Giverny & Montmarte
27.10.2013 - 27.10.2013 27 °C
27th September 2013
Waking up in a new hotel is always interesting. We got ready, alarm off at 615am and tried to find the breakfast room. Trafalgar have separate eating areas to the rest of the hotel so that we can sit together. Breakfast was the usual - pastries, fruit and cereal. I had a quick bite and then we were off.
We had the pleasure today, of heading off to Giverny, and Monet's home and garden. It was exquisite. We decided to go immediately to the pond area famous for the water lily painting. It was a catch 22 being so early, we got there before everyone else, but there was a man cleaning the pond smack bang in the middle of it! I creatively cropped him out of most of the photos. From there we ventured into Monet's house. It was quite small compared to the palaces we have been visiting lately, probably about the size of an 18 square house. There were prints of all of his works on the walls of each room, the originals are valued between $60million - 120million so they are all in museums or in some homes, but not many.
Directly in front of the house is Monet's Garden. If there was ever a place of inspiration this is it. Everywhere you look there are flowers and arches. A cornucopia of colour. The way that this garden differs from most is the diversity and depth. The different types of flowers, different heights, all colours, intermingled with arbours and climbing frames. The most perfect cottage garden. Amazing.
We had some extra time so we found a cafe a little way down the street and sat for half an hour. It was confusing to order - little English was spoken, and only Ethan got what he had asked for! It was soon all fixed up and it was pleasant sitting in yet another garden. A cat came past to visit us and Ethan loved that.
From here we were taken back to our hotel for a couple of hours until this afternoon's farewell tour and dinner. We spent the time resting and packing our cases for the next morning's hotel swap. At 3pm we met down in the foyer for our last tour with Trafalgar.
So it's off we went to Montmartre, an artists colony - or so it used to be. Now it is too expensive and overrun with tourists for them to live there apparently. We had a nice long walk up to the funicular railway, which we rode to the top of the stairs. A short walk and we were at the steps of Sacre-Coeur and overlooking much of Paris. It was great. There was a band playing on a nearby street and artists doing portraits all around us. We walked through the basilica in silence, no photos allowed, so we took our time and had a look at the stunning gold leaf ceiling and stained glass windows.
An afternoon at Montmartre would not be complete without a walk through the cobblestone streets, and that is exactly what we did. Through the artist square, the souvenir shops and then the long walk back down to the area where our coach was waiting, near the Moulin Rouge.
Next stop was our fabulous farewell dinner. We were driven back into Paris centre to Brasserie La Lorraine where we indulged in a 3 course menu. Our waitress was a bit surly because some people had forgotten what they had ordered - I don't blame her! We started with French Onion Soup - a favourite of mine since I have been here, and this one did not disappoint. Next up Ethan and I had chicken and vegetables, and David had a vegetarian plate. It was all exceptional. Dessert hmmmm... the boys had chocolate mousse and I had creme brûlée. What a lovely way to finish off our tour.
We were dropped off to our hotel and were told our check out was midday tomorrow so we thought we may as well save our packing up until then.