Sunday, June 3, 2012


Today Sarah and Rachael and I took the train from the St. Lazare station to Vernon, which is the closest station to Giverny (i.e. Claude Monet's stomping grounds!). It was easy because it was close (only 45 minutes away), but getting to Giverny was kind of a pain because the shuttle times to and from Giverny didn't exactly line up with the train times, so we had to do some coordinating, but it all worked out.

Also, today had perfect examples of the nice and less nice French people I've encountered. On the train, we were sitting in a particularly chatty compartment with 8 of us total. One of the women was in town from London, and she realized that she and her husband had accidentally time stamped their return ticket too early. When the French woman sitting next to me heard this, she rushed out of the compartment to find an SNCF agent to make sure that everything would be fine and that the lady wouldn't have any problems later on. Extra friendly! But then when we all exited the station and were waiting for the shuttle buses, we were all in a clump towards the front of one bus, and as I was about to get on, a (different) French woman who was their with her family pushed her daughter in front of me and said something disapproving to me about cutting in line. Which I wasn't really doing because we were in a clump, and because we were all at that point definitely going to make it on the bus. Anyway, people are on opposite ends of the friendly spectrum here.

Giverny itself was great. We started at the Impressionist museum, which I was super excited about because they were holding an exposition of paintings by Maurice Denis. I had never heard of him until I saw some of his stuff at the L'Orangerie in Paris, which is when I became obsessed. I really like his style.
Maurice Denis' Muses. 

Then we walked around the (very little) town for a while. It was cute. We also hung out in the poppy fields by the museum for a while (and tried not to fall asleep before we made it to the Emerald City).

Visiting Monet's waterlilies makes you feel like you're in one of his paintings. And I could definitely see how he derived inspiriation from them. I'm going to dig up our backyard and make it a waterlily pond when I get home this summer. His house was cute too but we weren't allowed to take pictures of the inside.

We met a little boy and his mom from England in the museum. It was his birthday, and he was coming here to paint the water lilies, how cute! 

Something I gained from this trip is an appreciation of Impressionism. It helps that every museum in Paris seems to have at least one Monet floating around in it. The reason that the L'Orangerie is my favorite museum in Paris is because it made me realize that I actually really like an art movement that I previously didn't care about, which I think is a pretty big deal. And being inspired there is what made me visit the Musee Marmotton Monet a few months ago (which I also thought was great), and I definitely wouldn't have been so excited for Giverny otherwise. So YAY PARIS I guess.

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