Monet's Garden & Honfleur

Trip Start Jun 05, 2011
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Trip End Jul 26, 2011


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Where I stayed
L'Hotel Le Belvedere, Honfleur

Flag of France  , Normandy,
Saturday, June 11, 2011

Lee caught the train to pick up our rental car for the next 13 days.  We were upgraded from a compact to a much bigger car - Renault Megane Diesel.  It was brand new - 10 km on the clock - and guess what it had a built in GPS.  What a pain after buying one yesterday (I have heard of people taking things back after their holiday!!)


We started off on our journey through many toll roads (how expensive!!) to a gorgeous little town of Giverny to see Clade Monet’s garden and house he lived in for the last 43 years of his life.  The flowers were in bloom and the lilly pads on the beautiful water ponds, which he painted, were all starting to come out.  We had a lovely time walking through the huge garden and then going into his house which displayed a lot of his impressionist paintings.  It was bustling with people everywhere and the shop was certainly doing a roaring trade!!  The village of Giverny is very pretty also with quaint houses and tiny cobble stone streets.  


We then set out for Honfleur - the most charming seaside town you can imagine.  The Vieux Basin (habour) has really thin coloured buildings that are about 3 stories tall, hugging the habour on 3 sides.  It was a special fair day, so there were people bustling everywhere, buskers playing french music and even a bagpiper.  Part of the celebration on this weekend required boats to be decorated with colourful flowers.  There were so many interesting little back streets to explore with very old churches and houses dating back to the 1600s. We walked out to the lock that lets the boats into the habour and walked around the coast beside the English Channel and back through beautiful gardens.


After a lovely little tea stop (Lee had an obligatory macaroon), we decided we should try  to find our accommodation.  We had parked a fair way out of the main centre as there was just crowds of people.  We put in the address of our hotel, and both of the GPS’s couldn’t find the street.  So we thought we would stick to our google maps print out.  We ended up about 10 mins out of Honfleur - on a different street.  We then tried our GPS again and found that it liked Route instead of Rue.  So off we headed and guess where our hotel was - about 200 metres from where we had parked for the afternoon!  We still could not find one street sign though to let us know what road we were on!!!  I guess this is France!  The hotel has the most beautiful garden that we are sitting here writing our blog and Lee is going through 250 photos that he has taken today!  It has been an absolutely delightful day - one that we will remember fondly. 


We headed down to the Harbour again for some night ambience after tea (delicious) but had to be back by 11 pm curfew at this hotel.  The sun doesn’t go down till after 10 pm which is quite tiring when you think you have to make use of the daylight. Legs are getting use to the walking though. Feet still get tired and look forward to a rest at night.
Car is great, even though a renault?!!  I finally worked out how to start the cruise control. Took me 100Kms and a few stops.   If you come to France and are near Honfleur it is a must. So quaint. As picturesque as any village I have been before and with such history.
There is a large suspension bridge - Pont de Normandy near Honfleur to Le Hauve, is the longest in the world or some claim to fame like that. I have inserted a picture.
Well it is now 1105 and I must get this posted and into bed. Tomorrow another adventure in France.  See ya.
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Comments

Leighton White on

I can picture you guys sizing up where Monet stood as he painted the waterlillies. It's beautiful is it not ! No speeding in that car

Bronwen on

Monet's Garden was one of my favourites too! Loving sharing your trip with you and seeing your amazing photos.

Karen and Ray on

Such a beautiful place. You have some VERY nice pics guys. Love the little village.

Lachlan on

It's all very ....Fench, isn't it!

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