We caught the 8:00 am train from Saint-Lazare station in Paris to the little Normandy village of Vernon. Once there we took the small shuttle train, which is cheaper and more fun than the bus, to the parking lot at Claude Monet’s house in Giverny.
We would suggest that you buy you tickets on line ahead to avoid the queue at the ticket office.
Once there we paid a quick trip to Claude Monet’s Bust, which sits in a little grove of trees. At the house there is always a line, even with pre bought tickets, and unfortunately inside the grounds there is not too much information in English. There is a large map posted near the port potties so take a photo and use it to get around.
The flowers on display are truly amazing and it takes small army of gardeners employed year-round to keep it this way. If we could paint, we would never leave the area. Monet’s house is small and practical for his use at the time, all over the house are paintings and photos of the past. The bright yellow dining room was comfortable enough to entertain lots of fellow artists, like Renoir, Pissarro and Edouard Manet, and also his and Alice’s eight children (who he never married) Can you imagine the conversation's they had, over glasses of local wine. Many of them donated pieces of their work to him, (all reproductions on display today).
The practical kitchen with its blue Rouen tiles and gleaming copper pots and pans, and huge stove just waiting to be used. Out of the kitchen door past the chickens and on down the straight paths between the manicured fruit trees and dazzling flower displays, to the tunnel.
Pass through the tunnel under the road above, brushing by lavender plants we approach Monet’s Water Garden with its pond of water lilies, weeping willow trees and tall bamboo groves that provide shade on the hot sunny days. Looking at the mass of colours surrounding the Japanese bridge and reflection of the willows in the waterlilies doted waters of the pond. It is not hard to see where Monet acquired the inspiration to paint.
TIP: If you do come early take a photo here before it becomes packed with tourists