GIVERNY: PURE MAGIC OUTSIDE PARIS
Don´t you sometimes need some fresh air when visiting big cities? Paris does have plenty of gardens and squares where you can stroll around. But around Paris there´re many gorgeous places to visit and enjoy some green, flowers and a lot more like Giverny. This small town is only 40 minutes away from Paris by train.
It used to be impressionist painter Claude Monet´s secluded place to paint. Monet had a beautiful house that inspired many of his paintings -many of them exhibited in L´Orangerie Museum- and his famous water lilies. He bought stunning gardens and a pond. I´m 100% sure you´ll be amazed by the most dazzling roses ever seen. You won´t believe your eyes. But not only roses decorate his garden, also multicolored iris, daisies and a huge variety of flowers I saw for the first time in my life!
I strongly recommend you to get into his home, the house is open for visitors and it´s worth taking a look in it. Then go outside: there are 2 main Gardens: the «Clos Normand Jardín» facing the house and «Le Jardín d´Eau» (Water Garden). You´ll see many gardeners taking care of the flowers so everything is impecable. «Le Jardín d´Eau» is not far from Monet´s home and a nice path will lead you there. Monet was inspired by Japanese gardens, so to reproduce something similar he had a pond built with a small bridge. The sound of the water running is soothing and the view couldn´t be better.
Please, before going, check prices and schedules (it might be closed on Winter): http://giverny.org/gardens/fcm/visitgb.htm
HOW TO GET TO GIVERNY
The train to Giverny departs from the «Saint Lazare Gare» (St Lazare train Station, there are at least 3 in Paris) located in the heart of Paris. Buy direct tickets Paris-Vernon (there´s no train to Giverny, it hasn´t a train station). Once you get to Vernon, take either a cab or a bus (a lot cheaper) to Giverny. It´s a short 10 minutes drive. I must tell you we had problems while buying the tickets at Saint Lazare Station vending machines. It wouldn´t accept our credit cards…..so, we lost the 10 am train….We had to wait 2 hours for the 12 pm train. Two of our precious hours in Europe waisted! I went mad! We went to the traditional ticket office (located in front of the platforms) and got the tickets. So, for you not to be as fool as I was, get your tickets online or go with plenty of time and patience to the vending machines, or go to the ticket office.
To find out about St. Lazare´s Station schedules and routes: http://www.gares-sncf.com/fr/gare/frpsl/paris-saint-lazare
WHERE TO EAT IN GIVERNY
Giverny is a tiny town, so there are not too many restaurants to choose. I went to a dreamed restaurant, «Les Nympheas» so beautiful, I still cannot believe it! Food isn´t as great as the place itself, but it´s ok. Please note that the restaurant doesn´t take reservations ahead, so the «first come, first served» policy applies here. But totally worth it! And it´s close to Monet´s house. To learn about it prices and schedules: http://www.giverny-restaurant-nympheas.fr/