Culture Europe French Work & Travel

A summer in Paris… Part 3: Giverny

One of my favourite days of summer was my trip to the artist Claude Monet’s house in Giverny. Giverny is a little French village surrounded by rolling green hills and cute country cottages, a short journey from Paris. I took the train from Gare Saint Lazare and watched the beautiful countryside flash by out the window. Arriving at Giverny’s small station, I spotted a corner shop across the road renting bikes out for only 10 euros a day! Hopping onto a creaking blue bicycle I set off through the fields, swerving cows along the way.

The route is a little complicated along pot-holed, winding roads but following a Google map application of my phone I eventually arrived. I joined the snaking queue of tourists waiting outside the Monet Gardens. At the tourist site, you may visit the Impressionist museum and/or Monet’s old gardens and house with an all-inclusive ticket. I would recommend visiting everything!

I found that the actual gallery itself doesn’t have very many paintings, and the artist’s old house now only displays replicas of his works, but the gardens – oh my goodness! I’ve never seen such colourful flowerbeds with so many leaves, flowers and vines spilling over their borders! Bees and butterflies fly about the gardens weaving between tourists. Definitely take the time to stroll through the gardens, across the Japanese bridge and round the winding paths curving round the pond that is the subject of Monet’s famous waterlily series.

The giftshop is a little overpriced but I couldn’t resist buying a few postcards to show my friends back home what they were missing! The cycle ride back to the station felt a little longer than 40 minutes after such a long day under the hot summer sun so I settled back in my seat on the train back to central Paris and watched the sun set drowsily out the window the whole journey back.

Check out the Monet Foundation’s website to start planning your day trip: monets-house

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