After leaving Versailles, we stopped at Auvers-sur-Oise to visit a few Van Gogh spots and then onto Giverny. Giverny is only about and hour away from Versailles so it makes it easy to get in two great artists with one drive. In our case, we wanted to spend a few days to slow down a bit and to really enjoy this beautiful area that Monet painted.
Giverny isn’t a very large town and it is basically one road with a permanent population of about 500 persons. However, it draws over 400,000 tourists each year to see his amazing gardens. When we were planning this trip, I really did not expect to see much in bloom since we were arriving so late in October. However, according to the Monet Foundation, every season offers something quite beautiful in the gardens.
Still operating today is the Hotel Baudy. In 1883 Claude Monet moved to Giverny with his family. An American artist stumbled into Giverny on the train one afternoon and was told that Monet lived just down the road. Soon, various artists were coming to Giverny, staying at the Hotel Baudy and painting with Monet.
They would also meet, drink coffee and chat at the hotel during these visits. Such painters as Camille Pissarro, Renoir, Cassatt and Rodin, all important impressionist painters would come to Giverny. The hotel even had an artists workshop that they would use. If a painter couldn’t pay the 4 cent nightly fee, the owner would barter for a painting. I’m guessing Mrs. Baudy made out pretty well on that end of the bargain.
You can still have lunch and dinner here, visit the artists studio and enjoy many old pictures from when Monet and friends hung out at the Baudy.
The Monet Foundation
This is Monet’s house, gardens and lily ponds. Pay the entrance fee (in advance with a date/time slot) and go in! If you enjoy art at all, it is very easy to see what Claude painted. The tour bus groups may dash through in an hour. We spent 2+ hrs and could have walked through them all over again!
We will just let the pictures tell the story.
If you are in the Paris area, I highly recommend traveling through this area, visiting the Monet gardens and enjoying the countryside. It’s a beautiful area of France.