August 1, 2011
My third day in Paris was to be my Monet & impressionism day. (I LOVE impressionism art works.) I wanted to spend my morning at the Musee d’Orsay and my afternoon in Giverny where Monet’s House and Garden were; but I was very unlucky. First, I discovered that Musee d’Orsay was closed on Mondays. Second, I decided to visit the Musee Marmottan Monet, but it too was closed. I did, however, get to visit the Asian Art museum, which was pretty neat. I realized as I walked through the museum that much of the art work were of Buddha. It was not surprising as I had studied it in my East Asian Art History class; if I had only remembered, I probably wouldn’t have gone to see it. But I did enjoy looking at the Korean art pieces, which I was not familiar with.
After my museum visit, I decided that it was time to go to Giverny via Vernon (you have to take a bus/taxi to get to Giverny from Vernon). I was completely unprepared for what was to come. I had read in my travel guide book and online that it was a quick train trip to Giverny and that trains came regularly. I assumed that I could hop on and off, but I was wrong. I had to purchase a ticket for a train that came regularly but were within an hour or so of each other, not thirty minutes as I had assumed. My departure time was not until four and I had 2 hours or so to kill, so I grabbed lunch and shopped. I had wanted to buy Longchamp bags, so it was perfect since the train station was a couple of blocks from Gallerie Lafayette. Shopping for luxury goods in Paris is crazy; there was a ton of people. I had to wait in line to enter the Longchamp section of the department store, which I have never had to do before. But I was content after I bought two bags.
Anyways, here goes my crazy, crazy Vernon/Giverny story. It’s so ridiculous that I still don’t even know how to react to this day.
It took me about 40 minutes to get to Vernon from Paris. Vernon is a small town, and I don’t know much about it except that it’s the only way to get to Giverny by train from Paris. I had read on the following sites – www.foundation-monet.fr and giverny.org that there were regular buses from the Vernon train station, so I decided that once I got to Vernon I would take the bus. However, there was no bus when I got there. After waiting for 5 minutes or so, I decided to grab a taxi since I had less than 30 minutes to get to the house/garden before last admission. Upon arriving, I had less than an hour to tour the house/garden and take lots of pictures before it closed at 6 PM. Before I left, I bought some pictures and a book on Monet.
When I left, I asked one of the employees to direct me to the bus stop. I had read somewhere (I swear it was on www.foundation-monet.fr) that the bus stops right in front or not far from the house/garden, but it was obviously wrong. Anyways, I followed some people hoping that I was going in the right direction. I eventually got to a parking lot but there was no bus around. I looked around and walked back and talked to some people but they didn’t know much about the bus. I asked if they had a phone number for a taxi, but they didn’t have any. I thought I was screwed and honestly, wanted to cry. I walked back to the parking lot and found a nice French couple (spoke English) who helped me look for a bus or a bus stop. A passerby told us that the last bus was around 5. I was now even more screwed (if that’s possible). I walked back to the parking lot trying to figure out what to do. My options were to ask the couple to take me to the bus station, walk (it would have been an hour), or hitchhike. I was FORTUNATE that they offered to take me to the bus station.
The train to Paris was not due until 7:30 so I went to the “pub”next to the station to grab food but they didn’t have anything except for a sandwich. As I was eating, I realized that I had forgotten my bag that was filled with things that I bought at Monet’s house in the car. I was extremely disappointed that I had forgotten it and it stills bother me to this day; I think a lot of it has to do with my emotional tie to the trip. When the train came I was just happy to leave; I was exhausted from the entire ordeal. But I don’t regret visiting the house and garden; it was one of the highlights of my trip. I plan to visit it again in the future. I hope it will be better the second time around.
Now for happier things, PICTURES!
I didn’t realize that we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside the house. This is one of the pictures that I took before one of the security guards stopped me. It’s basically a living room filled with different Monet pieces. Amazing!
Flowers in Monet’s garden.
Monet was influenced by Japanese art, which I did not know. The garden is filled with bamboos.
The waterlily pond!
<3 <3 <3