Sunday, May 6, 2012

Monet Day

Marian planned 3 things to do in or out of Rouen; the question was, in what order. Two need at least some sun and today's forecast was for clouds, so: the drive to Giverny it had to be.

Claude Monet gave Impressionism its name with his "Impression, Sunrise." Giverny is the village where he lived the latter half of his life and where he painted his best-known works, the series of "water lilies." We saw the last and largest works of this series at The Orangerie ("No-unfurl day", 4/26). Today we would see the pond he was looking at while painting them.

We doodled down red roads instead of getting onto the parallel A13 motorway.

In the parking lot we snapped a shot of Clio.

Impression, Voiture Avec Iris.

Before going in we grabbed lunch from a place selling take-away food. This is a French notion of a pre-packed take-away tomato and mozzarella salad.

Tres jolie, tres bon.

The village has pretty well made itself over into "Monet Land" with a museum, numerous cafés, etc. But the main attraction is the house and especially, the gardens.

The pond is across a road, accessed via a tunnel.

A spot of sun wandered by and gave an intro to the garden.

There were chickens.

Les poulets de Monet

There was Monet's home, which we didn't enter.

And there were flowers. Lots and lots of flowers. We indulged ourselves in shooting flowers.

"No, over here, it's better from this angle!"

"OK, if you say so..."

We finally reached the pond. Monet always painted the water as blue, reflecting a summer sky. Unfortunately the sky was solid gray today, so the pond was gray. We tried.

And tried.

We took a short video, panning across the pond.

During the video you can hear loud bird-like noises. It turned out these were being made by frogs! And we caught one at work. Keep clicking the replay button to see his little cheeks pop.

Marian posed on one of the bridges.

And we asked a nice man from Minnesota who was clearly a photographer to take our picture.

And we shot some more flowers.

That was about it for Giverny, but it was a most satisfying afternoon. Now we headed back by even smaller roads.

We took a look at Château Gâillard, built by Richard Lionheart to control traffic on the Seine. (Point C in the map above.)

Further up, we found a view area looking over a loop of the Seine at a place called Thuit. Now, if you click this image, you will get a huge panorama from there. Centered in the far distance, halfway up the hillside above the river is Richard Lionheart's château.

Back in Rouen, we ate supper at a restaurant that specializes in duck. Duck is what one must eat in Rouen, it seems. We had a good supper from the menu prix fixe á €22: Salad with smoked duck and duck gizzards; duck breast with pasta; and for a dessert a rice pudding with warm caramel sauce on the bottom and whipped cream on the top.

1 comment:

  1. Ah, Giverny in the spring! Beautiful flowers everywhere! And even frog sounds! Thanks.