At the end of July I took a day trip to Giverny and I got really lucky because the weather was beautiful. If it were still the 1880’s, no doubt the Impressionists would have been out in full force with palettes in hand.
My first stop was Monet’s house and gardens.
With landscaping like this, the masterpieces practically paint themselves. Just kidding.
But doesn’t my photo of his waterlily pond look one Instagram effect away from an Impressionist painting?
The town of Giverny is just as charming as Monet’s small section of it. Here is a church built in the Middle Ages.
And here is a half-timbered manse, one of many adorable Giverny homes that I would move into immediately if ever given the chance.
Same for this one.
And this one.
And this one, on the road from Giverny to Vernon, where the nearest train station is.
I stopped short as I passed the scene below, along the way. (I took a shuttle from Vernon to Giverny but the weather was so nice that I decided to walk the hour back to the train station.) I could so clearly imagine a rosy-cheeked laundress in her ivory underskirts scrubbing some circa 1872 linens on the banks of the river, while cherubic young girls bathed in the water. I didn’t realize until my visit how much the Impressionist style matches with the environment. Or maybe, rather, the Impressionists so successfully captured the essence of the environment that I now can’t gaze upon it without adding an Impressionist filter.
Just before the bridge over the river back into Vernon, there is an old mill. And it is a showstopper.
It stands next to a Medieval castle.
Back in Vernon, there is an epic cathedral that isn’t even a tourist destination, because there are so many epic cathedrals in this country that I suppose this one didn’t make the cut. But it should have, because its stained glass windows are jaw-droppingly gorgeous. I’ll share them in another post dedicated solely to cathedrals and the stained glass therein.
Here is another old half-timbered house in Vernon. It’s now the tourism office.
And finally, awesome ghost signage on a pistachio-colored building = an excellent end to my little outing.