One of our side trips from our weekend in Rouen was to Monet’s home and gardens at Giverny. I have heard of many people being moved to the point of tears upon seeing it for the first time, and I was so looking forward to going.
Wandering the streets of the quaint little town of Giverny, we were certainly charmed by it’s beauty. The ivy-covered shops and restaurants were straight out of a storybook. Once we got into the grounds of Monet’s home, we were met by an overflowing lush garden as far as we could see. I’m not sure what exactly I had been expecting of the gardens, but I was definitely amazed – it was more wild and full than I had thought it would be – I guess I was assuming it would be more manicured, but I was happily mistaken. I loved the way all the flowers were just bursting out of the garden, as if it couldn’t contain anything more. Being the end of august, we were seeing a lot dahlias (one of my faves!!), zinnias, gladiolus, roses, and loads of wildflowers and more. It was a riot of colour and a wonder to take it all in!
One very special part of our afternoon at Giverny was the company. Back in Vancouver in June, we made plans with some wonderful friends to meet up while they were in France later in the summer. “Meet you at the waterlily pond”, we said to them before we left. How special to be able to hang out together for an afternoon in the tranquility of Les Nymphéas. The smile that spread across my face when I heard Kas’ distinctive hearty laugh floating over the flowers in the garden! Well, let’s just say I was very happy. We are having an incredible time in France, but we miss our friends, and seeing some of them here was a bit of a fairytale!
When we emerged from the underground tunnel to access the pond, we wandered into a cool, breezy bamboo grove – bliss! I can see why Monet built this sanctuary, it was absolutely that. No matter how many people were around, it felt peaceful and calm, surrounded by the beauty of the reflective pond, it’s japanese bridges and the gorgeous swishing willow trees. The rest of my favourite photos from the day are below. Suffice to say, this day will hold a special place in my vault of memories of our year in France.