France Giverny 2000.06.29

The Garden of Monet

Everyone knows Claude Monet's paintings of water lilies and the green Japanese arched bridge. Fewer know that Claude Monet created this and many other floral scenes in his own back yard in the town of Giverny. Claude Monet's house and garden were donated to the Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1966 and have since been restored and turned into the Claude Monet Foundation in 1980.

The beautifully manicured garden covers about 2 acres. There must be a million flowers and hundreds of varieties in bloom at any given time. A gardener would need to recover after thinking about the amount of daily maintenance required. If you like Monet's work, then visiting this garden is a must. Unfortunately, because of the narrow walkways and crowd of tourists (even on a weekday morning), there's no place to relax comfortably. Plan to spend about 2 hours and no more.

Getting to the Claude Monet Foundation at Giverny:

We chose the bicycle option and were happy we did. Directions from Vernon to Giverny were straight forward because of adequate road signs. The bikes gave us freedom to leave Giverny at our convenience and cycle along the Seine River in Vernon. In addition, parallel to the main road between Vernon and Giverny, there's a paved bike trail behind the row of houses, so the ride is leisurely and safe.

We were given an excellent lunch recommendation by the woman who sold us the train tickets to Vernon. After arriving to Vernon and renting a bike, stop by the Restaurant De La Poste, which is across the street from the only post office in town, to make a lunch reservation. The restaurant is on the way to Giverny and can't be missed as long as you're watching for the post office. Our 5 course meal was soooo good...

Claude Monet Foundation hours:
Tue, Wed, Thr, Fri, Sat, Sun: 10:00-18:00
Mon: closed

The bridge and water lilies that Monet painted over and over again at different times of the day, seasons, and perspectives.
The center of the flower garden has rose arches that may remind you of other Monet paintings.

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