Travel Thursday: Giverny, France

I thought it would be fun to do a series of blog posts every Thursday exclusively about traveling. These posts will be about anything related to travel: tips and tricks, places I've been, places I would like to go, travel photography, etc, etc.
Since spring is right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to kick off the series with a place bursting of flowers and gardens. 
About three years ago, my good friend Brittany and I went on a month-long tour of Europe after we graduated college.  While we were in Paris, we took a day trip out to Giverny to see Monet's gardens. As luck would have it, the day we visited was opening weekend of the new Museum of Impressionisms, Giverny.  To celebrate the grand opening, the Museum brought in twenty Monet paintings borrowed from the Musée d'Orsay.  It was the first time in who knows how long where the paintings returned to the gardens  in which they originated.

We were able to stand on the Japanese bridge over the waterlily pond:
 and then see the painting of the bridge we were just standing on only minutes ago:
 Wander around the gardens in front of the house:
and then see a photograph of Monet doing the exact same thing:

 It was definitely an experience I'll never forget.

Tips when visiting Monet's gardens:
  • It's very simple to take a train from Paris to Vernon (the actual town in Giverny where Monet resided).
  • Once you arrive, rent a bike from one of the many cafe's outside the train station and bike ride to the house and gardens.  It's absolutely beautiful.  You'll pass by meadows and grazing horses.   
  • Since the Monet paintings that we got to see right after seeing the gardens are no longer still at the Museum of Impressionisms, I suggest visiting the Musée d'Orsay the day before you take the train out to Giverny.  That way, the paintings will still be fresh in your mind.  It's really like walking through a 3D painting. 
Photography Note: I want to point out that none of the photos were enhanced so you can see just how vibrant the gardens are naturally. 

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