Another day, ANOTHER charming French town….or two. We docked today in Vernon and we visited Giverny. Both were small and quaint towns, each with its own history and highlights.
Giverny is where Claude Monet lived and painted and had two gardens that were the subject of many of his most famous paintings. Again there was much history told on the tour that I didn’t know, so I found it quite interesting. But even if you’re not interested in history, his gardens and house were quite the spectacle. You definitely recognize some of the scenes from Monet’s work and the gardens are so well maintained, it’s just an abundance of color and fragrance. There are other artists that lived and worked in Giverny and so there are other displays as well.
Vernon is a small, very old river town directly on the Seine. Here is what I find most amazing about river cruising. Our modern 21st century ship was docked two blocks from an 11th century cathedral. WOW!
I sat in the hot tub on the ship looking at the cathedral and was in awe of the almost a thousand year difference in just a few steps. I walked into town, into the cathedral, through some of the shops and even enjoyed my one and only (so far) pain au chocolat….chocolate croissant. They make them best in France!
We enjoyed a lunchtime barbeque on the sun deck and a pastry demonstration on board the ship by a local pastry chef and even got to sample some of his treats. After dinner, we were treated to the crew showing off their various talents with songs, magic tricks, dances and skits. It was quite fun, since you get to know the crew so well on a small ship.
The French countryside that we passed as we sailed down the Seine this evening was enchanting. Just what you’d think of, with fields and hills and quaint tudor style houses on the river bank. We even saw the ruins of the castle built by Richard the Lion Heart, once Duke of Normandy and King of England. Again, the age, the history, the beauty…..it’s been breathtaking.
Tomorrow is Rouen and Honfleur…..