Giverny- not a walk, more of a linger!

What could be more lovely than a pond full of water lilies?

What could be more lovely than a pond full of water lilies?

It was a very special day, for three reasons:

1.  I got to ride upstairs on a ‘double decker’ train (twice!)

2.  It was our Silver Wedding anniversary

3.  We visited Monet’s fabulous Giverny!

Just a couple of weeks before we had watched Monty Don browsing the borders in splendid isolation (except for the camera crew).  We joked that we might not find quite so much space on the iconic bridge, and so it proved.  But I couldn’t honestly say that it detracted one bit from the occasion for us.  It was, quite simply, fabulous!

Here's just one example!

Here’s just one example!

Based in central Paris, I had pre-booked train tickets from Gare St. Lazare to Vernon, the nearest railway station to Giverny.  Apart from a few moments of anxiety when the ticket machine wouldn’t cooperate, all went smoothly.  Soon I was safely ensconced upstairs on my SNCF super smart train, strong coffee and pain au chocolat et noisettes stickily in hand.

The train glided out of the station and I spent the first few minutes replying to all the messages of goodwill and trying not to get my phone sticky.  51 minutes later I was disembarking at Vernon and boarding a ‘navette’ or shuttle coach for the 15 minute ride to Giverny.

Bathed in gentle sunshine, I was pleased to discover that the queue outside Monet’s house was quite short (miniscule by Versailles standards!)  I listened to different accents from around the world as I edged forward, with rising excitement.  I almost had to pinch myself!  Just a murmur of doubt- would it live up to expectations?- before I was at the ticket office.

You probably know how it looks from TV and books?

You probably know how it looks from TV and books?

Everywhere I looked, I fell in love!  Wouldn’t you?

Just a world full of loveliness!

Just a world full of loveliness!

And then we meandered by the stream

Then we meandered by the stream

And found another kind of beauty!

And found another kind of beauty!

I had been enchanted by these two little girls since I saw them skipping across the road from the railway station, in pink wellies on a sunny day.  I had tried to take a photo of them sitting, heads together, on a bench, but when I asked if I might, they took flight. Mother’s warning not to talk to strange ladies!  So how could I resist when I found them with Mum, on Monet’s bridge?

You know what's coming next, don't you

You know what’s coming next, don’t you?

The water lilies, of course!

The water lilies, of course!


Then, a threat of rain.  We headed back towards the house, still marveling at the beautiful borders.

And plants such as these

Full of plants such as these

And this burgeoning beauty

And this burgeoning beauty

Of course, everyone had the same idea.  While the gardens had been easy to admire, with a little patience and good timing, the house was the only shelter from the sudden downpour.  Despite this, I was delighted with it and the light-heartedness of the gaily coloured rooms.  Pretty pastel walls were adorned with the oriental pieces that Monet had loved.  I snapped with enthusiasm until I was advised that photography within the house was not allowed.  I don’t suppose I should but I’m going to share just one image.  It might encourage you to make the journey, mightn’t it?

Don't tell, will you?

Don’t tell anyone, will you?

And after the rain?  Glorious sunshine, causing the plants to lift their heads and smile.

A rain-kissed blossom

A rain-kissed blossom

Among a sea of beauty

Among a sea of beauty

Such as this!

Such as this!

I hope you’ve enjoyed sharing our special day.  Whenever anyone mentions Giverny from now on I will be able to return to this little bubble in time.

There’s still a little more to come but nothing can top Giverny for me.  I’ll let you decide for yourself.  Many thanks for reading and for your continuing support.  My world would be a much emptier place without you.


  1. I can’t believe I’ve been to Paris twice and never made it to Giverny. It looks so lovely and it seems the perfect place to spend your silver wedding anniversary. Happy belated anniversary to both you and Mick, Jo. I’m sorry I’m so late coming to visit this post; I know it was ages ago that you were here. I love your flower photos, especially the “burgeoning beauty.” What is that flower anyway? I hope you have a wonderful weekend, Jo. I’m off to explore a bit of Nanning. I hope I don’t get lost on the buses. 🙂 xxx

  2. Now I understand when you commented that you had water lilies coming up! 🙂 These are absolutely stunning. The paltry lilies at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden can only aspire to be these.

    The entire garden seems so charming. I can see why Monsieur Monet wanted to paint here.

    1. Thanks, Jackie 🙂 I didn’t want to ‘spell it out’ but I’m glad you like them. I don’t have the camera to do full justice to the close ups but they were lovely.

  3. Such a beautiful anniversary Jo . Feel quite envious of this trip of yours 😉
    No matter … you brought Giverny in all its glory straight to me with your fabulous pictures !

    1. Thank you! I’ve just finished peeling a heap of apples. My neighbour doesn’t like them so I get her share as well. Apple pies and crumbles for weeks to come. 🙂 Ah, Giverny! Oh, to be back there 🙂

  4. Oh wow Jo! What a joyful ‘linger’ that was indeed hon! The stunning flowers and the views and oh, I just love that book case. What a pity you were not allowed to take photo’s. Silly rules! 😆

    Congrats to you and hubby on your special day sweetness. May there be many, many more and thanks for sharing all the stunning captures. 😀

    ♥ Big Hugs ♥

    1. The house and furniture were a complete surprise to me, Sonel, even though I knew that they had been maintained in the style Monet loved. I’ll still steal a peek at my forbidden photos now and then 🙂
      Many thanks, hon. I’m glad you enjoyed our special day. Hugs 🙂

  5. I don’t know why they won’t allow anyone to spread the beauty of the inside. You got one picture, and I got so curious with the rest. Can you go back and snag some more pics, you stolen-shot pro? 😀 😉 I kid, I kid.

    1. Part of me understands, Rommel. The whole world snaps away at the garden but the house is a lot less known and is such a surprise when you step inside. It lit my face with a smile immediately (an even bigger one, I should say 🙂 ) In this clever world of theft some of the art works would be reproduced and sold and the originality of the place destroyed. I took maybe a dozen photos and just looking at them makes me feel guilty! But I will always treasure them. 🙂

  6. Enchanting images Jo!! Sounds like the perfect place to spend a special anniversary. Weren’t Monet’s canvases in the Orangeries exquisite?

    1. My favourites were at d’Orsay, Madhu. I hadn’t realised the variety in his work and there was one that I couldn’t tear myself away from. I looked hopefully at Mick thinking he might make them an offer- you know, as an anniversary present- but it just didn’t happen 🙂
      Thank you! We had a fantastic day 🙂

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