August 26, 2014

Keep Calm and Go To Paris, Part 4

Yep, this is a Part 4. Have you been keeping up on this Paris series? No?? That's ok. You can catch up if you want, with Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. We've visited the Eiffel Tower, and Notre Dame, and Versailles, and so much more! With only two days left in Paris, we decided to leave the city for a bit and head out into the country to Giverny, home of Claude Monet.

Monet's gardens

This may not be of interest to you if you're not an art lover. I am, so off we went. I was pleasantly surprised to find the Hubs enjoyed this day trip as well. My mum loved it, of course, but The Kid could have taken it or left it. Every once in a while, I gotta push a little culture on her, ya know?

There are many ways to reach Giverny from Paris, if you don't have a car. We chose to take the train. It was quite confusing in the beginning, and there are only so many trains per day. The train doesn't actually go directly to Giverny. Rather, it stops in a small town called Vernon. You must take the train from Saint-Lazare Paris station. We purchased our tickets the morning of, and the price was about 30 euros each for the 45-minute round trip.

After the train stops in Vernon, you must then hop on a shuttle bus to Giverny. Seats on this are limited, and you must pay in cash at the door of the bus (4 euros each way). I know this sounds a bit complicated, but I promise it was a lot easier than it sounds!

The gardens were worth it to me. You'll have to decide for yourself if they hold the same value to you.

Water lily, in Monet's gardens

Seeing the spot where Water Lilies was painted literally made my heart flutter a bit. The same way I felt when I finally viewed Starry Night. We waited a while to take our pictures on the bridge in the water garden. People were crowded around, so it took quite a while. And then I waited to take a picture of the bridge with no one on it.

No photography was allowed inside the actual house, or I would post them here for you. It was a fairly ordinary home to me, except… one of the rooms was filled with paintings, all Monet's. I could have spent hours in there, it was fantastic. Tummies were rumbling, however. The Hubs doesn't do so hot without food, so we took a break for lunch before wandering the quaint town.

I gotta forewarn you about one thing. We took the next to last train back to Paris. We wanted to return early enough to visit the Arc di Triomphe before bedtime. Our train was so full, this is what happened:

The train was cramped, people everywhere. We sat on the stairs, and on the floor. We sat in each other's laps. And at every stop on the way, more people piled on. Just when you thought the car would surely burst at the seems… someone else slipped in.

You've been warned. We were so happy to get off that train.

Rather than taking public transport again, we chose to walk to the Arc di Triomphe. This was included on our museum pass, and I wanted to make the most of them. The pass allowed us to skip the ticket lines, always a bonus. The Arc is in the middle of a traffic circle. So how do you get there?

Well, don't run out into traffic people!! You can access the Arc from the underground station. There are signs pointing the way, though it was a bit confusing at first.

You can climb to the top of the Arc if you'd like to see the beautiful panoramic views. My mum didn't quite feel up to the task though, after asking the guard how many flights the climb was… so he let her take the elevator!

I had no idea there was an elevator here (there isn't one at Notre Dame). Thanks to the nice attendant, my mum enjoyed the views too.

One of several views from the
Arc di Triomphe

After walking back down, we were all ready for a quiet meal at our apartment and a good night's sleep. The next day, we had a train to catch back to Germany. But we still had some time to visit the Louvre! Stay tuned, peeps.

Until next time, happy travels!

Thanks for reading, everyone!
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