Life was good today! Giverny is where Claude Monet chose to live out the last half of his life, and "We Were There" to paraphrase Walter Cronkite.
As luck would have it, we enjoyed a nearly perfect day on our bikes. We sprang from our hotel this morning at 8:00, and as we made our way along St Germain de Pres we spied, a Starbucks! The clouds parted with a glorious chorus of angels as we entered into Nirvana. (Ok, Ok, maybe overstated a wee bit, but it was nice to have a mocha after almost a month.)
Duly fortified, we set off for Gare Saint Lazare, one of five huge train stations here in Paris. We decided to walk there from our hotel, no surprise, eh, a 5 kilometer hike.
The bike tour to Giverny, began with a train trip to Vernon, which is only a few miles from where Arnie lived in the early to mid 1960's. It was almost a homecoming. There bright banners flying and everything! Oh wait, that was for Bastille Day on Saturday. Never mind.
This old mill balances on what is left of a crumbling bridge. It was built in the 1600's and was a very successful business supplying ground corn and wheat up and done the Seine and beyond.
Tourelles castle was built in 1205 to defend Normandy from the English.
Monet's garden and home were lovely, and we found some flowers we really would like to add to our garden, if we can find them when we get back, but was too overcrowded with people to suit Arnie.
After a full day on our bikes we were back on the train by 6:40. A highlight for Arnie was figuring out the bus route to the hotel. We found our bus, after a bit of fretting, and after a leisurely, and uncrowded ride from the station, we were delivered to within a couple paces of our hotel! Arnie was beside himself with this traveling success.
As it was by now raining once again,we decided to spend the evening in the hotel restaurant. What we did not know was our hotel has an excellent one. We relaxed and shared bites of Eggplant Parmigiana and Spinach Ravioli, and topped it off with a great Tiramisu.
I think it is safe to say that we had a gloriously successful day!
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