rouen
Rouen
Joan of Arc monument- where she wa…
Joan of Arc monument- where she w…
Joan of Arc monument- where she wa…
Joan of Arc monument- where she w…
Rouens Palais de Justice
Rouen's Palais de Justice
Monet painted Rouen Cathedral
Monet painted Rouen Cathedral
Rouen cathedral from Monets persp…
Rouen cathedral from Monet's pers…
Monets Garden in Giverny
Monet's Garden in Giverny
Monets Garden
Monet's Garden
Monets Garden
Monet's Garden
Monets Garden
Monet's Garden
Monets Garden
Monet's Garden
Monets Garden
Monet's Garden
Monets Garden
Monet's Garden
Sometimes, they actually get along!
Sometimes, they actually get along!
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden
Monet's garden
Monets garden- I liked this cool,…
Monet's garden- I liked this cool…
Giverny
photo by: Vikram