We were up early, early, early on Monday 29 July and were surprised to see a glimpse of blue sky after heavy storms overnight. We dressed quickly and made our way to the station to catch a series of trains out to Giverny and the maison et jardins de Claude Monet.
Many years ago I was given a book from my grandmother about a little girl’s visit to the gardens (her name was Linnea) and I have wanted to follow in her footsteps ever since.
After running to catch a train I turned around to find that Ed hasn’t quite made it on behind me. The doors are like the jaws of a predator and once they have clamped shut there’s no getting them open again. Luckily we both knew our destination so we met at the platform and made our way together to the regional train.
The countryside out towards Giverny was really beautiful and I was so excited entering the gardens. There were blossoming flowers, buzzing bees and the sweet, sweet scent of perfume in every direction.
We made our way past a little stream to the willowy lily pond and famous Japanese bridge for the obligatory photos alongside other tourists.
After exploring the gardens we entered the impressionist’s pastel pink house where he lived for the last 43 years of his life. It was light filled, creaky and full of character.
We took a train back into Paris in the afternoon and spent a few hours strolling boulevards and avenues and watching people watchers outside chic cafés and restaurants. We found a little supermarket on Rue Montorgueil where we bought picnic supplies, including Babybel cheese, for dinner.
After a little rest in the evening we quickly dressed for a night of glitz, feathers, sequins, breasts and buttocks at the Moulin Rouge. We sat with an amorous French couple and enjoyed champagne and beer as we were entertained by countless acts, miraculous feats, anacondas, skates, ventriloquy and of course French cancan.
It was a great night although the lack of clothing on the female dancers was certainly not replicated on their male counterparts, much to my disappointment (not Ed’s)!