It’s time again for one of my favorite times of year… the three weeks of the Tour de France. This year it began in one of the most extraordinary places in all of France, Le Mont St-Michel. It just so happens that I visited Le Mont St-Michel last week and was able to see this incredible place for the second time. Even having seen it before, I walked up to the Mont with my mouth slightly ajar, completely in awe of it. If you’ve been, you know what I mean. It’s such an enchanting place with as rich a history as one could imagine for a tiny island.
Le Grand Départ ended at the WWII beaches of Normandy (3rd image), where I visited with my family in 2008. The beaches are absolutely splendid and yet there is an eerie silence that is difficult to ignore. What a grand start, indeed, to this year’s Tour de France with these two beautiful spots!
Last week, I treated myself to a day away at Giverny. As you probably know, Giverny is the town where Claude Monet lived and had the garden that was the inspiration for so many of his works of art.
I took an early train for the 45 minute ride to Vernon, caught the bus (all the while strategizing where I would sit so that I could get out quickly), then rushed to be among the first to reach Monet’s home and gardens (it opens at 9:30). My strategy was successful, but it didn’t take long for droves of tourists and several group tours to show up. If you’ve ever been to Monet’s Garden before, you know that here more than many other sites, lots of bodies can ruin any chance of a clear shot. Indeed with it being Fall, the garden was very full meaning there was a bit less space for people to walk along the paths.
After visiting Monet’s home and gardens, I made my way through the town of Giverny, then had lunch at the charming Hotel Baudy. I was so fortunate to have a beautiful Fall day with sunshine flickering on the colorful leaves. It was truly the perfect day away from Paris. I highly recommend visiting it at this time of year; the dahlias and salvia are incredibly beautiful right now.