This day was the BEST! We finally made our way to Giverny, and it was SO SO SO worth it! It was so beautiful! For those who aren't as crazy as me (or a bunch of other tourists haha), Giverny is the hometown of Claude Monet, and his former home is open to the public as a sort of museum. A lot of his most famous work (water lilies) was painted at that home, and the gardens that were the subject of his work are still meticulously maintained. And they are so pretty.
We took a train out to Vernon, and then there were these super convenient shuttles taking people from the Vernon train station to Giverny. If we went again and had enough time, I think it would be fun to walk from the station to Monet's home -- it was about an hour walk I think? But the town of Vernon was super pretty driving through, and you go over the River Seine and can see all these sailboats and stuff that Monet painted!
Giverny itself is definitely a town maintained for tourists, but it's so lovely! Everyone had the most gorgeous gardens, and it was such a peaceful and pleasant escape from the city. I can't believe how many French people I spoke to didn't even know about Giverny! Or maybe it was just my super horrible French accent...
Owen and I have decided that it is our life goal to have a garden like this. IT WAS AMAZING!
And it happened to be dahlia season, and since dahlias are one of my two favorite flowers, I was pretty stoked of course. Dahlias are so bright and beautiful!
The picture below is why you should never assume someone knows how to use your DSLR, and you should just ask them to take a photo on your iPhone instead...
It would have been so cute, but its so blurry!!! Such a bummer.
I was so glad that I found this floral dress at Uniqlo to wear to the gardens - it was a perfect choice!
So the gardens are behind his (very long) house. That must have been so awesome to look out onto every morning!
The only thing I wish was different at Giverny is that there were so many sections of the gardens that were roped off, and only gardeners could go amongst the flowers. I mean, it makes sense since a lot of people go through there every day and could cause a lot of damage, but I just wanted to run through the whole thing and smell every flower! That's why we need to make our own version of his gardens, of course.
Also there were some really hilarious looking chickens. So we took a picture of them.
SO. MANY. FLOWERS!
Are you tired of flowers yet? Because I'm not!!!!!!!!!
Then we walked under this little bridge/tunnel way to the lily pad waterponds. Wow.
We snagged a bench with this gorgeous view since the bench was a little wet and no one else wanted to sit on water...We just sat here and looked at this for hours, it was so beautiful there! You know a place is amazing when it's beauty is still overwhelming despite all of the tourists running around.
THE FAMED LILIES!
We liked our benches.
The famous bridges!!!
How could someone live here and NOT want to be an artist!!
These giant green leaf plants were just too big and awesome.
I found out that Owen really likes fuschia plants.
Then we toured his house, but you're not allowed to take any pictures inside of there. You can look at the inside of his awesome and beautiful house by clicking on this link. We were allowed to take this one picture though, which is the view of the gardens from his bedroom window. Wow, right??
His house was so colorful and awesome!
We never wanted to leave.
But we eventually did leave, and walked around Giverny for a little bit and found this little gem - the Natural Mechanical Museum. Basically it was like every steampunk dream come true. It was full of all these amazing old machines with huge gears and pipes and they are all beautifully restored.
Unfortunately it was pretty dark inside the museum (which was free, by the way!) so it was hard to get any good pictures, but it was pretty cool! I love how there are so many unique hobbies that are supported in their community, and the craftsmanship was extraordinary.
We walked throughout the town, and decided we would want to stay there instead of Paris next time, and then also walked along the river on the backside of Monet's estate. And Owen climbed a giant tree, despite me reminding him that our health insurance does not extend overseas.
We walked around Vernon for a little while too, and found this amazing church. It's also called Notre Dame (and that was where I learned that there are actually a lot of Notre Dames...) and you can see bullet marks where invading soldiers shot down the statues on the exterior of the church, which was pretty wild.
We walked over to the River Seine, which we thought was much prettier on this side. And also very windy!!
If we had planned it better, we could have walked over to where these sailboats were and chilled on the beach a little bit...I think we will have to do that next time!!
Here is Owen's backside at the Saint Lazare station in Paris. Apparently Monet painted this train station as well, which is pretty awesome of course.
Overall, our little venture outside of the city was well worth it, and we loved Giverny so much! For only a 45-minute train ride, we got a totally different and lovely experience. Highly recommended!!