Voyagé à Giverny 2

Giverny Travel Blog

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Giverny, from the bike, on the way to Monet's house
Then we got on the train to Vernon. The train station makes a really funny little song when they’re going to make an announcement (Dun, dun, DA dun!). The train was very nice. We ate our sandwiches. We chatted. We got to sit on the top floor of the train and look out the window. The trains are so smooth... it’s very relaxing. There was a baby crying in a really funny way on the train.

In a round about way, because of the baby, we had a bit of an incident getting off the train. Once we'd stepped off the train, this assumedly African French woman started trying to talk to Mary about something in French. I couldn't really hear what she was saying, and assumed she was asking for directions or something. Then we realized she was yelling at us saying that we were making fun of the baby on the train.
Monet's Gardens!!!
Apparently she had been sitting across from us. We told her we didn't know what she was talking about (in English) and that we didn't speak the best French. She insisted that we did, and then insisted that we were making fun of her as well. Then she started grabbing Mary's arm as we tried to leave. All of this was totally ridiculous. I finally got Mary and said we needed to leave, and we did. Mary was so scared of that lady, though, and we had to try to avoid her while we tried to find our way to Giverny. So awkward!

Then we had another incident upon receiving bicycles on which to go to Giverny. Giverny was kind of MY deal since it was my idea and I had sorted out how to get there, etc.
Monet's house!!!
, and I had heard (from someone on Travbuddy again, actually) that renting a bicycle in Vernon and riding it to Giverny was a really nice thing to do, and the weather was lovely, so I thought we should give it a shot. Mary wasn't too keen on the bike idea, but didn't want to upset me, as usual, so she went along with it. We rented bikes for 12 euro each or something.

Anyway, the problem was, they gave us a small map on how to get to Monet’s house/gardens, but it was really confusing, and I didn’t know where we were compared to the streets on the map. I think I’ve grown to be really good with maps after all my travels in Europe, but I couldn’t even read most of the street names because the photo copy was so bad. Needless to say, we started down a whole bunch of streets on these bikes which all ended up being wrong (also, neither of us had ridden on a bike in quite some time).
Pretty flowers!
Mary was getting pretty frustrated with me, since she didn't even really want to take bikes in the first place and was wondering why we didn't just get on the huge tourist bus that we saw everyone else getting on from the train station. We did this for somewhere between 30-45 minutes until somehow I managed to get us on the right track. We did get to see a bit of the town of Vernon, though! I was trying to stay positive. Anyway, we had to bike along the road for a while because we couldn't find the bike path... it was pretty, though, even though we were almost getting hit... I guess most of the way there was kind of a disaster. Well, at least enough for us to be in bad moods when we arrived, finally, in Giverny.

Even finding his actual house/the actual gardens was tricky.
flowersssss
I was hoping it would be worth it because it had taken so many hours out of our trip to France just to get here. Fortunately, Monet’s house was really cool. It was set up (mostly) like how it would have been if he was still living there. The rooms were all different colors, and there was a bunch of his paintings on the bottom floor. There was also a whole lot of old Japanese art, which was a huge inspiration for him. His gardens are still very well taken care of, and there is a huge range of different colors of flowers blooming everywhere. My favorite part was getting to walk through the Japanese gardens with the bamboo and water lilies. It was soooooooo awesome to see the old green bridge! I made Mary take pictures of me on it. We saw on a bench for a while to absorb everything.
Me by some flowers
I can see why he wanted to paint there-- there was so much to see... so many different organisms living and dying and coming back to life... I can see how it could be a very inspiring environment. I wish we were the only people who were there. All the stupid touristy people were really getting under my skin. That's pretty normal, though.

By the time we got out of the gift shop after trying to find gifts for my mom, we were totally beat and really hungry. We ate the rest of our baguettes from Place de la Madeleine, even though they had gotten gross, and sat in the sun to chill out. Then we made our way back to the bikes... MAN Mary was so mad at me for wanting to do the bikes. The ride back was a LOT better though. We stayed on bike paths for almost the entire time, and since we weren't in a rush to get back (we had a specific return time on our tickets) we could enjoy the scenery.
WATER LILIES AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
I took a bunch of pictures while I was on the bike. I thought it was a very nice way to spend an afternoon.

In Vernon we returned the bikes and then had, quite possibly, the most delicious jus d'abricot/apricot juice I've ever had. For some reason, that moment, sitting there in the sun, enjoying some cold juice, really felt like vacation in Europe to me.

We walked around a bit and then caught the train with the rest of the mostly American tourists back to Paris. We got one of those semiprivate cars on the way back that have their own little door. Sure enough, sitting across from us where two more Americans. A couple from the midwest, I think. They were happy to speak to us in English (like I’ve said before, Americans who don’t travel a lot find a very deep solace in running into other Americans), and were very impressed when we were able to speak to the ticket dude in French when he came to yell at us about our tickets.
THE BRIDGE!!!!!!
I knew exactly what he wanted and what we should have done, but all I can say is we didn’t “composté nos billets,” because I don’t really know how to say it in English. Oh well. He forgave us.

Back to Paris meant back to the hotel to calm down for a bit.

After a lot of walking around and debating, and even going into a restaurant and leaving it, we had an early dinner at a place called “Les Têtes Brulée,” which, in English, mean, “The Grilled Heads.” I don’t know. We kind of wanted to go there because it was such a weird name. We sat outside again, because I didn’t want to get my nice new pea coat all smokified. It was a little cold, and I think the waiter thought we were silly for sitting outside. I got another croque monsieur here since I’d had a craving for once since the day before.
Me on the bridge.... mmmm
Definitely satisfying. Either Mary or I got fries with our meal and we asked for vinegar with them instead of ketchup (since that’s what I’d been used to for the past seven months), and the waiter immediately asked us if we were British. He was really awkward and talked really fast. Mary and I had a good share of awkward waiters. At one point one drunk guy walking by tried to start talking to us and one of the people working there came out and got him to leave. It was like we had a bodyguard. It was cool.

I believe that this is the night we discovered the “magic” button. On the remote for the tv in our room hotel, there was a button that said “magic.” We pressed it and nothing happened. Maybe something happened that we couldn’t see.
Me on the bridge 2 (with a lot of people)

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Giverny, from the bike, on the way…
Giverny, from the bike, on the wa…
Monets Gardens!!!
Monet's Gardens!!!
Monets house!!!
Monet's house!!!
Pretty flowers!
Pretty flowers!
flowersssss
flowersssss
Me by some flowers
Me by some flowers
WATER LILIES AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!…
WATER LILIES AAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH…
THE BRIDGE!!!!!!
THE BRIDGE!!!!!!
Me on the bridge.... mmmm
Me on the bridge.... mmmm
Me on the bridge 2 (with a lot of …
Me on the bridge 2 (with a lot of…
Me on the bridge 3
Me on the bridge 3
The boats, also reminiscent of a p…
The boats, also reminiscent of a …
Tulip
Tulip
Oh yes, more flowers
Oh yes, more flowers
And more garden-ness
And more garden-ness
Mary gearing up for another sweet …
Mary gearing up for another sweet…
An emu on a farm we saw from the b…
An emu on a farm we saw from the …
Shot of the bike trail taken IN AC…
Shot of the bike trail taken IN A…
Another shot from the bike of Give…
Another shot from the bike of Giv…
I am having an awesome time on the…
I am having an awesome time on th…
Mary is... well... doing a great j…
Mary is... well... doing a great …
Giverny
photo by: Vikram