Wednesday, October 14
Very early (very, very early) this morning, 8am here, but 1am back home, we boarded a bus bound for Giverny to visit Claude Monet’s home. Monet purchased a home and lands here in 1890 so that he could create the magnificent gardens he wanted to paint. His home was painted green and pink. He wanted to be surrounded by color. Several American impressionists settled in Giverny in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to work here.
The home was left to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1966 by Monet’s son, and became a museum in 1980, maintained by the Foundation Claude Monet. The gardens have been replanted as they were during his time here. Maintaining these gardens requires 300,000 plantings each year.
We walked through the water garden, with its stand of bamboo and then past the water lily pond and Japanese bridge, made famous by over 200 Monet paintings.
We also toured his home and studio. Monet collected Japanese engravings, and they are displayed in several rooms.
The town of Giverny is small, about 900 inhabitants, but full of flowers. It was a treat to walk through.
Back to the boat around noon for a much needed nap. We are enjoying the ride down the river, and spent a little time on top, although it is pretty chilly. Late afternoon, we passed by the Château de La Roche-Guyon which is built into chalk cliffs, with a 250 step staircase carved into the hill from the dungeon to the chateau. During WWII, Rommel took it over for his temporary residence.
Meals on board the ship are delicious so far. It’s hard to stop, but we need to get to bed and rest up before tomorrow’s excursions.