May 9, 2018

Giverny Part 3: Vernon and Giverny

Aside from having an absolutely enchanting time at Monet's home and gardens (see HERE and HERE), we also caught a glimpse of the town of Vernon and then strolled around the tiny village of Giverny (where the Monet house, gardens, and museums reside). 
Upon arriving via train to Vernon, Normandy (less than an hour from Paris), there was a shuttle waiting outside the train station that whisked us for the four miles to Giverny. I loved riding through the charming streets that look old enough to be out of the Middle Ages with ancient doors, cobbled streets, and half-timbered houses and shops. Though the village endured damage during WWII, it is still overall well-preserved and captures the charm of the old world France/Normandy.

 We passed by the Tourelles castle, which was built in 1196 as as a stronghold to defend the town of Vernon.

Once we arrived in Giverny, we had a five minute walk from the parking lot to Monet's home, and we wanted to find a place to grab lunch before we started our tour. After checking out the menus for a few different cafes and restaurants, we settled at this gorgeous restaurants with adjoining hotel that's been around since the days of Monet. I cannot for the life of me find this place on Google maps and forgot the name of it, but it was easy to spot during our lunch search. We enjoyed absolutely delicious gluten-free buckwheat crepes. Mine was filled with ratatouille, which was something I wanted to try while in France. I loved the Disney film and my mom used to bake her own version, so I knew I would have to try it out while in France. Ratatoille is  Proven├žal stewed vegetable dish originating in Nice, France. Traditionally, vegetables include yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, potato, and bell peppers in a tomato-based sauce. In my crepe, the veggies were diced to bite-size pieces and the sauce was not too heavy, thankfully not soaking my crepe (which would have weirded me out). It was perfection. 

What a charming little village Giverny is. I can see why Monet loved living here. We enjoyed strolling through the quiet streets, bedecked in autumnal blooms and lush vines climbing on stone buildings of shops and restaurants. Quaint cottages with colorful shuttered windows are hidden behind bushes and trees. 

What a more beautiful, inspiring place than Giverny for Claude Monet to create the timeless masterpieces that captured the hearts of millions! 

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