Giverny & Surrounding Areas, France/ May 6-8, 2017
Where : The towns of Giverny, Vernon, and La Roche-Guyon
Visiting the town Monet had lived and painted, Giverny, was always on my list of places I reall wanted to see. After living in France a few months, we decided to head out there and see what the fuss was all about. It was as beautiful as you would dream it would be. Even with a gray sky and not so great weather, it was absolutely gorgeous and full of color from all the colors. Everywhere you looked you were surrounding in color - mostly vibrant pinks and greens. The only thing that was not pleasant here was the amount of tourists. And this was the very beginning of tourist season, so I can imagine how crowded it might be in July or August! If you can, try to get here in April or May before it gets too full. But I would strongly suggest going in the winter or fall, because you really want to be here when the flowers are blooming.
The only thing to really see in Giverny is Monet's home, an art museum, and a small street with adorable restaurants and shops. I would say one day here is enough. That is why we ventured outside and visited the towns of Vernon and La Roche-Guyon. Vernon has some great examples of the very old architecture of half-timbered homes that no longer exist in Paris, so that was great to see. Take a stroll past the the old mill on the river - it is from the medieval times and doing pretty well considering it's on the water and that old!
La Roche-Guyon, also on the river, is interesting and has a very interesting story about WWII here. After D-Day, German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel (1891–1944) defended Normandy against the Allies in World War II from a bunker located at the castle here. The castle also was Rommel's headquarters. The complex is quite large of which you can tour most of. It also brings you into stone passageways in the rock face. Do yourself a favor and have lunch by the river at Les Bords de Seine. It makes you feel as if you've gone back in time at least 50 years.