So this actually happened in August but I’ve been so busy I haven’t gotten to writing it until now. I haven’t been able to do that much travelling because of my internship other than weekend trips, so I’m lucky that Paris is only 3 hours away by train!
I went to Paris for my birthday earlier this year in April, but when one of my good friends from home, Leana spent the summer in France as an au pair, wanted to see if I wanted to meet up in Paris, of course I had to say yes! There’s no such thing as going to Paris too many times and one should never turn down an excuse to go.
(Side note: I might be going to Paris a third time this year since my boyfriend’s sister is doing an exchange there!)
One thing me and my boyfriend for sure wanted to do on this trip was go to Claude Monet’s garden in Giverny, near Paris. We had actually bought these tickets the last time we were in Paris but our plans that trip was too ambitious and we never made it (the tickets were valid until September so we figured it was a good excuse to go back to Paris later this year)
If you love Impressionist art, Monet’s garden is a must. The artist even once stated, “my garden is my most beautiful masterpiece” and when you’re there, you can definitely see why.
In art school, I’ve studied so many of Monet’s waterlilies that seeing them in person is a really amazing and unique experience.
If you’re coming to the gardens, I would definitely recommend to come as early as possible – we were there early afternoon in August and the place was just PACKED.
When you have everyone around you taking pictures with their iPads, it doesn’t exactly exude that feeling of peace and tranquility Monet had in mind.
Although to be fair, his garden is so beautiful, it’s hard not to want to capture everything you see. It’s really one of those places though where photos really don’t do it much justice!
The garden is open from April to November, so we had definitely gone during the peak season. Unfortunately, with attractions like Versailles where you can go in February to avoid the crowds, you really have to go to Monet’s garden at the right time to see it in its full beauty.
For those interested in knowing more about Monet, here’s some interesting facts!
– Monet’s first name is actually Oscar-Claude and his parents actually always called him Oscar since his father’s name is also Claude.
– He was born into a Catholic family but later in his life became an atheist
– His father originally wanted him to go into the family grocery business and hated his son’s creativity. Although his mother was very supportive.
– Monet’s mother died when he was just 17
– He was a rebel at school and would draw caricatures of his teachers and friends rather than doing his work
– The word “Impressionism” was coined by art critic Louis Leroy after seeing Monet’s painting “Impression, Sunrise” in 1974 during the first Impressionist exhibition
– many of his paintings featured his wife
– He tried to kill himself by drowning in the Seine because of his financial burdens
– In his later works he had severe cataracts that limited his vision and he could barely see what he was paintings – yet he continued to produce amazing pieces!
– Monet died at 86 and was buried in the Giverny church cemetery
What else was included in the ticket was entrance to his house, which I have to say, is one of the cutest houses I’ve been inside. I’m fascinated by artist studios and this definitely doesn’t disappoint!
At Giverny, they also had brochures of Impressionist tours you can go on, where you follow where the Impressionist artists have gone throughout France to places like Normany. Much to my boyfriends well-hidden dismay, that’s definitely been added to my bucket list for my next France trip!
Getting there: A 45 minute train ride from Gare St-Lazara in Paris to Vernon (a town nearest to Giverny). Then a 15 minute bus from Vernon directly to the gardens.
Have you guys been to Monet’s garden?