Monet & Da Vinci

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Just before the school summer holidays and Desnťe and George are off to France for a week.† The plan was to visit Monetís Garden at Giverny and then spend a few days in Normandy.


As it turned out we met a couple at the campsite in Vernon who recommended a visit to Amboise on La Loire to see Clos Lucť, a small chateau where Leonardo Da Vinci spent the last three years of his life.


As a result the trip mileage was much longer than we had originally intended but it was well worth it!


Our first stop was at the town of Vernon. Located on the River Seine between Paris and Rouen. It is within 10km of Monetís Garden at Giverny.† The campsite was small and cosy with views across the town of Vernon and the Seine valley.


It was rather a grey morning as we set out on our bikes to cycle down into town and follow the old railway route along the river to Giverny.† By the river bridge in Vernon are the remains of a much earlier bridge and a rather intriguing old mill house which still stands there.

Just alongside the mill on the riverbank was a rather interesting collection of statues in the park.

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Being a grey day it was reasonably quiet in Giverny and we were able to go straight in to Monetís garden without any queuing.†† Once we got inside it started to rain and so his house was our first point of call.

No photos are permitted to be taken inside the house which is interesting in itself.† The rooms are all brightly coloured and the furniture is also painted to match the colours of the rooms.† Throughout are Monetís paintings but also an extensive collection of Japanese prints which he was interested in and gathered enthusiastically.

We did not realise that the water lily pond is across a fairly busy road from the other part of the garden. The railway track also used to bisect the grounds. There is an underpass to get access from one side to another.

Part of the facilities comprise a huge gift shop with numerous books and prints about the impressionists.† But, beware, the prices are a real rip off and most items can be purchased elsewhere for much less!


Outside Monetís Garden, Giverny is a very quaint village with some lovely old houses. It was lunchtime and we called into a pretty little cafť for omelette et frites!†††††† If you visit, be sure to walk around the village as well!†

On the way home we had a little wander around the town of Vernon.† Nothing of note and so we started the long uphill ride back to the campsite.

Halfway there and the heavens opened!† We sheltered under a tree for about 15 minutes whilst it rained Ďchats et chiensí ! The storm passed and we carried on home but we had to get off and walk the last few hundred metres!†


Guess who got to push the two bikes up hill !!

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Next day, after the recommendation from fellow campers we made our way down to La Loire and to Amboise.

(right) from Vernon bridge it was an easy, flat ride up the river to Giverny.†

The rain stopped and so out into the garden.† There are so many photos of Monetís Garden and it is very beautiful even on a grey damp day.† Here are just a few of the numerous snaps that we took.