Okay, today’s excursion to Giverny was the one absolute no matter what else we did. This was also the only thing planned I have never done. Interestingly, the “day trip” is actually only 1.5 hours on-site and with the crowds. It isn’t really enough time to do the gardens and the house. However, Sis has a couple of books with all the rooms of the house and I didn’t really care so we were fine. The Monet Gardens are open April through I think it’s October which means the 600,000 annual visitors are crammed into the space of months. Everyone is “funneled”, although “tunneled” is a more accurate term as you go through a tunnel from the parking lot/public areas and emerge into the gardens. You walk along defined paths and split multiple ways, all of which ultimately lead you to the gift shop which was a studio. By the way, the prices are actually quite reasonable in the shop. No, I didn’t buy anything.
So, Giverny is 45 miles from Paris, just as you cross into Normandy. With traffic it’s 1.5-2 hours time. Our driver, a pleasant young man quite experienced in both maneuvering dicey Paris traffic and the area, explained there are numerous B&Bs in Giverny and if you want to truly enjoy it, he suggests you book well enough in advance to stay 1-2 nights there to share in the small village and get into the gardens before the throngs arrive. I can see this as a possibility, especially for a photographer who needs morning light and fewer than hundreds of people at a time.
Anyway, it was lovely, I will leave a good review with Trip Advisor and I did get some good photos I will later post. Sis loved it. We had planned to have dinner at the hotel and did so. Last night (or rather this morning) was a terrible bout of insomnia, so I am really dragging. More tomorrow.