Finally, the post about my favorite day in Paris! Touring Monet's gardens has been at the top of my bucket list for quite some time. I wasn't disappointed.
Here's the scoop: the small village called Giverny lies 50 miles west of Paris, along the Seine in the province of Normandy. Giverny is famous for having been the rural home of Claude Monet from 1883 until his death in 1926. He first set eyes upon Giverny while riding past it on a train. Soon thereafter, he purchased this property and created the magnificent gardens which were the inspiration for his famous paintings of water lilies and a Japanese bridge. He was the first of many Impressionist painters to settle in this village. Giverny enjoyed the status as a haven for Impressionists until WWI.
I'm going to warn you know: I was in full photographer-wannabe mode! I took a lot of photos, as in 300+. Don't worry, I'm not posting all of them. :) I won't be doing much blah blah blahing since the photos pretty much speak for themselves.
We were permitted to tour Monet's home, but photographs were forbidden. I did get a few exterior shots.
Rather than plating well-structured gardens, Monet preferred to group plants by colors and then let them grow wild. Case in point:
Click on this photo to enlarge it. You'll be able to see a very fine spiderweb. It's pretty cool.
If you click on this one, you'll be up close and personal with the bee. Pretty awesome flower, too! You'll even be able to see the thorns on the leaves.
This is another bee photo. You can see through its wings!
Click on this one. I caught two bees in action!
If you click on this one, you'll be able to see the pollen quite well.
Now for the Jardin d'eau de Monet, Monet's famous water garden. Mama, get ready to see some beautiful Weeping Willow trees!
I still can't believe that I got to stand on the Japanese bridge in Monet's water garden! Eeeekkkkkkk!!!
You know how much I love water reflection photos.
I couldn't decide which of these next two photos I prefer. I took them from the same spot. I like the depth of this photo with its foreground being out of focus but its background being sharply focused.
But I like the reflection of the grass in the upper right corner of this one.
I think this is my favorite water reflection photo because of the sky and clouds.
Mama, I took these two while standing beneath a weeping willow. Click on the first one to enlarge it, and you'll catch a glimpse of the bridge.
Here's the Japanese bridge. It was nearly impossible to get a good photo of it because the only way to capture the entire bridge was to face it directly, which also meant directly facing the sun. So I took this view from its side. I have a few others, but this one turned out the best.
Now we're in another part of the regular garden.
You could totally read through this bee's wings!
Check out this bee~I caught it with its head in the cookie jar, so to speak.
How cool is this flower?
Then we strolled through the center of the village. Trust me when I say it's T I N Y tiny.
I can totally picture myself walking my little doggies along this street to my charming French cottage.
Yup, I could totally live in Giverny. In fact, I could pretty much live anywhere in France. Sigh.
Once back in Paris, we stopped for lunch at Le Carrousel, a streetside cafe near our hotel. I ordered lunch in French and we actually got what we ordered, which made me happy. We started with blacnhe fromage
and finished with a crepe caramel. Y U M.
For dinner, we sat along another street side cafe, Epicerie Cantine da Rosa. We dined on yummy sangria and tapas. Y U M some more.
That was that. We were sad to call it a night because the next day was to be our last in Paris. That will be up next.