I took so many lovely images on my visit to the Monet garden in Giverny. It was quite hard to leave. But I had little idea of the other treats that lay in store for me in the village. I thought that this Monday you might like to join me in a gentle stroll in the Normandy sunshine? You won’t even need hiking boots! Sound promising?
Claude Monet lived in the village of Giverny from 1883 to 1926 and there is no doubt that it has prospered hugely as a result of this. Still it remains a very charming place and it’s not difficult to see what drew Monet and his artist friends here. There were only 300 people living in the village when Monet first spotted it from the window of a passing train and decided he wanted to live there. Today Rue Claude Monet is the principal street of the village.
Normally I save food for the end of my walks but you may remember that I’d already travelled from Paris and spent a couple of hours at the Monet garden. The Musee des Impressionismes has a very pleasant restaurant and gardens and is just a few steps further along Rue Claude Monet. We had a combined ticket with Monet’s garden, saving a few euros, but you didn’t need to enter the museum to eat in their restaurant, or to see the garden.
Of course, we had to check out the paintings too, and then it was time to venture into the village. We wandered along, admiring the shuttered windows. They looked so French!
I stopped a little further along Rue de Claude Monet to peer inside a gallery. “Come in, come in” beamed the proprietor (in French, of course), patting his head to indicate that I should keep mine low. I would have loved to start snapping the sea of canvases in the tiny space, but it didn’t seem polite. I had the impression that we could have become lifelong friends and that I’d take breakfast in the cafe next door. Fortunately I was rescued by another customer descending the steps, and the ‘patting of head routine’. A true show of French gallantry.
‘Le Coin des Artistes’ at no. 65 was first a grocery store, then a cafe-bar in Monet’s time, and is now a smart looking bed and breakfast. At no. 81, Hotel Baudy has been recently restored and was also a popular meeting place for artists . A few steps further, Eglise Sainte Radegonde dates from the Middle Ages and is the burial place of Monet and many of his family.
The village is long and slim and at the end you can turn down to Chemin du Roy to complete a circuit back to your beginnings. I was much taken with the narrow interconnecting lanes, which reminded me a little of the Wynds in Yorkshire. Following my nose led to Rue du Milieu (Middle St.) looking over garden walls as I go. I do like to be nosy!
Giverny lies on La Route Normandie Vexin, midway between Rouen and Paris, in the midst of chateau territory. With the Seine on its doorstep, boat trips are also an option. I took great delight in this village, which offered me far more than I had expected. I hope you found it a lovely place to ramble, too. Indulge me with a last few shots from the Monet garden?
I enjoyed my time in France so much! There may still be a post or two to come but I think that next week’s Monday walk will be back in the UK. I try to keep them seasonal and the Yorkshire Moors are in full bloom at the moment. I do hope that you’ll join me but I will have limited time to respond to you as I’ll be back in the Algarve by Monday evening.
There won’t be a Monday walk on 8th September, but I’ll remind you about that next week. Meanwhile, are you ready for a good read?
I think most of you will find Drake’s style much more relaxing than mine :
While Paula shows us exquisite beauty in Istria :
I took the hint this week- no steps to climb! Here’s a lovely flat walk from Jude :
Does fun in the sun in Texas appeal? It will if you join Amy! :
Or come and have a hug, and a little history, with Sue’s Mum :
Finally a walk recommended to me by my dear friend Meg. Have you been to Ethiopia? :
That’s it till next week. Happy walking!