Friday, August 1: Giverny & Val d’Oise

To round out the program we took the whole group to Giverny (Claude Monet’s home and garden) this morning and to Auvers-sur-Oise (village where Vincent Van Gogh is buried) in the afternoon. It was a beautiful day; Giverny was miraculously not-horribly-crowded; Auvers is lovely and seemed like a real change from the city despite being part of the Île de France region (i.e. part of “greater Paris,” sort of). As we drove into town I was entertaining myself by choosing the houses I’d like to live in. Unfortunately the one I liked best had an asking price over 500,000€ ! So I am not moving to Auvers-sur-Oise any time soon.

We did have an unexpected adventure when it was time to come home but even that turned out all right as I got to come back on train “H,” which I think is one of the suburban lines that Annabel mentioned a while back. It was a really snazzy train! Now I am taking a break from packing. I decided to start tonight so I could have more of tomorrow free. So far, so good. I’ve stopped worrying that my suitcase will weigh 100kg and there are no longer clothes all over my bed. Tomorrow will be strange as I will feel like the clock is ticking–because it will be! So let’s hold that at bay a while longer and look at some pictures instead. Fair warning: if you don’t like flowers, you should NOT click through . . .

Toward the entry to the Japanese garden at Giverny

The famous water lilies

Maybe the best pic I took all day?

I love this flower.

A mum that has not even begun to think about blooming

They claim that this fluffnugget is a chicken. I’m skeptical.

“I’m not just a rooster; I’m a rooster that lives at Monet’s house!”

Unfortunately you can’t take photos inside the house.

Notre Dame d’Auvers-sur-Oise. Originally built in the 12th century.

WWI memorial in the church

Vincent and his brother Theo Van Gogh’s grave

A statue of the other well-known painter from Auvers, Charles-François Daubigny

Main street in Auvers–
we had a cold drink under one of those red umbrellas and it was very pleasant!
Fair warning #2: Depending on how tomorrow goes, I may or may not have a chance to blog. Next entry may be datelined “Macon, Georgia.” Stay tuned! 

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