(Be sure to click on the photos for a larger image!)
|One of the famous lily ponds at Giverny.|
When we arrived at Gare St. Lazare in Paris at 9 a.m. to get the train to Vernon, we discovered that there were only a few trains running that day (due to the holiday and ongoing train strikes), and the earliest one wasn't until noon. Not only that, but the only return train from Vernon would be at 6 p.m., giving us a short time to enjoy the gardens. (It takes about an hour to get to Vernon, then another 20 minutes to get the bus from Vernon to Giverny....so travel time is at least 2 hours each way, considering wait times, etc.) Little did we know that other obstacles would intrude to shorten our time even more. Rather than stand around the train station for several hours, we walked over to Galleries Lafayette and Printemps, two Parisian malls that have magnificent stained glass domes at their center. I'll be sharing photos of them in another post.
|First view of Monet's garden.|
|Jesse walking towards the entrance to the gardens.|
Alas, the line was no shorter than when we had left it, and we ended up waiting nearly ninety minutes to gain admission to the gardens. People were admitted one at a time, as there was only one person selling admission tickets, so the going was very slow. We were getting anxious by then, considering that we had less than an hour to view the gardens and get back to the parking lot at 5:10 p.m. for the bus ride back to the train station. If we missed that bus, we would be stuck in the area overnight, with little chance of finding lodging in the already overbooked towns of Vernon and Giverny.
|Lovely flowers in bloom.|
|White wisteria covering a bridge.|
|One of the lily ponds, with weeping willow.|
|Love those colors!|
I would definitely recommend this excursion to others, with the caveat that it's not wise to travel on a French national holiday or when there are train strikes. Plan to go when the flowers are blooming and make sure you will have at least 3-4 hours to enjoy the gardens and other areas of Monet's home.