Cloudy and warm day when we set off to Giverny by a route which took us up out of the river valley across some very flat arable land with huge fields and then down back into the river valley and into Giverny. The rain started, or rather the heavy mizzle descended requiring the wipers to go on full time. We parked in the Camping Aire next to some large motor homes. Nearby were some ten coaches, so we realised we were not going to have the gardens to ourselves. The rain had stopped, it was warm, but we did take rain jackets to ward off further rain.
A short walk, via Monet’s bust, took us to Monet’s gardens where we paid 9.50 Euro each to enter. You walk through the gift shop and into the main gardens. These had some magnificent flowers in closely planted huge borders. R was in raptures.
You cross underneath the road (with the signature green & pink colouring) into the Lily Gardens where you are met with a bamboo forest. We walked across the famous Japanese Bridge which is now covered with wisteria and looks nothing like it was when Monet painted his pictures of it and the pond. You walk around the garden, waiting and taking pictures where there were the least number of people. As the day progressed there were noticeable less visitors; must be lunch time.
Back across in the main garden we visited the house which was stunning. The yellow dining room was vividly yellow, a great display of copper in the kitchen. R wanted a particular chair in the studio area.
The village income seems totally geared around Monet, with galleries, gift shops, restaurants and gites. The narrow streets were one way, but some were even traffic free. We walked along the length of Rue Claude Monet, past the restaurants, past the bars, past the galleries to the church where Monet was buried. We also viewed the memorial to the impossibly young British aircrew who had crashed and died in their Lancaster, nearby during WWII.
Back to the van, we then drove home, via an Intermarche in a rather unsalubrious area of Les Andelys to buy some beers for the evening. The mizzle started again as we drove across the plateaux and it rained while we were shopping. The was the end of the rain, and we spent the evening eating and watching the river boats pass.
One cruise boat was moored at Les Andelys. Another came up stream and waited in the river to moor. It must have waited in the middle of the river for half an hour for the first boat to leave. The first boat left, we waved at the passengers as they all headed on towards Paris.
Tomorrow we are off the Arcais to see Mike and Linda. Weather forecast to have some rain, and then that should be the end of it. By the time we arrived we should have missed it, and then it’s looking good for the next seven days.