Sunday, July 17, 2011


Giverny is a small village in Normandy.  Actually it is just across the line between Haute Normandie and Ile de France, but it is very close to Paris.  Giverny was the home of Claude Monet, the impressionist painter.  Unlike poor painters like Van Gogh, Monet seems to have been well-heeled in order to afford such a nice house and garden.

The closest train station is in the nearby town of Vernon, and there is a shuttle bus service from there to Giverny. We found that it was cheaper to rent a car from Gare du Nord for one day than it was to buy three round trip train and shuttle bus tickets.  So we made an advance reservation with Avis/Budget through USAA.  They gave us this C series Mercedes Benz.  It was nice enough, and had about 1,000 miles on it.  (1250 km).  A bit heavy, but it handled nicely.  I wouldn't buy one.  Consumer Reports magazine was sharply critical of these smaller Mercedes cars.

We had a nice drive each way, and so Lori got to see a bit of France, as opposed to just Paris.  I miscommunicated with Penny about the route and so turned onto the inner Peripherique instead of continuing north.  That put her through her navigator paces, but she came through splendidly.

Down the street from Monet's garden is an impressionist museum.  An exhibition of the Sterling and Francine Clark collection had just begun there.  This was a nice day trip.  Photography was strictly prohibited inside both Monet's house and in the Clark exhibition.

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