Day 11 – Monet’s Garden, Eiffel Tower and the Seine!

Today was incredibly difficult to get out of bed! I was so, so exhausted – and still dreaming about the Moulin Rouge. Wow, what a night! Anyway, today we were heading to Giverny but I was toying with the idea of just sleeping in. But then I thought, ‘Well I would still have to get up to tell David anyway – so may as well!’

After breakfast, I still have about 20 minutes to wait, so I popped down to my favorite cafe, Les Petites Canailles and enjoyed un cafe allonge.

This cafe was quite literally two doors down from the hotel we were staying in, Les Jardin du Marais and it served better coffee. As I was sitting there, David and some of the others going on the trip wandered past and came over for a chat too. Then it was onto to the bus and our guide Joelle was to accompany us.

While I was aware that Giverny was about an hour out of Paris, it actually took an hour and a half and was in the direction of Normandy. The trip provided a great opportunity for a cat nap once out of Paris but as we traveled out of town, I managed to get my first look at the Arc de Triomphe.

Arriving at Monet’s garden in Giverny, Joelle provided us with a great commentary of what we could expect to find, how to locate both the house and the water lilies as well as a bit of history about Claude Monet and his companion/wife Alice Hoschede. The house itself was quaint and beautiful.

Unlike the open plan style we seem to value in Australia, each room was self-contained and there were little hallways between each room.  I loved the bedroom his girlfriend-later-wife has. It was just beautiful.

The other room I loved was the yellow dining room. There is somethingI enjoy about color and the colour yellow fills me with a great sense of sunshine and life.

After the house I wandered through the gardens seeking out the lily pond. Eventually I found it and it was beautiful;  so much so that as the opportunity presented itself I found a bench seat to sit on and proceeded to spend some time doing some reiki. Even though there were people milling around, taking photos and chatting,  I still managed to find some solace and be present to where I was.

I have always loved the lilies in a pond paintings by Monet especially and probably particularly for the colours and the way they are worked; the blues and the purples then the greens, yellows and blues. Of course the garden seemed to be in full bloom and the colors were magnificent. I often wonder why we settle for neutral colours when it comes to painting our houses or rooms in our houses when colours – particularly bright colours bring so much life and energy. Bright colours often bring a smile of joy into my life.

After the gardens I wandered down the main street. I dicovered some beautiful paintings that were painted locally and I enjoyed a magnificent cafe gourmand as my lunch; where I tasted a Madeleine cake, financier cake and a canoli (spelling unsure) plus a couple others! Delicious!

On our way home, when I realised I had a couple of hours to spare, I asked Joelle to drop me off at a shopping area and she arranged for Gilbert to drop me off at Rue St Antoine. Wow did I have an amazng time shopping! Then when I couldn’t find the kind of bag shop I wanted I decided to head back to the Republique where I knew there was a suitable shop. Well I walked in with just a backpack and came away with an over-the-shoulder purse bag, a tote bag and a carry-on suitcase! I told you I went shopping! Then I grabbed a taxi and asked him to take me to my hotel. He wasn’t sure where to go so guess what? I gave him directions!

Of course that left me with next to no time to get ready for our visit to the Eiffel Tower and our final dinner! But manage it I did and grabbing my shoes, I raced out the door and met David in the foyer writing me a note to let me know where the dinner was – so he very kindly let me put my shoes on and we the jumped on the bus and it was off to the Eiffel Tower, followed by dinner at the Vaudeville at Bastille.

The Eiffel Tower did not disappoint and it was magnificent!  What I did not expect was the amazing photos my phone would take. Also I did not make this discovery until I was home looking at them on my compter…unbelievable!

 

 

The restaurant was beautiful and to be honest I expected the food to be amazing! Anyway as this was another one of those pre-ordered dinners once again I was expecting escargot!  Yes I was about to tempt fate once more – and yes fate was in for a rude shock! These ones came out in shells and was given special utensils to use. I will let the photos tell the story!

Needless to say, I will not be eating snails again – regardless of whether I am in France or not. Fortunately the lovely John swapped his French onion soup with me and then I had the beef bourgogne for mains. As I  said it ended up pleasant but not the best meal we had enjoyed. Mind you,  the company was great and we did enjoy our final catch up.

Our final activity was a cruise, at night, along the Seine. Wow! We got to see the Eiffel Tower at night – and not only was it lit up but we were privileged to enjoy a magnificent light show where she sparkled! When we first boarded the boat, that was but the first time we saw the Eiffel Tower glitter. The funnything was that Shirleen and I spotted David and so we madly waved! It was only later that we realised he was trying to photograph the Eiffel Tower light show!
The loveliest aspect about the cruise was that I was able to spend my final evening with my friend,  Shirleen.  We chatted, laughed, reminisced and try to capture our night through photography. Towards the final leg of our cruise, just as we passed the Eiffel Tower the light show lit up again and yes it was spectacular and beautiful.

 

As we climbed back on the bus with Gilbert, David decided to play “Gilbert’s playlist”! Well next thing you know we are all singing Sweet Caroline and Acky Bracky Heart. Oh my gosh what a hoot! Dancing Queen was next but by then we were climbing off the bus!

On my way back to the hotel I popped into see the man who wanted me to guess the ingredients of the shot I’d rnjoyed the previous night and I wanted to tell him I had tasted a Madeleine cake. Well he greeted me like a long lost friend and when I told him I was leaving kissed me again on both cheeks! No wonder I loved visiting Les Petites Canailles!

Sadly when I  went to bed I didn’t realise that would be the last time I saw Shirleen, Anne and John. But you never know what’s around the corner!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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